The Japanese Beetle: Everything you Wanted to Know
The Japanese Beetle is a small bug that looks fairly innocuous. However, it has come to be considered quite a pest in the United States due to the fact that it destroys plants on farms and in gardens. As a result, people who are interested in knowing more about the Japanese Beetle are often looking at ways to get rid of this pest from their lives. Despite this, the Japanese Beetle is actually quite an interesting bug and is something that you might want to learn more about just because trivia about the bug isn't something that everyone knows.
Identifying the Japanese Beetle
First things first; what are we talking about when we discuss the Japanese Beetle? It's that little shiny-colored bug that we often see in the summertime. The Japanese Beetle is about half an inch long (although size varies with location). Unlike most other beetles, it's not really an elongated bug. It is almost as big across as it is lengthwise so it's almost square in shape (as opposed to rectangular like most beetles). It's a very brightly colored bug with a shiny green body and copper-colored wings.
History of the Japanese Beetle
As the name suggests, this beetle is originally from Japan. It's not considered to be any sort of problem where it's from because it has natural enemies there that keep it under control. The reason that it's such a pest in the United States is because it's not native to the area. Historians believe that the beetle traveled to the United States in a shipment of iris flower bulbs that was sent here from Japan early in the twentieth century. The beetles were first reported in 1916 when they had already reproduced and multiplied.
Problems with the Japanese Beetle
Kids love the Japanese Beetle because it's a harmless bug that's beautiful in color. Adults aren't nearly so fond of the beetle because of the fact that it loves to live in lawns and destroy the plants that grow there. The most common complaint is from people who have rose gardens; the Japanese Beetle is notorious for ruining these plants. However, the beetle can be destructive to other types of plants as well.
Dealing with the Japanese Beetle Problem
If you find that you have problems with the Japanese Beetle in your garden, you have four basic options for removing the problem:
- Remove them by hand. If you only have a few of these beetles then you can just pick them up (they're harmless to humans) and get rid of them. Most people crush them like they would any other bug. You can also immerse them in soapy water and then flush them down the toilet.
- Pesticides. Whether you choose natural (organic) pesticides or chemical ones, they can be used to get rid of the Japanese Beetle. You will want to specifically seek out pesticides designed to kill off this bug as not all of them will be effective.
- Purchase traps. Believe it or not there are traps available for those people who have a serious problem with the bugs. This generally isn't considered the best option but it's something you can ask about at your local lawn supplies store.
- Prevention. The best method of treatment is to prevent the Japanese Beetle from taking refuge in your yard in the first place. The way to do this is to plant plants that are unattractive to the beetle (such as baby's breath, flowering dogwood or snapdragons) instead of things like roses that the Japanese Beetle will love.
Enjoying the Japanese Beetle
It's certainly true that the Japanese Beetle can be destructive to your lawn and plants. However, it's also a really neat beetle that only causes problems because it wasn't supposed to be here in the first place. Try to think of it kindly now that you know more about it.
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