Say Sayonara to Japanese Beetles

5:33 PM, Aug 14, 2013   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - We've all heard the phrase "looks can be deceptive." This is very true when it comes to the beautiful looking but very destructive Japanese Beetle.

Heidi Heiland of Heidi's Lifestyle Gardens says Japanese Beetles continue to be a problem and are out in force at this time of year.

Heidi joined KARE 11 News @4 to share facts and ideas on how to combat the pest.

Japanese beetle lifecycle in Minnesota:

- January through June - Look for large grubs in the soil.
- July through September - Look for flying adult beetles that attack foliage, flowers, and fruits. Also, during the egg laying stage, eggs are laid in lawn soils.
- August through November - Eggs hatch and become small grubs in the soil. Grubs then go dormant in soil for winter months.

1. Remove host plants which include- roses, grape vines, strawberries, filipendula, oenethera, sanguisorba, dahlias, tropical hibiscus, and flowering maple.
2. Create a sacrificial garden of host plants 
3. Hand pick into soapy water (do NOT squish beetles as it may release pheromones that attract more beetles.) 
4.  Freeze-and-Feed- This is an effort to teach local songbirds to hunt these beetles more aggressively. Feed frozen beetles to chickens or raccoons.
5. Apply beneficial nematodes - These are underground pest hunters that control over 250 different species of insects that spend some part of their lives underground. They are a very efficient organic insect control method and kill most insects before they become adults.
6. Apply Milky White Spore - This is a biological control that attacks grubs while in the soil. It can take up to five years of applications to become effective, and has varying degrees of success. 
7.  Although this is controversial, install pheromone traps located on property perimeters away from gardens. Traps should be in the sun and over turf.
8. Consider a neighborhood wide approach.

As a last resort for heavy infestations and if the above approaches have not been effective, apply pesticides as necessary. Know that these pests, while they are not going away, ebb and flow like any plague.

Form more information, visit Heidi's Lifestyle Gardens.

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