Anyone with a garden can share your pain when it comes to the ravages of Japanese Beetles. Stubborn and insatiable, they will feast on a variety of well over 300 different species of plant. They will even go so far as to chomp on weeds and poison ivy! There are a number of chemical toxins available to thwart this shiny bugs. Chemical fertilizers are detrimental to your garden’s overall health. These, and other pesticides tend to drive away beneficial insects and predators that would otherwise control your pest problem. So, if you are interested in going green here are some natural ways to kill Japanese Beetles.
You can easily make your own beetle death trap with some household items. Fill up an empty yellow container with clean water and just a few drops of dish soap. Now place the container next to your afflicted plants. The yellow colour of the container attracts them, and as they literally can’t swim to save their life, many will perish. There are also a number of traps available for purchase that contain pheromones to attract the Japanese Beetles. Just don’t place them too close to your plants, otherwise you will attract them to said plants instead of the trap.
One way to keep them from feeding on your hard work is to make it less tasty. Spray the leaves with natural Neem Oil. This oil comes from a neem tree and is a great natural solution available at most stores or online. The only hitch is that you need to spray every couple of days. There are many irritating concoctions to try out. Some swear by blending water, garlic cloves, and hot peppers, then straining out the chunks and adding some dish soap. And some have gone so far to suggest blending up the trapped bugs until they are liquefied and then spray… yuk.
If your plants are too far gone for spray, it may be time to remove them from the equation. Japanese Beetles will continue to feast on that dying plant, and then move on to a healthy one. Don’t let them. You may have to do some rearranging to keep plants that attract the beetles away from the plants that they feed on. Plants like Delilah will attract them, and host their eggs, until they hatch into larvae.
These infestations grow from the ground up. Reduce their attraction to your yard in any way you can. Japanese Beetles tend to lay their eggs in moist, low-cut grass. Don’t over water your yards or it will only invite more trouble. If your grass goes dormant from drought, it will bounce back after a good rain. If they have laid eggs already, consider some beneficial Nematodes as described here.