How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles

Updated July 10, 2019

How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles

Have you noticed holes in your plants and been wondering about what type of insects are eating them? If you see a green and brown beetle, then your garden may be facing a Japanese beetle infestation.

Japanese beetles came around in the United States in 1916. They aren’t that much of a problem in Japan, but in the United States, they feed on a lot of kinds of plants, and this can cause great damage to crops or even your innocent garden crops and plants. If you think your garden has Japanese beetle infestation, then take a look at these steps on how you can get rid of them:

1. Hand Picking

While it isn’t really the easiest task, one of the most effective ways of getting rid of Japanese beetles is through hand picking. This will be time consuming, but rest assured that it will work. Once you’ve picked off the beetles, you can put them in a solution of liquid detergent and water. The solution will drown them,

2. Neem Oil

Another method for removing Japanese beetles is by using neem oil. Neem oil can come in sprays, which can be very effective. When adult beetles consume the neem oil, they will be able to pass them on to their eggs, and cause the larvae to die even before they become adults. However, make sure that you don’t use neem oil on fish, and keep them away from lakes, rivers, ponds and any areas where there is aquatic life. Also, reapply neem after every rain.

3. Row Covers and Drop Cloths

You can also protect your plants against Japanese beetles by using row covers. This way, the covers will be able to keep the pests away from your plants. However, keep in mind that such covers will also keep pollinators such as bees away from your flowers as well. Make sure you remove them if you want your plants to become pollinated.

You can also put down a drop cloth every morning. This is because the Japanese beetles are most active during this time. Once you gotten a lot on your cloth, you can dump the beetles into a solution of soapy water to get rid of them.

4. Fruit Cocktail Trap

Most Japanese beetle traps won’t work, and they will only attract more beetles into your garden. However, a can of fruit cocktail can work. Open a can and let it sit for about a week in order to allow it to ferment. Place the fermented fruit on top of bricks in a light-colored pail, and fill it with water, up to below the top of the can or pail. After that, place it approximately twenty-five feet away from the plants that need to be protected. The bait will attract beetles, which in turn will fall into the water and end up drowning.

5. DIY Japanese Beetle Pesticide

You can also make your own soap and water pesticide. What you can do is to mix in a few tablespoons of dish soap and water, and put it in a spray bottle. This solution or mixture can be sprayed on the beetles that you see on your plants, or around your garden.