Japanese Beetles Making Their Presence Known In The Area

Wed 7-29-2020

(Spencer)-- We have a new invasive pest to be on the lookout for. Todd Brockshus of Del's Garden Center in Spencer says they've been seeing evidence of damage caused by Japanese beetles...Todd Brockshus01 

"The Japanese beetle was introduced accidentally in the U.S.A. in the 1912 time frame and at that time the insect has slowly spread across the U.S.A and now is affecting this area. It likes to eat things like elm trees, especially bad on rose flowers, hibiscus blooms, so it's going to be a pest that we're going to have to deal with over the years, and I did have samples come in from Spirit Lake this week that were from linden trees. And with lindens they really skeltonize the foliage. They eat all the green tissue, just leaving the veins and it really makes the trees look bad."

Bockshus says it's likely the pest will cause more problems over time...Todd Brockshus02 

"Well I think it's just really getting a foothold here, and so it's going to become more and more of a problem down the road. It's been in Sioux City for a number of years, Sioux Falls for a number of years, Oelwein, eastern Iowa, Ames area has had it, Fort Dodge has had it. So now we're just finally starting to get it in northwest Iowa. And it's just a bugger because the larvae of this particular beetle also are a lawn pest so we've got another grub that attacks our lawns as well."

There is some good news though in that certain types of pesticides are effective at controlling Japanese beetles...Todd Brockshus03 

"Eight, as a spray, it's an insect spray, would be the one I'd recommend. It's a little bit longer lasting. It contains permetherine. Deltametherine also is another pesticide that's long lasting would be high on my list as well."

Brockshus says the beetles also like to feast on grape leaves.