Beetle Mania

Japanese beetles

No, I am not going to talk about the famous band from Liverpool but instead, about the iridescent copper and green beetles that are originally from Japan.

The Japanese Beetle was unfortunately introduced to the United States in the early 1900’s as the larvae entered in the dirt of some nursery stock. For years, they have been a huge problem since there is no natural predator for them here in the United States.

Japanese beetle damage

It seems the last couple years these hungry trouble makers have been more abundant throughout the Kansas City area damaging trees and bushes. In June, their adult life cycle begins as they emerge from the ground. For about 4-6 weeks they will wreak havoc destroying leaves by eating them and leaving only the veins. They are usually systematic as they start at the top of the tree and descend down. There are many trees and bushes at risk that satisfies their appetite, but some of their favorite choices include ornamental crab apples, fruit trees, roses, beans, viburnums and crape myrtles.

Japanese Beetles will eat most of the leaf, leaving only the veins.

These beetles are approximately one-half inch long with a copper to green color that seems to change when observing from different angles. These little guys have a huge appetite above ground, but their eggs are soon to be planted in the ground to bring their second round of damage as their larva grows and begins chewing on the root system of your grass and causing the grass to die.

Adult Japanese Beetles


Control of these damaging pests needs to be done to save your grass, garden and bushes. Hand picking can be done, but this can be a full-time job monitoring your plants. They are quick and will do a tuck and roll and fall off the leaf as you try to grab them. After catching them; you could smash them or place them in soapy water (if you are into that type of thing).

An insecticide such has Sevin does very well to control these beetles and is an all-around good product to have for any gardener. Another option that is organic is a Neem Oil Extract by Garden Safe which has the insecticide, fungicide and miticide, all in one.

You can do a grub treatment when you see activity, but May is the best month to apply it to your lawn since they will start feeding on your lawn in July. Use a product such as Merit Insecticide Granules to control the Japanese beetle’s larvae (i.e. grub). This is the easiest way to get control of Japanese Beetles in your area.

If you were unable to do a grub control application and find grub damage in the fall, an application of a product such as Dylox 6.2 Granular Insecticide can be applied to kill the active grubs. The health of your lawn is dependent upon keeping these grubs under control. Plus, minimizing the grubs in your lawn minimizes the winter damage that voles and moles cause as they dig looking for grubs to eat.

Keeping your lawn and landscape looking beautiful can be a challenging job for many. If you find that you need help in this area; be sure to hire a local, licensed and insured company that is knowledgeable in all areas of property maintenance.


Dream Home Enterprises: Don’t let the name fool you. Yes, we started in the residential remodeling market in 2003, but found that many commercial property owners, managers and tenants were seeking after professional lawn, landscape and snow services. We took advantage of this opportunity so commercial properties could have a drama free full-service package that fits their budget.

DHE’s Commercial Lawn Division has been helping owners, managers and tenants of health care facilities, retail, restaurants, banks, churches, office spaces and HOA’s manage and maintain their commercial property here in Kansas City.

DHE provides a full-service DRAMA FREE PACKAGE for your lawn, landscape and snow maintenance. This frees you up on launching, managing or growing your business.




By Brian Hill

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