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The Dreaded Japanese Beetle ~ Natural Remedies

I recently posted about my Rose of Sharon blooms in this post: Pretty in Pink. I talked about how the Japanese beetles are a pest. alibb asked about how I treat these pests since she and her Mom are dealing with them in their garden. I hope this post helps.


As shown above in the photo, the beetles will start eating the bud before it even blooms. The Japanese beetle is a serious threat to rose bushes and rose of sharon bushes. It is important to know about these pests and how to try to control them to save your bushes. They can do twice the damage of ordinary pests. The adult beetles feed on the leaves and flowers of over 300 trees, shrubs, and herbs. Japanese beetles can destroy your rose garden and will devour hibiscus and hollyhocks, too. There is a lot of information here, but I am trying to help those who have this destructive beetle in your garden. 

I will divide this subject into two parts. Hopefully making it easier to read for those interested.

The first stage of the Japanese beetle – the white grub – typically has a three year life cycle. However, most of the damage to flowers and turf grass happens during the spring and fall the second year. This is when grubs are present in the top inch of the root zone, heavily feeding on grass roots. In the third year of the cycle, the grubs rise out of the soil as Japanese beetles. These beetles feed on surrounding plants and lay eggs in the soil throughout the summer. These eggs eventually hatch into grubs and the cycle begins again.

Pesticides are what the professionals recommend to get rid of these pests. I will talk about that in my next post. There are many who prefer not to use pesticides. As you know, there are always natural ways to try. I have sprayed my bushes in early spring many times with soapy water. 


Also, the adult beetles, as shown above on my blooms, are slow moving especially in the early morning and they are easy to knock off blooms. Or you can shake the branches causing the beetles to fall into a bucket of soapy water. I have used this method many times. This will not get them all but anything you can do to slow down the population is a success. Where there is one Japanese beetle, there will soon be ten, so hand picking the beetles can help keep numbers down significantly.

Another alternative is a Beetle trap as shown above. You can purchase Beetle traps at your hardware or lawn and garden store. Put them out before your blooms start. Some say the traps are useless, they attract beetles. And maybe they are right. But I still use them as I need as much help as possible to try to save my plants. There are many brands but I like this one. The trap bags start to fill up pretty quickly. Whichever method you choose I wish you good luck. These beetles can be very difficult to deal with and can destroy your bushes. Using this method along with knocking the beetles off the branches can be a tremendous help on cutting back the destruction on your plants. The trick is to start early with prevention. 

Here is another photo of mating, just reminding you to get to work on trying to get rid of them before they multiply and get out of control. Good luck to those of you who are dealing with these garden pests. Feel free to ask questions. I can share what has helped in my garden.

Photos ©CarolDM2018

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