A common pest that you are probably dealing with around your home or gardens is the Japanese Beetle. Japanese beetles can be a pest of gardens, trees, ornamental plants, and agricultural fields. Adults have a bright metallic green head and thorax with copper colored elytra (hardened wings) and a row of five spots of white hairs on each side of the abdomen below the wings. They are oval shaped and vary in length from 8 – 11 mm (3/8 – 1/2 inch) and a width of 5 – 7 mm (1/4 inch). Larvae or “white grubs” are found in the soil. Japanese beetles have one generation per year in Tennessee. Adults typically emerge from late May through July and often feed in small clusters. When controlling these beetles it is not recommended to use traps, even though large numbers of adult beetles can be caught in the traps. Trapping alone will control only a small percentage of the beetles and will attract more Japanese beetles to the area! Once in the area, they feed on susceptible plants and cause more damage than if a trap had not been used. Control on food plants with foliar applications of insecticides. Bifenthrin, carbaryl, cyfluthrin, neem, and permethrin are safe to use on fruit and vegetables if harvest restrictions on the label are followed. Sevin is also available as a 5% dust to be used at the rate of 1/2 pound per 1,000 square feet. For more information on the Japanese Beetle contact the UT Extension-Decatur County Office at (731)852-2831 or like our Facebook Page to view the publications related to them.
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