Lace is lovely, unless of course it’s the lacy remains of what was once a full green leaf. These skeletal remains are the tell tale sign of a common garden pest – Japanese beetles, and boy are they bad this year. First they will damage your grass as overwintering grubs, then when the beetles arrive in droves you will find large sections of plants with these carved out leaves. They are downright devastating to plants and can be difficult to destroy. Try these tips to reduce this year’s infestation and prevent next years blight.
- Hand Pick – I know GROSS, but it’s still a very effective method, once picked drown them in a solution of dish detergent and water
- Use a neem oil or other insecticide spray, keep in mind though that these options can also negatively impact the good bugs we WANT so use sparingly
- Japanese beetle traps are one of the most common solutions and are highly effective. Eugenol and geraniol, aromatic chemicals extracted from plants are used to lure the bugs into a bag like trap where the subsequently expire. Keep in mind you want to place the trap away from the centre of your garden so you do not end up attracting additional beetles or other unwanted pests to your garden.
- Prevent! Consider a treatment of nematodes in the late spring when the grubs are still small.
- Companion planting can also help, Japanese beetles do not like garlic, rue or tansy