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How To Eliminate Japanese Beetles – 2 Simple Ways To Get Rid Of Japanese Beetles!

Looking for a few great ways to get rid of Japanese beetles and eliminate them from invading your landscape and ruining your plants?

As June comes to an end and July approaches – Japanese beetles begin to appear. What can start out with just a few scattered sightings of the green metallic and brown winged creatures can within just a day or two turn into hundreds of the pests visiting the plants in your landscape. And from there, it only gets worse!

Unfortunately, the visits aren’t friendly in nature. Once the beetles find a plant or plants to their liking, they can quickly chew holes in the foliage. And as more and more beetles congregate on the plants, the damage can be fast and severe.

Japanese beetles on a plant - how to eliminate Japanese beetles
Once they arrive, Japanese beetles can quickly start devouring the plants in your landscape. If left to be, they can defoliate entire plants, killing them in the process.

On our little farm, the beetles have always been especially fond of our grape vines, clematis and rose bushes. But their appetite for perennials, shrubs and bushes doesn’t end there. They also love forsythia, hibiscus, holly, fruit trees, lilacs, pine trees and a long, long list of additional plants.

Avoiding Harsh Chemical Sprays – How To Eliminate Japanese Beetles

For us, spraying all of our grapes and other plants with a commercial insecticide is not an option. Although insecticides can certainly be effective in controlling Japanese beetle populations, there are a lot of reasons to never introduce them into your landscape.

At the top of the list is that we simply don’t like using pesticides on anything we consume – or for that matter anywhere near anything we consume.

Keeping The Good Insects Around

But equally important, insecticides do not discriminate between good and bad insects. Not only will spraying eliminate the beetles, but it can also wipe out the beneficial bugs and pollinators we rely on to both help protect and pollinate our other crops.

Spraying bushes, trees and plants for Japanese beetles can also kill off important pollinators like honey bees.

Spraying apple or cherry trees to kill Japanese beetles will also kill any honey bees visiting the same space while pollinating it. And once the bees disappear, there won’t be any apples or cherries either!

Last but not least, wiping out a large portion of all insects can completely upset the balance of nature. When you get rid of one pest, it can pave the way for another to gain dominance. And your pest problem may only worsen.

Here’s the good news – you don’t need to resort to harsh chemicals to control Japanese Beetles. In fact, we have been using 2 simple methods for years now at our farms that not only keep the beetle population completely under control and our plants safe – but also give us complete peace of mind!

With that in mind, here is a look at two simple and effective ways to eliminate Japanese beetles, along with a very important way to not help attract them to your yard in the first place!

How To Eliminate Japanese Beetles – 2 Safe & Simple Methods That Work!

#1 Hand Picking – The Simple Solution That Works! How To Eliminate Japanese Beetles

Hand picking beetles from plants may sound like such a tedious and hard task – but you might be surprised at just how easy, and more importantly, effective it is in getting beetles under control.

The more beetles you eliminate, the less long-term issues you will have. Beetles come out to dine, then bury down into the soil to lay the grub larva that becomes next year’s beetles. But the more you control now, the less that can make it into the soil to lay larva.

Although it may sound like a lot of work, it is actually quite easy to do. Simply fill a small pail with water and a few drops of dish soap. Then, walk around your plants and brush the beetles into the liquid. For us, doing this twice a day for about two weeks nearly eliminated the population.

We like to hand pick in the late morning and again in the afternoon when the beetles are most active. We have a lot of ground to cover, but even so, it still only took about 15 to 30 minutes for the first few days. After that, the population began to slow a bit and we could walk and pick in about ten minutes.

Without a doubt, hand picking is simply the easiest and most effective way to both protect your plants and eliminate the beetle population. Not just for the short term – but more importantly, for the long term! In the years after hand picking – our total population has declined dramatically. It certainly makes it easier and easier with each passing year.

#2 Creating An All Natural Beetle Repelling Spray – How To Eliminate & Get Rid Of Japanese Beetles

So what if the beetles are simply out of control and damaging plants quickly? That is where using an all-natural beetle spray made from cedar oil or wood can amazingly help protect your plants and keep damage to a minimum while you work to get the population under control.

beetle damage
Japanese beetles can damage leaves in short order. They will even feed on ripe or damaged fruit as well. This is where protecting vulnerable plants with cedar spray can work wonders!

Japanese beetles do not like the scent of cedar. And although it does not kill the beetles, it will make them leave the plants. Even better, it will keep them off for a while too!

The mixture is simple to make and can be applied to plants as a natural barrier to Japanese beetles. You can make it either with pure Eastern Red Cedar oil, or chunks or small pieces of Eastern Red Cedar wood if you are lucky enough to live where it grows.

We have found that the pure oil is the easiest to use, but we have recipes for how to use either on our site. You can find both here : See: How To Make Japanese Beetle Spray – A Simple, All-Natural Recipe To Protect Plants!

Spraying The Beetles – How To Eliminate & Get Rid Of Japanese Beetles

The resulting cedar and water spray is easy to use in a hand held or backpack sprayer. Apply the spray liberally to the leaves of plants and watch the beetles fly away! Be sure to spray as much of the foliage as possible.

Not only will it make the current beetles leave, but the spray residue will also keep them from coming back. As for the oil we like to use – we have good success with the Fox Creek Naturals brand – Affiliate Product Link : Eastern Red Cedar Oil)

fox creek cedar oil
Although you can make the spray by soaking Red Cedar boards, we have found the pure cedar oil is a little easier and more effective to use.

Remember that this is a great short term solution to protect plants. This will be effective for a few days if it does not rain or there is not a heavy dew. If the mixture is washed off, simply reapply to once again create an effective deterrent.

Skip Those Beetle Traps To Get Rid Of Japanese Beetles

Finally, a big word of caution on using the beetle traps you may see in stores and on-line. Unfortunately, if you are using beetle bags or beetle traps in your yard, they most likely are causing more harm than good. Especially if your property is a few acres or less.

Japanese beetle traps work by emitting a scent that attracts beetles into an area. Although the traps do lure in large numbers of beetles into the bag, they unfortunately bring even more beetles to your yard. Ones that are heading to your plants and not the trap!

Placing Traps In Your Yard – How To Get Rid Of Japanese Beetles

To properly protect plants, traps need to be placed far away from the plants you are trying to help. If not, they simply attract your neighbor’s beetles into your space as well. To be effective, beetle bags need to be placed at the edge of a property, acres away from where you are trying to lure them away from.

Japanese Beetle Traps
Beetle traps can actually do more harm than good, bringing in more beetles than ever to your yard!

Unfortunately, in most cases, the average yard is just not big enough. The result? The bags actually attract even more beetles that can then mate, and lay more larvae in your soil to become an even bigger problem next year! Quite simply, for most situations – they are better to avoid.

The real key to success to eliminate Japanese beetles is to get out there and remove them! By keeping the balance of nature in check by not spraying non-discriminatory insecticides, you will be amazed at how major infestations will become a thing of the past.

Here is to keeping Japanese beetles away from your plants – naturally! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary.

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