Japanese beetles have become a bit of an issue this summer in Colorado. They are quick to breed and have the power to destroy your garden at the blink of an eye. There are very few garden pests that can match the destructive powers of the Japanese beetle. When they are immature (or grubs), they feast on grass roots and leave behind brown, dying lawns. When they have matured, they begin feasting on leaves and flowers, leaving your plants weak and skeleton-like. They are known to feast on over 300 species of plants, impacting everything from home gardens to agricultural crops. Let Bloem Landscaping help you fight off Japanese beetles.
About Japanese Beetles:
Originally from Japan, as the name suggests, Japanese beetles first made it to the US in 1916. Since their Japanese native predators are not found on US soil, it is difficult to keep their growing numbers in check. They are currently the Country’s most widespread turf-grass pests, found in over 70% of the U.S.
Japanese beetles are approximately 1/2 inch long with shiny, bronze wings and metallic green bodies and tufts of white, dot-like tufts of hair along their rear and sides.. They usually start to appear in late spring to midsummer when first emerging from the ground and then flying to nearby areas where they tend to target stressed plants. They live thirty to forty-five days where they do most of their damage above ground. Female beetles tunnel a few inches into the ground in healthy, sunny, well maintained lawns, during a 2-3 week period and each can lay up to 60 eggs.
Japanese Beetle Damage:
The beetle eggs hatch during midsummer and the grubs stay close to the soil’s surface to feed on the grass roots. As the grubs mature into the final stages of semi-transparent larvae, the damage to your lawn has been done and you will see random patches of brown dry lawn and peeled back turf rolls.
As the temperatures drop in the fall and winter, the grubs move deeper into the soil and when Spring arrives again, they move back toward the surfaceto continue feeding.. Mature beetles emerge a few weeks later and the cycle starts all over again.
How to Fight Off Japanese Beetles and Grubs
Proper treatment and timing can help you fight off these pests successfully. Now is the time (mid-late summer) when you should focus your attention on the grubs. Studies have shown that neem oil (“antifeedant”), can help deter the grubs from feeding and can also harm them if they eat it. If they do injest it, it can be passed down to the eggs, which in turn will prevent the eggs from hatching.
Because Japanese beetles love hot sunny days, it is best to prepare your garden for these especially hot days ahead of time by adding some shade to your garden. Consider adding row covers to protect your plants during the six to eight week feeding period that begins in the late Spring and early Summer. Don’t uses these if your crops require pollination, however.
As soon as you see one beetle, you can be sure there are others. If you see signs of leaf skeletonization, it is a clue that your garden is infested and it is time to take action in trying to get rid of them. You can hand pick them off your plants and place them in a solution of 1 TB liquid dishwashing detergent and water (which will drown them). Or, you can call Bloem Landscaping for help at 303-733-3793!
Consider planting Japanese beetle deterring plants such as Dogwood trees, Poppies, Chrysanthemums, Begonias, Pansies and/or Lilac trees.
For more information about Japanese Beetles, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_beetle , https://www.almanac.com/pest/japanese-beetles or https://howigetridof.com/how-to-get-rid-of-japanese-beetles/
If you have any questions about protecting your garden from these pesky little beetles, or if you would like us to help you with your garden in any way, please contact Bloem Landscaping here.
In Colorado, and especially the front-range it gets pretty hot in the summer with temperatures sometimes reaching 95°F and above with very little cloud coverage on most days. If you are not careful, your plants and trees can develop diseases or exacerbate mites or aphids and / or they can become stressed. All these scenarios could ultimately hurt or even destroy your garden. If you have have an established garden already or if you are planning a new garden with seasonal plants that do not like or love the heat, then the following tips can help you maintain a healthy and productive garden even through the hottest days, weeks and months.
For summer months, be sure that you change the seasonal sprinkler adjustment to at least 100%. We will remind you in the fall, when it is safe to drop it back down. Make sure that your sprinkler system is set up to create even moisture across your garden.
Cover your garden with a thick mulch in order to protect from the sun and retain moisture and nutrients. Try mulching in the winter as well, in order to help protect against frost and the harsh cold. It is considered an insulator, retaining heat when it is cold, and staying cool when it’s hot. Try making your own mulch if you have the time. You can use rock, gravel, pebbles or other stones, rubber, leaves, grass clippings, pine needles, cardboard and/or newspaper or hay and straw as alternatives to the classic store-bought wood chips.
It is important for you to remember to weed your garden. The benefits of weeding are twofold: a) it eliminates the competition for the moisture and nutrients that your flowers and vegetables really need during the hottest days of the year and b) It simply looks much nicer.
Providing Appropriate Shade
If your garden lacks natural shade from buildings, trees and bushes or other structures, you can get creative in order to shade your flowers, vegetables and other plants. Your shade element(s) should be a light color in order to reflect the sunlight (not absorb it) and should be placed 3 to 4 feet (or more) from the plants in order to allow for proper airflow. You can use sheets, window screens, other types of light cloth, or even plant some sunflowers. Check out this informative article on the types of shade you can provide at Easy Shade Garden.
If you have any questions about protecting your garden from extreme summer heat, or if you would like us to help you with your garden, please contact Bloem Landscaping here. Happy Planting!