How To Get Rid Of Japanese Beetles

8 minutes to read | Updated for 2018

Pest Control for Expectant Mothers

Summertime really can be a pest in of itself, given how so many actual pests breed and thrive in the hot and wet season. And one of the summer’s worst offenders is the Japanese beetle.

Though basically harmless to humans directly (they don’t bite and aren’t poisonous despite having prickly bodies that can feel like a little pinch), Japanese beetles can completely ravage landscapes and crops. This can ultimately lead to unsightly lawns and, far worse, inedible fruits and vegetables.

A gardening blogger named Bonnie Blodgett from Minnesota described her struggle—nay, all-out war—with Japanese beetles:

“I blew it big-time last week,” she said. “Never make the mistake of suggesting that there is a limit to what a Japanese beetle will eat.” She apparently assumed that just because Japanese beetles hadn’t yet eaten her birch trees, that meant those trees (and other trees like them) were resistant to pesky, hungry beetles. The beetles love birch trees, and they’ll eat just about any sort of plant. “Based on your (the readers) descriptions,” she said, “I am now pretty well convinced that if it’s hungry enough a Japanese beetle will even eat me.”

Blodgett went on to describe how humans have played such a big role in the transportation of the beetles to the U.S. in the first place, then out west, where the habitats aren’t exactly conducive to the beetle population. So how did this Japanese beetle get over to the United States, and what the heck is it still doing here?

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