Weighing in at about 5 lbs and standing 2 feet tall, this potted plant is no match for this invader. Weighing in at almost nothing and measuring a half inch long, a Japanese Beetle can take down flowers and plants in less than 24 hours.
"Japanese Beetles have been horrible this year because of the type of weather system we've had come through and I think they've been in stronger abundance due to a drier season and a hotter season," said Charlie May, owner of Mayflowers Nursery & Garden Center.
Japanese Beetles are common this time of year. In July and August, they munch on more than 600 kinds of common garden plants, trees and flowers. By eating the leaves, Japanese Beetles are starving the plants of much-needed oxygen, thereby killing them.
"Japanese Beetles can lace up a leaf, they lace of a leaf of a plant to nothing. When you look at it, it's almost a transparency of a leaf. What's left is the vein and they eat all the soft foliage in between them," said May.
Japanese Beetles lay their eggs in the winter and they hatch and crawl up from the ground in July. May suggests a few tips to keep your lawn and garden beetle-free. Treat your lawn by keeping it healthy, use systemic granules around your trees and plants, they contain insecticides that kill the beetles, use chemical sprays only if your plant is salvageable and buy beetle traps.
"A few beetles can do a lot of damage to one plant depending on the size of the plant, on a smaller plant about 3 to 4 beetles can just about destroy it, on a larger shrub it would take 25 to 30 to really do a lot of damage on it," said May.
Japanese beetles are most attracted to roses, strawberries, tomatoes and birch trees just to name a few. And for those frustrated gardeners out there, good news, the beetle season ends in a few weeks.