Yes, the rumors are true! Many are trying hard not to believe it, but the Japanese Beetles have returned this summer and they’re not holding back. Urban Prairie Landesign has officially proclaimed war on the Japanese Beetle to salvage your turf and roots of landscape plants. Here’s what you need to know to survive:

The Japanese Beetle is about ½ inch in length and has a green head with copper body color. Although native to Japan (hence their name), these beetles braved the ocean and stowed away on shipments to North America, which is why they may be currently in your backyard as they have no competition to help us ally with.

Now, the bad news. Japanese Beetles find tasty 300 different kinds of plants and trees; most commonly affected include Linden trees, Maple trees, Bald Cypress trees, Birch and Crabapple trees, Buckthorn bushes, roses and a variety of annuals.

How do you know if your landscape has turned into a war zone? The leaves of plants and trees infested will appear to be skeletonized as you will only see the veins of the leaf remaining.

Japanese Beetles show their “true colors” during the months of June and July for a period of 4-6 weeks. During this period, adult beetles feed on specified plant and tree varieties and female beetles lay eggs in soil that will eventually disrupt and damage turf.

To battle the beetles, we recommend chemical applications such as Tempo, Sevin, or a Lawn and Garden Multi-Insect killer for your plants, which will protect them for about 2 weeks. We recommend calling a professional arborist if you notice beetles infesting your plants or trees. For smaller trees under 6-8 feet tall, the team at Urban Prairie can assist in spraying a chemical application, however for a larger tree or higher quantity of trees infected, we recommend contacting Hughes Tree Services.

As many of you have seen, a popular item among homeowners is the beetle traps that can be purchased at Menards or Walmart. Although this does get the job done, our certified horticulturist recommends against these as they attract additional beetles. By hanging these in your landscapes, you may also be attracting your neighbor’s beetles and thus the infestation continues. For best practices, we recommend a chemical application to win this war and help salvage the health of your plants and trees.

Japanese beetles infested plant leaves near La Vista, Nebraska.

The war is on, call UPL for back up at (402) 590-2040 for plants and small trees under 6-8 feet tall or contact Hughes Tree Services at 402-558-8198 to spray larger trees.