What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug on Michigan watermelon
Location: Mid Michigan
July 7, 2011 12:30 pm
Dear Sirs;
Found this beautiful creature eating my watermelon plants.
Would like to identify, so I might find a way to ask it to leave.
Also, Bug pics are very hard to take! Links to Insect pic taking advice also solicited.
Signature: Prime

Japanese Beetle

Dear Prime,
The invasive exotic Japanese Beetle was introduced to North America in the early 20th Century and it is well established in Eastern States where it appears in droves each year.  It is doubtful it will ever be eradicated.  Japanese Beetles feed on a multitude of cultivated plants and they are probably one of the most despised insects among home gardeners since they feed so indiscriminately.  This is the first image we have posted of a Japanese Beetle this year.

Thank you sir.
Currently researching options.  Have you recommendations?

Normally, we do not give extermination advice, but in the case of the invasive Japanese Beetle, we will make an exception.  You can try hand picking them (careful, they drop to the ground when disturbed) and dropping them into a jar of soapy water.  Adding a touch of oil or kerosene will also help.  They quickly drown.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Michigan

4 Responses to Japanese Beetle

  1. PA Gardening says:

    More efficient still is squeezing them until the guts come out the rear when hand-picking them off — one at a time. It is also more humane (probably) and less wasteful of water, soap, and kerosene.

    I believe I have substantially reduced the population near my house by using this method over the years. I have seen 4 all year, whereas 10 years ago, I would see 5-6 decimating a single rose leaf at the same time.

    For the record, I don’t disturb any other beetles, unless I actively catch them eating leaves of my fruit tree. I have had rare occasions where a large number of June bugs seem to attack my cherry tree or peach tree. That, I could not abide.

    • bugman says:

      We do not look down on folks who “manage” populations of invasive species.

      • PA Gardening says:

        Incidentally, with respect to this topic, I noticed that Japanese beetles seemed to prefer my anise hyssop weeds to roses, so I let them get a bit out of control, and that helped me “manage” the Japanese beetles more efficiently. I also noticed that bees and small wasps of all types seem to love this anise hyssop plant, and I have allowed it to get even more out of control, to the point where I now prefer them to the roses I was earlier protecting.

        Whenever I see lists of pollinator friendly plants that do not include anise hyssop, I am always skeptical. This is a great plant, smells great, easy to grow, beautiful purple flowers, bees, wasps, and goldfinches all seem to LOVE it, and even though it will get out of control, it is easy enough to manage because it spreads from seeds, as well as being perennial.

        If you love having bees are your place, try this anise hyssop! The side benefit is that you can snare some Japanese beetles.

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