Rose Chafers defoliate garden in Wisconsin

Help! They are eating everything.
Location: Wisconsin
June 19, 2011 8:37 am
Hello, I hope you can help. I have insects all over my cherry tree, lemon balm, and geraniums. They are eating and destroying the leaves, flowers, and fruit. I have included a photo. I do not use chemicals and would like to find a natural way to get rid of them, any suggestions would be great. Thanks!
Signature: Soon to be plantless in Wisconsin

Rose Chafers

Dear Soon to be plantless in Wisconsin,
You have Rose Chafers, a native species of May Beetle that can do significant damage to many cultivated plants when they are numerous.  We just learned on BugGuide that “Adults contain cantharadin, can poison chickens, other birds” meaning that one of the best means of biological control through natural predation is not an option.  We would recommend hand picking the beetles and destroying them.

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