Topeka (KSNT) – An annual nuisance has made its way above ground for the season. The Japanese Beetle is particularly destructive towards plants, foliage, turf, fruits, gardens, and crops. In fact, they typically feast on over 300 different types of plants.
The Japanese Beetle, otherwise known as Popillia Japonica Newman, has a one-year life cycle but these widespread pests are actually only flying adults for 30 to 45 days. They begin as larva in the ground and feed on lawns, golf courses, and even turf grass during the early stages of their lives.
The green-metallic insects have coppery-brown wings and darkened green legs. The females are typically larger than the males. They are most active from June through September.
The weather plays a role in how early the beetles emerge from the ground as adults. Cool and rainy springtime weather slows down the insect’s development in its early stages. Males emerge first, and adult females prefer to lay their eggs in moist soil. More moisture usually means more beetles.
“We can give you answers with publications and everything on how to control them – we suggest that you go out and pick them off of your plants as much as you can,” says Katherine Miller the Master Gardener with the K-State Extension office in Topeka. “You can put them in a rubbing alcohol and water-based solution or a soapy water mix.”
If you are looking to collect these beetles, the morning or early evening time frame is your best bet as they are typically more lethargic. More information on the Japanese Beetle can be found here. The K-State team is also available to answer questions if you call in.