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John Fulton


John Fulton
Former County Extension Director



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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
Japanese beetle

Japanese Beetles

Posted by John Fulton -

The Japanese beetle emergence is underway. I caught the first beetles on June 17 in a pheromone trap north of Lincoln. Favored plants include Japanese maple, Norway maple, Horse chestnut, Hollyhock, Flowering crabapple, Apple, Cherry, Peach, Rose, Mountain ash, Linden, and Grape. There are other plants that are seldom attacked such as Red maple, Silver maple, Boxwood, Flowering dogwood, Euonymus, Ash, Oak, and Lilac. Of course you need to take this list with a grain of salt since I have sprayed large numbers of beetles on the seldom attacked plants this weekend.

My rule of thumb is protect fruits, vegetables, valuable ornamentals, and new transplants. Most are spraying Orthene, Sevin, permethrin, or bifenthrin. The frequency is what gets us sometimes with sprays needed at least every week in most cases. To dispel a common myth, once you have the beetles you will always have them. They do not occur on an infrequent basis like periodical cicadas, nor is it "just a year to have them." The trend has been for a very heavy population for four or five years after you first get them, then declining numbers afterward as natural diseases and predators help control populations. Of course, last year there weren't many at all due to the 2012 drought affecting egg laying and survival.



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