How to Protect Trees In Denver from Japanese Beetles

Fielding Tree Japanese Beetles Denver


This is the time of year when many gardeners and folks who have a bit of a green thumb start getting excited about planning and cultivating there plants and gardens. As the weather begins to warm, we delight in seeing the fruits of our labor. The warmer weather also brings with it a nasty, little pest determined to feast on our fantastic flora.

As their name suggests, Japanese beetles are native to Japan. They made their way to the United States in 1916 by way of New Jersey. You can find out more about how these winged terrors came to the United States and how to identify them by checking out one of our previous blog articles about Japanese beetles.

Japanese beetles start out as grubs living beneath the soil. Japanese beetles begin the larva stage of their life as grubs. Grubs are round creepy crawlers shaped like a half-moon. Grubs can be quite a formidable foe for weekend warriors and experienced horticulturists Alike. Grubs feed on the root systems of grasses. As they mature, they make their way to the surface and begin devouring any vegetation they can find.

How to Stop Japanese Beetles from Damaging Your Spruce Trees and Lawn

If you have ever walked through your local big-box hardware store or your local gardening center, you’ve probably seen many products designed to eradicate these bothersome beetles. Even though there are many products on the market designed to help you get rid of grubs, switching up how you care for your lawn and plants may be the best place to start.

There is a direct correlation between the length of a blade of grass and the size of its root system. The longer your grass blades are, the more robust and hearty its root system will be. Grass with a vital and robust root system will be better able to withstand the onslaught of grubs.

Watering your lawn or plants when dealing with Japanese beetles can be a delicate balancing act. Japanese beetle eggs and larva are extraordinarily sensitive. The eggs and larva typically congregate within the first few inches of soil. If you can cut back on watering to allow the soil to dry out a little, you increase the odds that many of the larva and eggs will not survive.

Cutting back on your watering may mean your plants won’t grow as much as they typically would. To combat this, use due diligence in the spring to ensure your plants are as healthy as possible and capable of thriving in drier soil.

Late in the summer, if you find grubs attacking your lawn, you may want to increase your watering. This will help to strengthen the root system.

How to Spot an Infestation of Japanese Beetles

These beetles may be a menace, but, thankfully they aren’t very stealthy. There are some basic signs which strongly indicate an infestation:

  • Take a Closer Look: Adult beetles are easy to spot with the naked eye. If you suspect your plants are under attack, take a look around and see if you can spot any of these winged menaces.
  • Beetles Buzzing: If you see beetles flying around in your yard or garden, it’s a pretty good indicator you have a Japanese beetle infestation.
  • Chewed-Up Leaves: Japanese beetles feed on the leaves and soft tissues of plants. If you have beetles, you will most likely see large holes in the leaves of your plants. Because the beetles feed on the soft tissue of plants, only the veins in the leaves and the stems of the plants will be left behind.

How to Spot Japanese Beetle Grubs Before They Become Beetles

It’s a good idea to try and spot grubs before they evolve into beetles. Thankfully, you do not have to be a super sleuth to spot and remedy an infestation of grubs. Here is what you want to look for:

  • Unusual Brown Patches of Plants and Grass: Japanese beetle grubs destroy the root system of plants and grasses. As a result, affected plants and grasses will turn brown as they die.
  • Easily Uprooted Grass: As a result of decimated roots, infested patches of grass and plants are easily uprooted. The roots are no longer anchoring in the soil.
  • New Scavenging Animals: Birds and many furry creatures enjoy dining on grubs. Keep an eye out for these types of animals hunting for insects on your lawn or in your garden.

How to Get Rid of These Miniature Menaces

Good old-fashioned elbow grease can often be all that is needed to get rid of Japanese beetles. If you don’t have an unusually large infestation, you may be able to pick the beetles off of your plants by hand. If you have a large number of beetles on your property, getting rid of them may take a little more umph.

Shaking the plant or tree is sometimes all it takes to get rid of the beetles. Place a ‘beetle receptacle’ below the plant or tree in question and firmly give it a shake. The beetles should fall off the leaves and into the receptacle.

Insecticides are possible as a last resort. However, you want to consult an expert before you begin applying an insecticide. Many of these chemicals have side effects that need consideration.

If you’ve done battle with these pesky beetles before, we have no doubt you have seen Japanese beetle traps. They typically look like large cloth bags with a yellow plastic opening at the top. You can often find these traps full of beetles. So, they do indeed work as a mechanism for trapping these unwanted pests. However, they also draw Japanese beetles into the area. It is for this reason that we recommend resisting the temptation to put one of these in your yard.

We Can Help You Beat the Beetles

If your beetle battle is a losing endeavor and you are unsure which insecticide is right for you, or if you want to know what you can do to keep beetles at bay year after year, let our experts with Fielding Tree & Shrub Care lend a hand. Our pros can help you get rid of grubs and Japanese beetles and take back your lawn or garden.

Give us a call today!