Thursday, July 16, 2009

Japanese Beetles

Popillia japonica is a major pest for most gardens. I actually found one in my yard nibbling at the leaves to my young Eastern Redbud, Cercis canadensis. Thankfully they're only active over the summer and early fall, late June to August. For the rest of the year the're found in grub form in the lawn. They mostly eat the roots of grasses but other plants will do just as well. Grass is the most noticeable because heavy infestations of them can create brown patches in laws during drought. Adults feed on the leaves to hundreds of plants and makes them unsightly. Not much feeds on them in the adult stage but grubs are eaten by rodents, but shrews rarely burrow through lawn areas.

Rather than spreading insecticides all over the lawn annually, the solution to this problem would be simply reduce your lawn. There may not be any noticeable difference in their population for some years but you'll be helping the environment, even by laying down a patio. The gas millage on your lawn mower is far worse than that of your car.