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On the look out for Japanese Beetles in Fillmore County

Fri, Jul 20th, 2012
Posted in All Home & Garden

By Shelly Skindelien, Fillmore County Extension, Master Gardener intern

The Japanese beetle has made its arrival in Minnesota. This is a serious pest of turf and ornamental plants. Grubs feed on the roots of grass and adults feed on the foliage of more than 300 plants species including some trees. Adult beetles are about 3/8 of an inch long with a dark metallic green head and metallic tan wings. Identifying marks are two white rear and five white lateral “tuffs” of white hair.

The life cycle of a Japanese beetle begins with adults emerging from the soil in early July, feeding during the day, mating and laying eggs back into the soil in the evening. This usually occurs over a 60 day period. The grubs grow rapidly in the soil chewing off grass roots, and will burrow deeper in the soil over winter, only to start feeding on grass roots again in the spring.

Japanese beetles feed in full sun at the top of plants, moving downward as the leaves are consumed. These beetles can fly long distances.

As Fillmore County Master Gardeners, we are interested in seeing how many of these pests are in our county. Our booth at the Fillmore County Fair will have more information on this pest and other invasive species that have moved into Minnesota. Please stop by and let us know if you have seen Japanese beetles on your property.

Further information can be found at the U of M Extension Japanese beetle webpage and USDA: Managing the Japanese beetle: A homeowners handbook.

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