Dealing with Beetles

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated April 13, 2020)

In all honesty, beetles can be one of the most annoying of garden pests that a gardener can find themselves faced with. For some reason, these particular insects are pretty difficult to deal with. They not only have a voracious appetite, they can fly. Beetles are usually forgotten about until they have begun to do a lot of damage, and then become a major hassle to get rid of. That is, unless you know the proper steps for dealing with beetles. Once you have those basic steps identified, you can begin preparing for, or even getting rid of, the beetles that can be affecting your garden.

  • Identify the beetle. To begin dealing with beetles, you will first need to identify the type of beetle that is afflicting your garden. There are usually two types of beetles that will afflict a garden the most. The first is the Japanese beetle, and the second is Plum Curculio beetles. The Japanese beetle is roughly 3/8 of an inch long, and has a shiny metallic green color, with some brown wing covers. The Plum Curculio will have a size of at most 1/4 of an inch, with a woody mottled grey, brown, and black coloring.
  • Chemical methods. Chemical methods are usually really effective in dealing with these kinds of beetles, though they do have some serious consequences if used in appropriately. If you are thinking of using any chemical methods, then make sure that you hire a professional to take care of the application. An effective chemical method that works for both Plum Curculio and Japanese beetles is to use some insecticidal soap. This is about the least harmful chemical method available, but can require multiple applications. Totally avoid using any pheromone traps though, since these work by attracting beetles you may find yourself with a larger beetle population as opposed to a smaller one.
  • Non-chemical methods. Plum Curculio and Japanese beetles typically begin to emerge from the soil in the Spring time, and an eye should be kept out for them. Plum Curculio can be treated right after the first bloom season, by laying a sheet under the tree, and simply shaking the tree. Any afflicted fruit will fall down onto the sheet, along with the beetles, and you can dispose of them. Keep repeating this for about a week or two straight, and then periodically throughout the rest of the summer.
  • Prepare the garden properly. Check the soil around your trees in the early summer to see if there are any signs of a grub infestation. If there is, then recultivate the lawn around the trees. This will help to destroy the larva which later on develop into the full blown beetle problem. Keep in mind though, that there is always a chance that your beetle problem could be coming from your neighbor's lawn or garden.

One last piece of advice that you should be aware of. There is, currently, no permanent way to really prevent any beetle infestation. This means that if you have them, then you are likely to be stuck with them for the foreseeable future. All you can really do is try to mitigate any damage that they may cause, and try to limit their population in your yard.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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