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What You Need To Know About Japanese Beetles!

Posted by: Nick DiBenedetto on July 11, 2022

Here in the North Shore, Japanese Beetles are a common nuisance and before you know it, they will be out in a full feeding frenzy. They will be feeding on all your plants, flowers, and leaves and can cause severe damage to your lawn. To help prevent damage to your lawn this year, it is important to understand the life cycle of Japanese beetles and the best way to treat and prevent them from returning each season. 

Life Cycle Of The Japanese Beetles

Everyone can identify the Japanese beetles as being copper-colored, but it is important to also know the stages that Japanese beetles go through each season so that you know when they are active in your lawn.

In the summer, as the temperatures begin to increase, Japanese beetles will begin to feed on your leaves, flowers, fruit, and any other plants in your lawn.  

When Japanese beetles lay eggs in the soil, the eggs turn into larvae know as grubs. These eggs usually hatch towards the end of summer, early fall, and will begin feeding on your lawn's root system. 
If not treated, in the winter they will then bury down deep in the soil, going into hibernation. When spring beings again, they will make their way towards the top of the soil and eventually turn into Japanese beetles, starting the destructive cycle all over again! 

Damage Caused

Before turning into new Japanese beetles and emerge from the ground, the grubs feed off your lawns root system, not only destroying your turf, but taking away the nutrients your lawn needs to grow and be healthy.

A sign you may have a grub infestation if you have dying grass, brown patches, or rodents (like skunks!) that grubs attract. Rodents will dig at your lawn in search for the grubs as a source for food, creating holes and causing more damage to your lawn. 

When the adult Japanese beetles emerge from the ground, they also can do a lot of damage. They start to feed on anything available to them, such as leaves, plants, and flowers. This is when you will notice your leaves and plants becoming skeletonized, as these insects normally attack in groups, which is why the damage can be so severe.

Managing Japanese Beetles

If you do experience an infestation of Japanese beetles, there are a few ways you can help manage these insects.

One of the most effective, but time-consuming ways is hand picking them off your plants. When you pick them off you can put them in a solution that is simply made with water and dishwashing soap, which will help kill them.

You can also treat your plants with an insecticide to get rid of the infestation. Because these beetles move around from lawn to lawn over the summer, you will mostly likely need to treat your plants multiple times over the course of the season.

Stopping The Infestation

The best way to stop these insects is to prevent them. Receiving a Preventive Grub treatment is extremely beneficial. This treatment is usually done in late June or July (even August) and the product stays absorbed by the roots and grass so that when any active grubs go to feed on the root system, they ingest the product, killing the larvae. 

If you do not receive any preventive treatment and your lawn becomes infested, curing your lawn from the damage can end up costing you a lot more. There are post-larvae treatments than can kill the insect, such as Dylox.

If you wish to learn more about treatments for Japanese beetles, click here. 

Products can work differently due to the timing of the application and whether or not you have a current infestation or are seeking to prevent one. Proper preventative treatments and timing can help save your lawn from serious, costly damage.

If you're looking for more information on Japanese beetles or are simply ready to speak with someone about your lawn care needs, go to or call 978-769-3595 today!