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Japanese Beetles

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Donna Teasley
June 2, 2022

Hello, this is Donna Teasley, Horticulture Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Burke Center.

I went out to water my ferns this morning and they were covered with Japanese beetles. Even though I have been spraying them, the pesticide gets washed off by  frequent rain storms we have been experiencing.

This is an important point to remember about insect control during the summer. Pesticides do get washed off by the rain and unless the chemical happens to be systemic it should be reapplied. In the case of Japanese beetles, this is even more important. Since Japanese beetles have a hard shell they are not affected by contact poisons. They have to be subjected to a stomach poison-in other words they have to eat the insecticide. So, when rain washes the pesticide off of the plant-reapply!

Japanese beetles are also one of the few insects that feed in the day time so when you can see them clustered on plants, they are doing damage. Japanese beetles like lots of different plants so you will find them on fruit, vegetable and flowering plants.. They can quickly destroy whatever is in their path so when they are spotted don’t delay in starting to apply a pesticide.

Always check the interval until harvest when applying to food products. This is the waiting time that has to pass before it is safe to eat items that have been treated with pesticides.

This is Donna Teasley with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Burke Center. If you would like more information about this program, you can call us at 764-9480.