While travelling through the northeastern side of United States, you will find many beautiful orchards. As you stroll through these farms, you will come across a good-looking insect with a striking metallic green thorax; head covered with earthy, reddish brown wings; and ringed abdomen with tufts of white hair. This insect is called Japanese beetle. It travelled to the country all the way from Japan in 1916, when it was accidently imported to New Jersey. Though it is quite interesting to observe, it is known to be quite destructive as well. Japanese beetles are known to damage more than 200 plant species and have left their mark on lawns, orchards, farms, nurseries, gardens and even golf courses. Whether as larva or as adults, they thrive on plants to survive. In the months of July and August, female beetles lay eggs around 1 to 2 inches deep in the soil. The young larvae or ‘grubs’ are as detrimental as adults, because they initially feed on decayed matter beneath the soil, but move on to feeding on grass roots as they grow. With the onset of spring, in the months of May and June, the grubs pupate and by mid-July, adult beetles begin to emerge. The lifespan of adults is usually 30 to 45 days through the summer season, during which they feed luxuriously. Sometimes, adult Japanese beetles consume leaves only, leaving skeletal remains behind. However, the major damage is done when they start devouring fruits. They usually feed in groups and therefore, successful consumes chunks of fruits. The favored fruit of beetles are peaches and they choose to eat them around July or early August, just a few weeks before the fruits are ready to be picked. Want to explore some more interesting facts and amazing information on the Japanese bettle? If yes, then the following lines will surely quench your thirst for knowledge.
Japense Beetle Facts
Species: P. japonica
Group Name: Grub
Length: 1.5 cm
Lifespan: 30-45 days
Diet: Leaves, flowers, and overripe or wounded fruit
Habitat: Japan, USA, Canada
Gestation Period: 4-6 weeks
Number of Offspring: 40-60 eggs
Interesting & Amazing Information On Japanese Beetles
- The day an adult Japanese beetle emerges from the soil, it soaks in the summer sun and immediately begins to eat. Though it is known to nutritiously destroy around 400 species of plants, it has a taste for only 50 out of them.
- Japanese beetles are also known to be attracted to roses, mostly yellow ones.
- When the adult beetles feed on a helpless plant, they secrete a congregation pheromone, which invites other adults to join in on the feast.
- In addition to the feeding frenzy, adult female beetles secrete a sex pheromone as well, which attracts many males.
- It is interesting to observe more than three or four Japanese beetles can feed as well as mate with each other on a plant, at the same time.This happens for a couple of days, until the females burrow into the soil, around 2 to 4 inches deep and lay 1 to 5 eggs at a time.
- The natural routine of feeding, mating, and laying eggs by Japanese beetles (females) occurs every one or two days.
- The eggs take around 2 weeks to hatch into grubs and depending on the temperature, they grow and rise up to soil level or dig deeper below.
- Grubs grow into pupae in early June and then grow to be adult beetles by late June.
One of the best ways to control Japanese bettles is to eliminate them manually. They can be shaken off plants and let to drown and die in a container of milk, water, and detergent. Do regular collection in the daytime, just after the morning sun has warmed the soil and just before evening, when females prepare to lay eggs. Using fertilizers and other traps is generally not advised, as they tend to destroy other synergetic insects, such as butterflies, bees, and earthworms as well.