Protecting Your Lawn and Plants From Japanese Beetles

Jul 26, 2016, 14:44 PM by Fred Speer

The discovery of a Japanese beetle in a Sacramento suburb last month sounded a warning bell to area homeowners. Protecting their lawns and shrubs from this highly destructive pest suddenly became a priority.

Japanese beetles, considered to be the top turf pest in the United States, attack lawns, ornamental plants and crops, with adult beetles eating leaves and the burrowing larvae, or grubs, attacking the roots.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, consumers spend more than $460 million annually battling Japanese beetles, and the damage estimates exceed $234 million. These destructive pests, which attack their targets differently, are attracted to more than 300 plant species, giving them a wide range of feeding options.

What are the signs of Japanese beetle damage? Aside from a visual sighting, leaves that look skeletonized or have been total defoliated are good indicators that you may have a problem.

Clark Pest Control Technical Director Darren van Steenwyk was recently interviewed in the Sacramento Bee about the Japanese beetle threat. Here is some of what he had to say:

“One of the reasons they’re so bad is that the adults and the larvae both do damage,” Van Steenwyk explained. “Normally, with a lot of insects, one stage or the other will do damage, but not both.”

“Most insects specialize in eating one thing or a limited range [of plants],” Van Steenwyk added. “Japanese beetles are a broad-spectrum pest.”

You can read the full article at

How can you protect your lawn and plants from Japanese beetles? The Clark Man recommends the following:

  • Regularly fertilize and provide nutrients to your plants and lawn to allow them to build strong root systems – healthy plants are less susceptible to insects and disease
  • Select plants for your yard that are not preferred by Japanese beetles (some of the more susceptible plants and trees include linden, crabapple, apple, Japanese maple, rose, pin oak, cherry, plum, apricot, and peach)
  • Have proper pest identification done by a trained Turf and Ornamental service specialist from Clark Pest Control: Japanese beetles are often confused with other beetle species, so a correct identification is important to determining what course of action, if any, is needed

If you think you might have Japanese beetles in your yard, call or text us at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or send the Clark Man an email at Our Turf and Ornamental specialists will be able to assist with most of your lawn, shrub, and tree care needs.

Until next time I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.





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