Use these simple methods to get rid of your Japanese beetles

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By Levi Berg

Sometimes, I have requests about subjects for my articles, and this week I got one — Japanese beetle control. 

These little critters have gotten into just about everything this year. 

A Japanese beetle is a metallic green beetle, just under half an inch long, with copper-brown wing covers. 

They also have small white spots around their wing covers and down their abdomen. 

The reason these beetles are a problem is because they can feed on over 300 species of plants ranging from roses to poison ivy. 

They usually feed in groups, starting at the top of the plant and working their way down. 

One beetle doesn’t eat much, but in a large group, they can cause significant damage to plants and crops. 

Adults start laying eggs as soon as they emerge, and can lay one to four eggs every three to four days in the soil for several weeks. 

This is why they can become a significant problem. 

After hatching, the grub stays in the soil for around 10 months and feed on the roots of plants around them. 

After soils reach around 50 degrees F, the grubs turn into adults and emerge, and the cycle continues. 

Now you might be asking, “Okay, now you have taught us about the life cycle, but how do I kill them?” 

The two most common methods involve trapping and using insecticidal sprays. 

Trapping has been found to be effective and can be homemade or commercially bought. 

There are two different types of traps: traps that mimic the scent of female beetles and a sweet-smelling food type lure. 

The first only attracts males, while the second trap will attract both males and females. 

One problem with traps is that if you have a small number of Japanese beetles, you can actually attract more beetles to your plants with these traps. 

If the whole neighborhood is using traps, they will be effective, but only one or two will probably cause more harm than good.

A very effective method is insecticidal sprays. 

Insecticidal sprays should only be used when the pest is there — follow each label exactly. 

Finding sprays can be tricky because the Japanese beetles can feed on so many different types of plants, so look for these active ingredients: malathion, acephate, cyfluthrin and sevin. 

However, some plants cannot handle certain active ingredients, so read the label to see if the plant you want to spray is actually listed. 

If it is not listed, you cannot use that chemical on that plant. 

Japanese beetles can play havoc in landscapes, gardens and pastures, but you can control them. 

However, only look to control when you start seeing significant Japanese beetle numbers or damage. 

If you have further questions, please contact the Henry County Extension Office at (502) 845-2811. 


Information was obtained from Dr. Lee Townsend, University of Kentucky Extension Entomologist and UK publication ENTFACT-409. 

Henry County Farmers’ Market


Are you looking for fresh, local fruits, vegetables and meats? Come to the Henry County Farmers’ Market. 

Local vendors only sell produce and meats raised in Henry County. 

The Henry County Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon in the front lawn of the Henry County Courthouse and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during peak season. 

This week, you can find: squash, zucchini, beets, potatoes, dried beans, green beans, green onions, lettuce, pork, eggs, beef, flowers and much more. 

In addition, most vendors accept Senior and WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program coupons. 

Do not hesitate and make your way to the Henry County Farmers’ Market!

Henry County Community and Farmers’ Market Day


On July 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Henry County Health Department and the Henry County Extension Office will host the Henry County Community and Farmers’ Market Day. 

At this event, the Henry County Farmers’ Market and multiple Henry County health organizations will set up booths at the Henry County Health Department. 

For more information, please contact the health department at 845-2882 or the Henry County Extension Office at 845-2811.