Japanese Beetles in trees

Asked July 4, 2017, 11:46 AM EDT

About a week ago, I noticed some beetles on my young apple tree. Since then, the whole top half of the tree is brown. Will this kill my tree? I have also noticed that these beetles are in all of my adult trees, eating away. I have an elm tree that is almost stripped, a maple tree that I can start to see evidence in the leaves, other apple and peach trees are also affected. Is there anything I can do to get rid of these beetles? They are eating away my shade trees.

Iowa County Iowa

1 Response


Thank you for your message and for contacting Iowa State University. The Japanese beetles are back after the absence of a year or two. They are very spotty and at very high numbers in isolated locations around the state. I'm sorry it is happening to your trees.

There are no easy controls for Japanese beetle adults. The available sprays kill most of the beetles present at the time of spraying, but more beetles emerge from the ground over a period of a few weeks.

For more on Japanese beetles see https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/japanese-beetle

Defoliation of deciduous trees is not usually fatal, though trees may be weakened and suffer from other problems.


Donald Lewis