How to get rid of Japanese beetles
I have beetles eating the leaves on my English oak, river birch and bushes. How do I get rid of them and if they devour all of the leaves will my trees die? Help!
Sarpy County Nebraska
Will your tree survive? The answer is not easy but most likely yes. Yes your tree will probably survive. However, this is source of stress on our plants and back to back outbreaks which results in canopy defoliation can allow other opportunistic insects and pathogens a chance to establish themselves. Do not fertilize the tree. Do not give it any extra water. Applying systemic products now will not yield any protection. Establishing an action plan for next year would be best thing to do now. There really isn't anything that you can do now to control the beetles except hand picking them off (which is really only realistic for small plants). I've attached a graphic with a plan to reduce damage on plants for next year. Having this type of defoliation damage several years in a row can negatively affect, and possibly kill, trees.