Birch tree eating insect

Asked July 28, 2017, 9:10 AM EDT

Hello, Our Birch trees are being devoured by an insect. I can hear the munching of leaves from 6 feet away and our yard is littered with chewed dead leaves. Our patio and back of the house has black specks and "dropping like" remnants. The insects drop from the trees and land on their back and flip over but I have not seen them fly. They seem to remain on the ground. We have two trees, not near each other; one in the front yard and one in the back. I have attached photos of the damage and the bug. I have also noticed many flys in the area near the backyard birch, would this be related? I appreciate any advice you have for getting rid of these and saving our trees. Will this bug spread to other trees or plants? We have plum, Apple, crabapple, arborvitae, maple and large pine (spruce?) and many shrubs. We live in Maple Grove. Thank you so much! Char

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Japanese beetles have been abundant and widespread in the Twin Cities area for several years. Their numbers are particularly high this year and what you have seen and heard is a common occurrence. The black specs are their droppings.

Japanese beetles are generalists that feed on many plant species, but birch and linden trees are among their favorites. Trees that are defoliated by Japanese beetles usually survive but if this occurs for several consecutive years the damage may have a cumulative negative effect.

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