Our Buckeye Tree has a Japanese beetle infestation. How can we treat it to...

Asked June 27, 2018, 3:36 PM EDT

Our Buckeye Tree has a Japanese beetle infestation. How can we treat it to get rid of the beetles? They are eating the leaves - the top of the tree is brown because the leaves have been eaten.

Fairfield County Ohio

1 Response

Pesticides that are approved for the control of Japanese Beetles do have them listed on the label. Some are sprays that you apply to the tree that has the insects. For small infestations on small trees and shrubs, I use insecticidal soap in a squirt bottle. That is what I use on our grapes as the beetles arrive. You can also bump the branches in the morning when they are moving slowly and let them fall into a container with water and a few drops of dish soap. Last year these beetles completely defoliated our cherry tree. This spring I treated the tree with Bayer Advanced Systemic Insecticide. The active ingredient is imidacloprid, sometime listed as “Merit”. A systemic insecticide is one that you spread on the ground around the plant, when it rains it is absorbed by the roots, and then moves up into the plant, where it is absorbed by the leaves. When the insect bites the leaf, it dies. This year we have no observable damage on the cherry tree. Follow the instructions on the label for the amount to use and how to apply it. For the buckeye, get the one for Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed.

To learn more about this beetle and its control, check out the fact sheet from the U of Kentucky at: https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/files/efpdf2/ef451.pdf