Unhappy tree

Asked July 5, 2018, 9:29 AM EDT

What is eating my large ornamental tree? Note the black stuff on the cushion, is that the excrement of this beetle?

Jackson County Missouri

1 Response

That is the infamous Japanese beetle. Yes, the little black specks are likely the excrement.

The Japanese beetles usually travel in hordes. They will make all the leaves on the plants they like look like fancy lace. They really like roses, flowering and fruiting plum and peach trees, apples, blackberries and many more. I have even heard they have eaten oak leaves.

Go to http://extension.missouri.edu/webster/japanese-beetle.aspx to find out how to control their damage. They are very hungry little insects and can do a lot of damage in a short period of time. Traps, cultural controls, and organic techniques will not do the rescue control that you might hope for. I am afraid it is time to go to serious chemical control.