How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles in Central Wisconsin

how to get rid of japanese beetles
Japanese Beetles on a tree in Marshfield, WI

Tips on Getting Rid of Japanese Beetles

MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) – Central Wisconsin is in the midst of Japanese Beetle season and getting rid of Japanese Beetles can be a daunting task. These invasive species breed rapidly and feed for approximately six weeks during which they destroy plants – including roses, raspberry bushes, perennial hibiscus, fruit trees, and pretty much any plant they can access if resources are low.

“There are two approaches to get rid of Japanese Beetles: attack adults in summer or newly hatched grubs in early fall,” said Jeff Barth, owner of Beaver Creek Landscaping and Nursery in Marshfield.

How to prevent Japanese Beetles:

  1. Set traps early in the season so you can catch the beetles before they lay eggs. Once beetles arrive, traps can actually attract more bugs.
  2. Let the dead beetles sit near prized plants, as the smell of dead beetles deters others from arriving. For those with a strong stomach, you can even toss beetles into an old blender, add water, and liquefy the bugs to make a repellant spray.
  3. Skewer the grubs when they first start showing up near the soil surface. Use a pair of lawn aerating sandals – spikes are the perfect length to kill grubs. Focus on areas where the lawn is turning brown, as this can indicate grubs’ presence.
  4. Don’t water your lawn. Beetles prefer well-watered turf for egg laying (which occurs in late June to late July).
  5. Apply Nematodes (soil dwelling microscopic worms) in early fall and/or spring. They hunt and kill grubs.

Here are some ways to get rid of Japanese Beetles:

  1. Organic solution: Mix 4 tablespoons of dish soap with a quart of water inside a spray bottle. This simple solution makes for a great, all natural Japanese Beetle pesticide. Spray on any beetles you see on or around your lawn & garden.
  2. Wear gloves and hand-pick the beetles, depositing them into water with a few drops of dish detergent added. The best time to do this is around 7:00pm.
  3. Pesticides work, but be careful what you use. Many pesticides have ingredients that will cause more harm than good to the plants and environment as a whole, including important honey bee colonies.
  4. Attract birds to your yard by providing food, shelter, and water. Cardinals and robins in particular will eat the beetles and starlings will dig up grubs.

To learn more, contact Beaver Creek at

News Desk
Author: News Desk

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