I know you care and love your orchard. After all, isn’t it the reason you are a passionate orchard owner?
Unfortunately, your efforts may never bear fruit, if you don’t know how to get rid of the Japanese beetles in your orchard. To ensure you get fresh juicy fruits, abundant harvests, and natural space, you need to know the many ways of getting rid of the beetles.
But, first, let’s see what the Japanese beetle is…
What is a Japanese Beetle?
The Japanese beetle is a type of insect native to Asia but widespread everywhere else. You can identify the Japanese beetle by its metallic blue-green head. Japanese beetle feeds in small groups on the leaves of your prized orchard fruits. Did you know they can fly up to 30 miles and lay as many as 500 eggs in one day?
The beetle carries a big threat because it will feed on a wide variety of plants. It consumes leaves of strawberries, grapes, cherry, plum, pears, peach, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry among many other fruits. You’ll often be able to identify the damage once it leaves a lacy skeleton after chewing the leaves.
Fortunately, you can protect your orchard from beetles. Below are the different ways you can get rid of Japanese beetles in your orchard.
You can use natural methods to get rid of the beetles. If you choose the natural methods, prepare to start early. Begin in May and June when they emerge from the ground.
Remove Them from Your Orchard by Handpicking
The beetles are easy to see and pick with your hands. This is hard work if you have a large orchard. Just hand-pick adult beetles from your orchard fruit trees.
You pick from affected trees or flowers. This will prevent leaf damage and disrupt plants from emitting chemicals to indicate there is a ready source of food.
To pick the beetles, target the adult beetles in the morning or evening. This is because at this time the beetles are inactive and easy to pick. You can use a bucket to pick the beetles or drop them in the container with soapy water to kill them by drowning.
Install Japanese Beetle Netting
You may not be able to stop Japanese beetles from coming to your orchard from neighboring farms or wherever. However, you can protect your fruit trees from the damage they cause by using Japanese beetle netting. The netting is made to fit over the top of your fruits and block the beetles. You can buy the netting from your local store, wholesaler, or import from China.
Just cover your orchard after flowering to avoid blocking bees and other pollinators.
There are traps made for the Japanese beetles. The traps produce scents and pheromones to attract the beetles hence can control a large number of beetles.
However, the traps seem to catch many beetles, may end up attracting more beetles into your orchard from all over the area. If you want to try the traps place them very far from the orchard. This is to ensure the beetles do not make a stopover on your orchard on their way to the traps.
Some studies conducted at Colorado University suggest beetles attracted to traps rarely land in the traps. They instead land on plants in the vicinity and cause more damage along the flight path and near the trap than may have occurred if the trap were not present.
You can also plant some plants within your orchard or around in hedges or fences that are unpalatable and resistant to Japanese beetles.
Some of the recommended plants include dogwoods, pine, red maples, and boxwoods that are avoided by the beetles.
So few flowers may also aid in getting rid of the beetles such as geraniums that paralyze them. Japanese beetles are attracted to geraniums. They eat the plant and y get dizzy from the natural chemicals in the geranium. Just plant geraniums close to your orchard.
If everything seems to fail work, do not give up. Go for the chemicals routeway. Insecticides will kill the Japanese beetle adults and grubs. Here is how to use the chemicals safely.
Spay the Neem Oil
The neem oil repels adult Japanese beetles. The good news, it does not harm beneficial insects and is environmentally friendly. The adult beetle eats neem oil and passes it on in the eggs. The larva dies before becoming an adult. The neem oil is available online or at your local store.
You can make a spray to your orchard with a few drops f neem and apply it to the affected orchard.
Use Pesticides Sprays
You can spray your orchard with pesticides made from pyrethrins. It will kill adult beetles on contact.
If you want chemicals with residual effects, you can use pyrethroids, chlorantraniliprole, or carbaryl. Depending on ingredients this can take you 2-4 weeks of orchard protection.
The control measures for adults and grub vary. To get rid of Japanese beetles at the grub stage try the following.
The method is okay with both adult beetles and grubs depending on the predator used.
If you are eliminating grubs in your orchard, use the grub parasite Tiphia vernalis. The tiny wasp paralyzes the grubs by stinging them and laying eggs on them. When the egg hatch, the emerging wasp eats the grub
Another parasite you can use is Isotecheta aldrichi a fly that attacks adult beetles. After mating the flies lay eggs on the adult beetle thorax. When the egg hatches, the maggot drills into the beetle’s body, killing it. The flies reduce the beetle population before they reproduce.
The problem however is that most natural predators may not be available in your commercial store. You can liaise with agriculture extension officers in your area to see if they are available. This will guide you in planting what will attract these parasites.
Lastly, nematodes parasites Japanese beetles. They penetrate the grub and inoculates bacteria. The bacteria reproduce rapidly feeding on grub tissue. The nematodes eat the bacteria and kill the grub. You can buy the nematode online and apply it to your orchard.
Call the Professionals
What if the Japanese beetles’ infestation of your orchard is very severe? And seems like they can damage your whole orchard. Don’t worry, just call your local pest control professionals.
The experts will confirm that your problem is Japanese beetles. Apart from confirmation, they will advise and implement an integrated pest management approach.
Thanks to many ways of getting rid of the Japanese beetles ranging from natural, netting, and chemicals, the orchard growers can quality orchard and plenty of harvests.
You can quickly employ many methods and If you’d like to have yourself or your workers enlightened more about getting rid of Japanese beetles, that’s where EyouAgro comes in handy.
We’re an international agriculture protection textile company and always at your service. EyouAgro offers the best and effective preventive netting products for getting rid of Japanese beetles. Our primary goal is to make farmers’ lives easier and assist them in taking care of their plants.