The invasion is underway. Japanese beetles are eating up plants, gardens and trees across Nebraska. University of Nebraska Extension Educator John Fech is a horticulturalist and says no plants are safe.
Fech says, “There are over 300 species they work on. The ones most commonly damaged are buckthorn, roses, grapes, linden trees, birch trees and some others. Sometimes in the vegetable garden.”
Fech says the good news is there are products to battle these emerald green pests. He recommends using pyola or neem as those products are on the organic side. Traditional insecticides like permethrin and bifenthrin also work well.
When it comes to your lawn, landscaping and garden together, Fech says everything now is in good shape. However, that could change. Fech says, “The big thing is disease that comes on when the trees get stressed. When the lawn gets stressed. We have had so much moisture that the fungi spores are out there just waiting for the turf grass and the trees to get stressed and then they will take on some heavy duty symptoms.” He says the good news is we’ve had plenty of water but now yard and landscape management comes into play.