What Is So Bad About The Japanese Beetle?
How many invasive insects could there be in the United States? The answer is, “a whole lot”. One of these pests is referred to as the Japanese beetle, and it is a major player in the invasive insect community. According to entomologists at the University of Kentucky, the Japanese beetle is probably the most damaging of all invasive insects when taking urban plant life into account. As you can infer from its name, this beetle was found only in Japan before making a home for itself within America. The eastern US provided the perfect environmental conditions for this beetle’s survival, and subsequent proliferation.
These beetles first arrived in America within a shipment of iris bulbs before 1912, which was when commodities inspections began. These beetles were eventually discovered and documented within the state of New Jersey in 1916. The beetles remained in the northeastern region of the US for a long while, where they could feed on plants within large fields of turf grass without being bothered by any natural predators. This endless food supply, coupled with their freedom from predatory attacks, allowed Japanese beetles to reproduce at astonishing rates over the course of decades. Eventually these beetles migrated, infesting new regions of the US, including the midwest and the south. The Japanese beetle even managed to travel as far north as Ontario, Canada.
Adult Japanese beetles emerge from the ground during the early summer months, and proceed to consume plants. These beetles have a rapid reproductive cycle, as they only live for a period of around forty five days. They are not too picky when it comes to food-preference, as they are known to consume over three hundred different types of plant species. They also feed on ripe fruit, which makes them a serious nuisance to farmers.
Japanese beetles can be tricky to control for pest management professionals. If a population of Japanese beetles are nearing extermination in a particular region, the situation can become complicated by the arrival of other Japanese beetles flying into the controlled region. If you are growing your first patch of fruits and vegetables in your backyard, then hope you do not encounter this beetle.
Have you ever seen a flying beetle before? If you have, then do you know what type of beetle it was?