Franklin / Nashville BasicsTravel

Got Japanese Beetles?

In case you haven’t already noticed… the Japanese Beetles are back!

And they’re here to stay — at least until August.


How do you know for sure if you’ve got a problem with Japanese Beetles?

Three ways:

1. Look at the ground under your tree(s). If you notice leaves on the ground, chances are the Japanese Beetles have been there.

Leaves fallen from trees in the summer... not Fall.
Damaged leaves from Japanese Beetles.2. Look at the leaves that are still on your tree. If you notice the leaves are dying while on the branches and/or they’re riddled with holes, then Japanese Beetles are probably to blame.

3. Lightly shake the highest tree branch you can reach. If you see bugs flying away, they’re probably Japanese Beetles.

Now, here’s what you can do to stop the Japanese Beetles from damaging whatever leaves still remain on your tree…


To Prevent Damage From Japanese Beetles

First, and foremost, you have to act fast.

Japanese Beetles can strip a tree of its leaves in no time!

In fact, they can even kill a tree, if no action is taken.

Here’s what we do: We use Bag-a-Bug Japanese Beetle Traps. They definitely work well for us!


A Word About Lawn Service Companies

A couple years ago (the very first summer we noticed Japanese Beetles here in Tennessee), we called “the professionals” to spray our trees and stop the damage. It was a last-ditch effort to save our trees. Unfortunately, we’d waited too long, and each of our trees ended up leafless.

The next year, we started out letting the professionals spray for Japanese Beetles, but we quickly switched to controlling the beetles ourselves. Why?

The professional sprayers came by every 2-3 weeks and sprayed each of our trees, but we still had swarms of Japanese Beetles on our trees.

In fairness, they told us that the beetles would still be landing on our trees, but the moment they bit into a leaf, they would die.

What we noticed is: The beetles would disappear for a day or two immediately following a spraying, but then they would reappear by the thousands again. Since Japanese Beetles are attracted by other Japanese Beetles, they just kept multiplying.

While we did not lose many leaves during the time our trees were sprayed by the professionals, we decided this was probably something we could control ourselves.

So, we cancelled the professional tree sprayings and started using Bag-a-Bug beetle traps.

How did our efforts compare to “the professionals”?…

While the process of changing the bags, running to the store to buy more bags, and disposing of bags full of beetles was a bit more time-consuming and slightly more “icky”… It was considerably cheaper. And we feel that we were able to adequately ward off enough beetles to make it worthwhile.

Since we got a jump on it before the beetles really became a problem (we put the Bag-a-Bug traps out early, mid-June here in Tennessee), we prevented the beetles from destroying our trees. By mid-August, we had determined that most of the beetles were gone for the season, and we were set again until next summer.