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Japanese Beetle and Annual White Grub

Adult Japanese beetles and southern masked chafers (annual white grubs) are flying in the Chicago area, according to Donna Danielson of the Morton Arboretum Scouting Program. Reports of beetle emergence from central Illinois have been relatively sporadic. As was indicated in last week’s newsletter, the cooler-than-normal temperatures this spring slowed grub development and delayed adult emergence.

Although time of emergence has been sporadic, recent warm, dry weather and conscientious lawn care practices have created ideal habitats for egg laying. Lawns that go dormant in the summer or that receive limited amounts of water are less attractive for egg laying than lush areas of turf that have been irrigated. Refer to last week’s newsletter for turf grub management options.

As Japanese beetles continue to emerge, more damage will occur from the adults feeding on deciduous plant materials in infested areas of the state. Perhaps we should adjust our mindset and think of Japanese beetles as one of the “joys” of living in Illinois. When purchasing new plant materials, keep Japanese beetle defoliation in mind and select plant varieties that are less attractive to the beetle. If you select plants that are favored by this insect, you should get used to beetle-damaged plants or expect to treat the plants weekly with an insecticide when the beetles are present. University of Kentucky and Purdue University scientists have been conducting research to identify woody plant species that are less favored by the Japanese beetle. We will include a list of such species in next week’s newsletter.

Author: John Lloyd


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