Issue 13, July 30, 2010

Asiatic Garden Beetle

An accidental import from Japan and China in the 1920's, the Asiatic Garden Beetle has expanded its range to cover much of northeastern North America. It is commonly found from New England to Ohio and down to South Carolina. In 2009, the Asiatic garden beetle was found in traps in St. Clair County in Illinois.

The larvae will feed on the roots of turf grass but they prefer the roots of fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants. The adults feed on over 100 species of plants, though they show a preference for flowers such as asters, dahlias, and roses.

The adult beetles are small, velvety and cinnamon brown in color. Adults emerge from the soil from mid-July to mid-August and feed on the host plant. These foliage feeders are active at night and return to the soil during the day. Unlike Japanese beetles, Asiatic garden beetles do not skeletonize leaves; instead, they strip, shred, and notch the foliage.

Asiatic Garden Beetle (photo courtesy

After mating, eggs are laid in the soil in clusters of 20; larvae hatch in late summer. The grubs feed on organic matter, roots and root hairs in the soil. The larvae overwinter and pupate in the soil the following spring.

If you suspect you've seen this insect or to submit a sample, please contact the Illinois Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Program - McLaughlin and Kelly Estes

Kelly Estes

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