Unusually warm weather causes Japanese Beetle Boom

Japanese Beetles are causing a nuisance for people, while wreaking havoc on area plants.

Posted: Jul 25, 2018 7:09 PM
Updated: Jul 25, 2018 7:16 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo)  Everyone by now has noticed the infestation.
"It just amazes me how bad it is" said Craig Hayes, Manager and Landscaper at Earl May Garden Center.
Much of the region, including St. Joseph, is in the midst of Japanese Beetle season.

"They usually go through probably about a 4 to 6 week cycle normally" said Hayes.

The bugs started showing up about 3 years ago, and never really left.

"We haven't had a really long hard winter for some time, that usually takes down some populations of insects. said Hayes.

Japanese Beetles are more than just a nuisance, these green bugs can be disaster for plants.

"They come out and usually start feeding on certain plants that are heavilly leafed out or flowered out.' said Hayes.

The aftermath is not pretty, Bryan Gragg, Regional Forestry Supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation, explains what can happen after the bugs have their fill.

"You'll see the leaves they're skeletonized so the only thing left is the veins, all everything else has been removed by the beetle." said Gragg.

When it comes to getting rid of these pests, you have two options, you can use environmentally freindly sprays, or set up some traps.
Those that have their own infestation may have to use both methods.

"Both ways is not a bad way to go, [if you have a mild case of Japanese Beetles,] you may want to choose which direction you want to head." said Hayes. 

While there are options to keep Japanese Beetles at bay around the lawn,  the only way to bring the numbers down significantly is a hard freeze. Without that, Hayes fears these bugs will be around for the long haul.

"It's really set us up to have maybe one of the worst insect years that we've seen in a lot of years." said Hayes.

Saint Joseph
Scattered Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 63°
59° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 59°
Scattered Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 63°
61° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 61°
Broken Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 61°
A weak front will move out of northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas Sunday morning giving the region a slight chances for showers before sunrise. A southeast wind will pick up Sunday around 10 to 15 mph, sunshine will return, and temperatures will warm into the upper 70s.
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