Saving My Plants from Japanese Beetles

By Ellen Brown


How do I stop Japanese beetles from raiding my young plants? The constant rain washes everything I use away.

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Tooti from Plainville, CT



I'm sorry to hear the weather hasn't been cooperating with your pest management strategies. Unfortunately, anything you spray on to control Japanese Beetles and other insects will have to be reapplied after each rain. Fortunately, there are several non-chemical control methods worth trying that are not dependent on the weather.

  1. Removing beetles by hand. Either hand pick beetles from plants or shake them onto tarps placed beneath your plants early in the morning.

  2. Cover growing plants with floating row covers (hand pollinate when necessary).

  3. Interplant garlic, larkspur, tansy, rue, and geranium.

  4. Mow the lawn wearing spiked sandals to kill grubs as they feed near the surface in late spring.

  5. Apply parasitic nematodes as a top dressing to plants and lawn in the spring.

  6. Apply milky spore to grassy areas to help control grubs.

  7. Try to attract more birds to your garden that will feed on grubs.

For the most effective control, employ a combination of these strategies along with a regular schedule of spraying.


About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at


Saving My Plants from Japanese Beetles

I have heard from more than one person, don't use those bags. Unless you give it to your neighbor as a gift. I have the same problem. I to went to the store and bought special spray and although it seems to be working somewhat it is not taking them all away. So I got a bucket with some soap and water in it and started walking around my yard, finding them and dropping them into the water. That really seems to be doing the trick. Although, I must warn you it is addicting. I am outside 2 or 3 times a day with my bucket picking beetles.


Good luck. (07/26/2006)


Saving My Plants from Japanese Beetles

We get Japanese beetles every year and we've found that Sevin works better than any other product or method. Usually it takes only one application and can be found at Wal-mart, Home Depot, and Lowe's. It's safe for vegetable gardens as well. Good luck. (07/26/2006)

By Marnita

Saving My Plants from Japanese Beetles

With the bags, you are drawing the beetles away from your neighbors into your yard. You should put them away from your garden to attract them there. Kind of like a mosquito zapper. I also use the Sevin and it does work, but I think some of the beetles grow on it, instead of dying. I'm keeping at it though. (07/26/2006)

Saving My Plants from Japanese Beetles

I am the one who said not to use those bags.
They draw beetles to the bag.
So if your neighbor has beetles they will come over to your house because the scent in the bag is drawing them in.
Now you not only do you have beetles coming from your yard, but the neighborhoods, also. (07/26/2006)


Saving My Plants from Japanese Beetles

Jerry Baker swears by Milky Spore and has testimonies from those who used it, even whole neighborhoods who claim the beetles have stayed gone several years. (07/29/2006)

By Lynda


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