Get Rid of Japanese Beetles Safely

Japanese Beetles have arrived early in Minnesota and Wisconsin and are in full pursuit of taking over some people’s plants. Here’s a short video on how to identify them.

Our landscape designers at St. Croix Valley Landscaping have noticed many ads coming out for sprays to kill them.  The thing is, you often don’t need to go heavy on chemicals or spend bunches of money to take care of them in most residential gardens. Here are some ways to curb an infestation that we recommend that will be safe for you, your pets and the environment.

Repel them from your Garden

If you have noticed Japanese beetles eating up your garden, you can set up a way to repel them. The idea behind this Japanese beetle control method is to chase beetle pests away without having to work on destroying them.

Here are a couple of plants that Japanese beetles hate or that will be harmful to them:

Larkspur – Japanese beetles will avoid larkspur as much as possible because larkspur is toxic to them and will cause harm to their body. So plant some larkspur around the plants that are subject to Japanese beetle infestation. You’ll get the double benefit of having those spectacular colors that larkspur brings to your garden.

Scented Geraniums – Using herbs to repel insects is a technique widely used in vegetable gardening. Herbs like smartweed and scented geraniums work wonders when it comes to Japanese beetle control.

Set Up Japanese Beetle Dunk Tanks

If you don’t have a complete infestation in your garden, we recommend Japanese beetle dunk tanks. Japanese beetles don’t bite and they are not poisonous either so it is safe to pick them up using your hands (or put gloves on).

  • Grab an ice cream bucket, fill it with soapy water and set buckets out where the beetles are gathering.
  • Put the bucket directly under where the beetles are and as you pick the beetles, shake the leaf or flick them with your finger, the beetles will easily drop into the bucket and drown.

Japanese beetle traps attract the beetles into confinement by releasing pheromones of opposite sex and fake flower scent. Beware, these may not be as effective as their advertising promotes and sometime draw even more beetles into your yard.

Natural Insecticide

You can use natural insecticides like rotenone, sabadilla and pyrethrum. Most of these are available for sale in major nurseries near your home. Your nursery should be able to explain how they should be applied.



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