Invasive Japanese beetles are back in Denver and Colorado -- and they are hungry

Invasive Japanese beetles are again in Denver and Colorado — and they’re hungry

2 minutes, 38 seconds Read

They’re baaaaaaaack.

Yup, it’s official, Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica) have returned to infest Colorado gardens — albeit maybe a bit later than regular, some gardeners have observed.

The shiny, spherical, invasive pests sometimes present up in June and stick round all summer time — what’s worse, probably the most dependable methodology for eliminating them is waking up on the break of day and plucking them off your crops one after the other (ew) after which drowning them in a bucket of water.

Central Denver resident Carol LaRoque removes her bugs in a barely completely different approach — by feeding them to her neighbor’s chickens, who rapidly gobble them up (the animals are famous in quite a few sources as a superb and environment friendly pure beetle repellent). She stated she’s plucked solely a few dozen beetles off her roses to date, however is definite that is just the start.

“It does appear to be they emerged later this 12 months,” she famous. “I didn’t write down the date final 12 months, nevertheless it appeared like by a while in late June, we had already had them final 12 months.”

Colorado gardeners have been fast to lift the alarm concerning the return of the leaf- and flower-hungry fiends. Colorado State College’s Grasp Gardeners have been posting about them on social media since June 29, with just a few useful reality sheets about controlling them and retaining them out (The Denver Put up has its personal information right here), however they’ve to date been fewer in quantity.

The late starting to beetle season in some areas could also be as a result of dry winter Colorado skilled, in response to Richard Levy, a scientific knowledge supervisor on the Denver Botanic Gardens, the place Japanese beetles are simply now starting to point out up.

Japanese beetles lay their eggs in turf grass, the place they spend 10 months within the larval stage underground. Frozen, barren soil uninsulated by snow for lengthy intervals of time can result in later grownup beetle emergence from the bottom, and that could be what some areas are seeing now.

Though they look like leaving the rose bushes alone in favor of the hollyhocks (for now), Denver Botanic Gardens communications director Erin Fowl recollects garden volunteers having to scoop off hoards of beetles by this time in years previous.

Oh — and hand plucking and pure cures actually are finest — spraying pesticides will find yourself doing extra hurt to your yard and garden than the beetles will. Some gardeners have turned to changing their lawns with native crops to keep away from offering the proper place for brand new eggs to hatch.

Japanese beetles have been energetic within the Denver metro, Boulder, and Pueblo for over six years now. As adults, they feed on the flower blossoms and leaves of over 300 various kinds of plant species. Their larvae chow down on plant roots — significantly the roots of Kentucky bluegrass. And whereas their look could have been delayed, beware — they’re doubtless on the transfer to a rose bush close to you.

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