Posted: Jun 16, 2010 8:32 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
Japanese beetles already infest 35 states in the eastern US. The Colorado Department of Agriculture is trying to make sure your trees, shrubs and lawn aren't munched by the invader.
Ag Dept. spokeswoman Christi Lightcap offers these tips to keep the Japanese beetle out of your yard:
What is a Japanese beetle?
Japanese beetle adults are scarab beetles, approximately, one-half inch long with a metallic green body and copper-colored wings. There are five distinct tufts of hair along each side of the beetle's abdomen. The larvae are white grubs that reside in the soil. Grubs are about an inch long and lie in a curled position or ‘C' shape when at rest.
What are their favorite plants?
Japanese beetle larvae prefer to feed on the roots of grasses, such as those found in lawns or in ornamental beds. The adult beetle has a wide range of plants it prefers including grapes, roses, hollyhocks, black walnut, apples, crabapples, peach, cherry, plum, lindens, mountain ash and lombardy poplar.
How can the beetle be prevented?
Purchase landscape plants, trees, and turfgrass only from nurseries, garden centers and landscape contractors that are registered with the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Registered nurseries and sod farms are inspected and nursery stock is verified to be Japanese beetle free. A list of registered nurseries and landscape contractors can be found online.
Don't bring uninspected plant materials into Colorado from infested states. Don't move plants and soil from your property to other portions of Colorado OR to states west of Colorado. This pest is under quarantine and those that bring uncertified plant material into Colorado are subject to fines.
What should one do if they find Japanese Beetle?
If you suspect Japanese beetle, collect it and contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture or your local Colorado State University Extension office. The insect's identity will be verified.