The Japanese beetle is a non-native insect that has only been in the United States for about a century. It doesn’t have many natural predators here, so it thrives and its population grows. A single Japanese Beetle is not a problem, but if a group of them gets together, they can do some damage.
You might think that Japanese beetles only cause havoc when they become adults. Yet, they can do damage while they’re still larvae. Beetles lay eggs in the soil and feed on the roots of irrigated plants as larvae.
They are fond of many plants, especially those grown in direct sunlight. When you’re trying to grow healthy plants, it’s best to avoid these pests. Get to know them so you can keep them away from your yard. (Read Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cicadas)
Things to Know about Japanese Beetles
Japanese beetles can make a mess of your garden and turn it into waste. They are pesky pests that could really make you stressed out in no time. There is nothing to stop them from destroying your beautiful plants and flowers.
Japanese beetles can reproduce quickly. Their larvae emerge from the ground in late June and continue to do so until August. Adult Japanese beetles live only for 30 days before they reproduce and die.
The breeding season starts from the summer season. From there, Japanese beetles go through different stages until they die. These beetles find their way to their favorite plant and lay their eggs there.
First, they mate. Then there comes a peak period when eggs hatch and larvae feed on roots. Once they become adults and reproduce, a decline in population will begin.
Aside from this, Japanese beetles happen to love many different plants. This makes them difficult to control since they have a varied diet. If they only prefer a few plants, it will be easy to control them.
Majority of Japanese beetles spend their life as root-eating larvae. When female beetles lay eggs, they burrow them underground and leave them there to hatch. Once these eggs hatch, after a few weeks, they become larvae and start to feed on plant roots.
It is truly frustrating that Japanese beetles can already do damage before you see them. However, the good thing is that you have plenty of time to start getting rid of them. While they are still underground, you can already start applying control methods.
Few Native Predators
Japanese beetles do not originate from the US and have been in the country for only about a century. As a result, there are a few predators that actually eat them. These predators are not enough to control their population given that they can reproduce at an alarming rate.
The common predators of these pests are stinkbugs, praying mantises, and some species of wild birds. However, Japanese beetles can reproduce at an alarming rate. More often than not, these predators don’t do much of an impact on the population of these beetles.
Luckily, there are control methods you can practice to control their population. One of them is by adding mantis Japanese in your garden. (Learn How To Make A Baby Chick Stop Chirping)
Do Praying Mantis Eat Japanese Beetles
The praying mantis is a beneficial insect in the garden. Praying mantises have a very different diet than most insects in your garden. They eat Japanese beetles and other bugs that infest plants and flowers.
Their jaws are strong enough to crush a beetle, and their front legs have sharp claws that can rip off a bug’s wings. When they catch a beetle, they will usually eat all the bugs it has caught before moving on to another one.
The praying mantis is known for its ability to hunt at night. Instead of ears, they have a sensory organ in their chest that allows them to hear the echolocation of bats. This organ allows the mantis to hunt at night with a lesser chance of becoming bat food.
Praying Mantis Eggs
Putting eggs of praying mantis in your garden is a great start to prevent Japanese beetles from destroying your garden. Adding them to your homestead can create a pest control system for your garden. For these eggs to survive, it is crucial to maintain the temperature in your garden because it needs freezing temperatures to mature.
Shelter on Open Leaves
Praying mantis can thrive if they are provided with proper shelter. As such, the leaves on the plants you want your praying mantises to hunt on must be open. To protect themselves from predators and prey, they need plants with open leaves.
Mature Praying Mantis
The shedding of the exoskeleton marks the maturity of the mantis in japanese. When this happens, they tend to eat more bugs than babies. Adult japanese mantises become incredibly beneficial to your garden because of the strength of their jaws.
An adult praying mantis munches on hard-shelled bugs, most especially Japanese beetles. It’s important to remember that praying mantises are a beneficial bug and help to keep the Japanese beetles in balance. Though certainly not for everyone, keeping praying mantis can be a great experience for those that are interested.
Things to Observe In Praying Mantises in your Garden
Not many people talk about introducing praying mantis as part of a balanced pest management program. If you are serious about protecting your garden from Japanese beetles, you need to consider releasing these beneficial insects in your garden. They keep down bug populations naturally and help maintain a healthy ecological balance in the garden.
They Eat Other Insects
Praying mantises also eat other insects, so you must control them as well. They cannot distinguish beneficial insects from harmful ones. Aside from this, if they are not provided with enough food they will turn on each other.
They Camouflage to their Surroundings
In appearance, a praying mantis is typically green or brown but they can adapt the color of their habitat. They are hard to find in the garden because they can mimic the color of the leaves and flowers. Many other insects will land them thinking they are a plant or a flower.
They have a Wide Field of Vision
The body structure of a praying mantis is long neck with triangular heads. This allows them to have a wide field of vision of heads 180° from side to side. With this, they can easily feel the slightest movement from 60 feet away. (Read Can Bearded Dragons Eat Maggots)
They Need to be Hydrated
Since Japanese beetles thrive during the summer, praying mantises get thirsty when it’s hot. They will need a source of water to keep them cool but keep in mind mosquitoes as well. It’s best to provide shallow dishes in your garden so they can take a break and sip water.
In our quest to have a healthier garden, we must always remain diligent in our efforts. We should be aware of what we’re planting, maintain a healthy population of beneficial insects, and continue to develop better methods of controlling pests. They are the best pest-controlling insects you can release in your garden to get rid of pests.