Japanese beetles have infested my garden

Q: Japanese beetles have infested my garden this July. They eat all my roses and I’ve had very little success getting rid of them. I have hung a beetle catcher, which seems moderately successful, but friends have warned me that they find the catchers attract the beetles.

Either I get rid of these critters or I will be forced to stop growing roses, which will break my heart.

Do you have any suggestions?


‘Japanese Beetles’ (Popillia japonica) can be challenging. Control options must weigh the pros and cons, such as time, money, appearance, involvement of neighbours, etc. You can handpick either early in the morning, late in the evening, or after a rainfall for adult beetles. Trapping does tend to attract more adult beetles. It’s best to use catchers around the perimeter of the yard every 60 m (200 feet) to catch incoming adult beetles. One or two traps are recommended for an average sized yard, while covering plants with a polyester material (floating row cover) to exclude the insects. Use ‘milky spore’ (Bacillus popilliae) and nematodes (Heterorhabditis heliothidis and Steinernema carpocapsae) as soil drench to control the grub stage. Finally, use a chemical spray as needed, ensuring to check label for instructions. Adult beetles do fly and feed on a diverse number of plants.