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Increased Amount of Japanese Beetles in Omaha

Posted at 6:48 PM, Jul 23, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. — It seems like summer time always brings in bugs and rodents that annoy us and damage our plants.

Right now, Japanese beetles are causing quite the disturbance.

"There are definitely more beetles this year. The population, we've been told by the entomology department at UNL that the population will continue to increase for the next couple of years at least," certified arborist Amy Grewe said.

As pests Japanese beetles don't cause too much damage. They don't make noise and they don't bite, but still they eat through plants and leaves, not leaving much much behind.

"The linden tree is popular for them to eat, they go after elm trees, river birches, rose bushes, buck thorns, even Japanese maples sometimes. They'll eat just about anything," Grewe said.

They mostly just leave your favorite foliage looking a bit dead.

"So they'll feed on the tissue of the leaves and then leave behind the veins. And so the leaves eventually turn brown and fall off," Grewe said.

So people are looking for certified arborists, like Amy Grewe and Blake Bartels from Arbor Aesthetics Tree Service, to help fix the problem.

"We can do the foyer spray which is good for really tall trees," Grewe said.

"I like to call it the one-two punch. The foliage spray is going to on contact go to work on the beetle itself and then when they continue to feed on the foliage, it's going to take care of them that way," Bartels added.

Calling a company to help may be useful, trying to get rid of the beetles yourself isn't too pleasant.

"You can shake them off. If you've got a smaller birch just shake it and they'll fall off. You can hand pick them off of the leaves, throw them in a bucket of soapy water and that will kill them," Grewe said.