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Japanese beetles return to Omaha

Posted at 4:41 PM, Jul 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-10 20:36:43-04

Over the past several summers, Japanese beetles have wreaked havoc on area yards, gardens, and trees, and once again, they're back.

University of Nebraska Extension entomologist Jonathan Larson says their return is not a surprise and was expected.

"This is when the adults emerge. They spend most of the year in the soil as a grub and then they emerge as an adult between June and August," says Larson.

RELATED: Experts warn against using pheromone bag traps to battle beetles

After last summer's invasion, Jesse Henderson wasn't sure her linden tree would be able to recover.

"I didn't know if this tree was gonna come back this year, it was that bad last year. all of the leaves were just like, the skeletal remains of the leaves, so we were really worried about this year, but it came back okay, but the bugs are right back," adds Henderson.

And since the beetles are back, it is too late to use preventative measures. instead, it is time to start treating your leaves.

"When they're all coming out you have to just treat the leaves with an insecticide. you can try bifenthrin, or carbaryl, or you can use organic products like neem or piola to try to keep them off of the leaves," explains Larson.

However, not every method to get rid of the beetles works.

"I just bought something at one of the big box stores that you hook onto the end of your hose, and you spray the tree. I did that last year, and we're not going to do that again because I sprayed, and they all came at me," Henderson said.

Larson also warns against one specific type of removal method.

"The only thing we really advertise against is the bag trap because it can attract more beetles than it can capture. You can see that all these beetles come to your property and instead of getting in the bag, they're just flying around eating your plants. So sometimes it causes more problems than it solves," says Larson.

Although these Japanese beetles do cause problems, there is one good thing about them: They don't bite.