I am no gardening queen by any means, but I am the daughter of one! She has the most beautiful flowers and puts together arrangements in vases for us here at the studio every week.

If you are also a gardener, you understand the importance of certain bugs and pollinators like bees and butterflies. However, there is one kind of beetle that is the bane of even the greenest of thumbs. Japanese Beetles.

This time of year, they can come in droves and not only are nuisance to you while you work on pulling weeds and watering blooms, but they like to feast on anything and everything that grows in your garden.  Their favorite snack of choice? Roses!

Japanese Beetles are one of largest insect pests in the Eastern and Midwestern United States but they are not native to America, I'm sure you could have guessed that by their name. I have to admit that as annoying as they are, I think their metallic blue, green, and copper colors are so pretty.

According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, "Most entomologists agree that the beetles entered the country as grubs in soil on Japanese iris roots. In 1916, these coppery-winged pests were first spotted in a nursery near Riverton, New Jersey. By 1920, eradication programs were dropped; the beetle proved too prolific and widespread."

Even though Japanese Beetles are here to stay, there are ways to manage them in your yard so that they don't bother your blooms or your family trying to enjoy your lovely outdoor space. HGTV put together a good assortment of ways to control and even prevent an overwhelming swarm in your garden. Here are some of them.

How to Manage Japanese Beetles in Your Garden

1. Pick/Destroy Grubs in Spring and Fall either by using aerating sandals or rakes. You can also pick them out when you find them while weeding or planting. That way they won't even be there to mature and pop up in the summer.

2. You can spray Nematodes which are predators that occur naturally in soil and hunt down grubs for food. They aren't going to set up shop, so they need to be distributed each year, again in fall/spring, but they can be purchased from companies that sell beneficial insects.

3. Damp soil is the perfect environment for grubs to thrive. Avoid watering your lawn in June/July.

4. Make your yard more bird friendly. They will eat the grubs and beetles if you attract them to your yard. Cardinals, robins, catbirds, etc. love a good bird feeder, birdbath, and whatever shelter you can provide them. You know this if they're ever built nests on your porch!

5. "Good beetle bait plants include African marigold, borage, evening primrose and knotweed." So plant those and the beetles will swarm to them and leave the rest of your plants alone.

6. My mom has sworn by a beetle trap in the past, but some gardeners think it actually attracts more beetles to your garden. I think the trick is to put the trap away from your flowers and plants so you're at least driving them away.

7. You can always hand-pick beetles off of yours plants, but this is pretty tedious. Apparently the best time for this is in the evening. You'll get more beetles this way. I guess its when they go out to party.

8. This last suggestion is kind of morbid, in my opinion. Japanese Beetles don't like the smell of other beetles. You can collect them in a dish and let them sit around your garden to ward off their friends. You can also use a blender to liquefy the beetles with water into a spray. Drain the beetle bits out and spray your plants periodically especially after rain.

I personally think it's important to avoid using pesticides with harmful chemicals. They can inadvertently harm pollinators like bees and butterflies. They also can be dangerous for pets and children and you!

I hope these tips help you have the most beautiful and fruitful garden possible this summer. Happy Gardening!

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