Japanese beetles are an insect pest which causes a lot of damage to more than 300 varieties of plants. They generally are metallic green in colour and are about half an inch in length. They also have wing covers which are copper-brownish in colour. A fully grown Japanese beetle has an adult life of about 30-45 days. Japanese beetles generally consume the leaves, flowers and even over-ripe or wounded fruits of plants. They attack and eat the upper foliage of a leaf, completely ripping out the tissue and giving the leaf a skeleton like appearance. They also eat and annihilate the veins of the leaves.
Another way in which Japanese beetles infest and attack plants is during their egg laying periods. Eggs are laid in a burrow created by the females. These burrows usually are around 2-3 inches in the ground. A female Japanese beetle can lay between 40-60 eggs during its lifetime. These eggs live for 10 months on the soil as white grubs. These grubs feed on the roots of turf grasses and the seedlings of fruits and vegetables, thereby spoiling the growth of the plants. The grubs chew on the roots of their food, subsequently depriving the plant of its nutrient supply. The turf soil is also damaged because cracks appear on it and if undetected, the soil would be spoilt beyond repair. Japanese beetles also spread their breed rapidly increasing the potency of their attacks.
Chemical pesticides can help in the control of Japanese beetles; however neem oil is a better and organic way to do so. The Azadirachtin, found in neem oil is known to cause hormonal changes in the Japanese beetle, causing it to forget to breed or even eat. This result in a slow and steady wiping out of the Japanese beetle, provided neem oil is applied on the leaves, on turf grass and on the seeds of plants. Neem oil can also be applied on the roots which would consequently stall the proliferation of the white grubs in case the Japanese beetles have started breeding.
The Japanese beetle is one pest which has caused the maximum damage to horticulturists, golf clubs, farmers and gardeners and neem oil is a good solution to tackle it.
Author: Janani - Neem oil related articles
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