The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is expanding its Japanese beetle trap network.
Three Japanese beetles were recently found in North Dakota and entomologists alarmed.
Japanese beetles are highly destructive, says Janet Knodel, NDSU Extension entomologist. They are mostly a pest of turf grass and ornamental plants. But feed on a wide variety of plants, including corn and soybeans. Preferred host plants include roses, apple, birch, black cherry, cherry, flowering crabapple, plum, grapes, hollyhock, blackberry, raspberry, linden, elm and buckeye.
Adult beetles defoliate the leaves by feeding between the veins giving the plants a skeletonized appearance. Delicate leaves and petals of roses can be completely consumed.
The beetle-damaged leaves act as an aggregation factor and draw in hundreds of beetles. Larvae (grubs) feed primarily on roots of grasses and can be a pest in pastures, lawns, golf courses and cemeteries. Root feeding reduces the ability of the plant to take up water and to tolerate other stresses, such as drought.
A single beetle was detected in Grand Forks and several beetles were found in North Dakota Department of Agriculture pheromone trap in West Fargo. They had been detected once in 2001, but not since then. T "We do not believe that Japanese beetle has become established as a permanent resident in North Dakota yet," Knodel says.
But they are established in South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana and most states east of the Mississippi River.
If you find any Japanese beetles or grubs, collect them and notify your local extension office, Kndoel advises.
For an in-depth primer on Japanese beetle, including suggested control measures click here.