Submitted to: Biological Control News Midwest
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: August 15, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The Japanese beetle has been a serious pest of turf, flowers, trees and horticultural and field crops since its introduction into the United States from its native Japan in about 1912. Although the beetle is not much of a problem in Japan, it is now found in most states east of or touching the Mississippi River, and has shown up in several mid-western and western states in the past few years. This paper reports on the wide range of biological suppression agents that are acting naturally in the field, or can be distributed or manipulated by homeowners or turf managers. The value of natural predators, parasite and pathogens is emphasized. The latest information on the availability of pathogens, parasites and attractants is given. This data will allow extension agents throughout the mid-west to provide accurate and up to date information to their clients.
Technical Abstract: The Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica, was first discovered in the United States in 1916 at a nursery near Riverton, NJ. Larvae probably came in before 1912 when nursery stock entering the U.S. started being inspected. A combination of lack of larval habitat, cool temperatures, and an effective parasite keeps beetle populations in check in its native Japan. Now the Japanese beetle is established in most states east of, or touching, the Mississippi River. Many biological agents including predators, parasites, microorganisms and attractants have a suppressing effect on beetle populations. In contrast to past times when a single chemical pesticide could be relied on for control, no one factor can now be expected to "solve" the Japanese beetle problem. Instead, a concentrated effort is needed to integrate various chemical and biological agents to obtain effective, sustainable beetle control.