Japanese beetles

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- They’re the scourge of gardeners across the metro and they usually arrive in mid-June.

If you’ve noticed the absence of Japanese beetles this year, don’t get excited yet.

The iridescent insects arrived in Kansas City 10 years ago and they’ll savage all kinds of natural beauty.

K-State Extension agent Zac Hoppenstedt gestured at a rose and said, “These are pretty much the prime host plant for Japanese Beetle.”

Roses are where you’ll notice the primarily aesthetic destruction most.

However, they’ll also go after fruits, vegetables, and a host of ornamental trees.

“There’s 300 to 400 species that they prey upon,” Hoppenstedt said.

Common wisdom would suggest this year’s severe weather might have socked it to the savage species.

We had a bitter cold winter and a spring filled with floods.

None of that will kill the creepy critters, though, because they lay their eggs underground and the grubs burrow deep down.

Hoppenstedt found his first of the season just yesterday.

So, now is the time to start getting vigilant. Head out to your rose bushes and other plants. Take a look at them and examine the leaves every other day to catch the creatures before they do damage

Among the multiple methods of eradication, the one you might want to avoid are bag traps, because they attract the beetles -- more than normal and more than they’ll catch. And, you hardly want to invite an invasion.

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