If you’ve heard anything about Japanese beetles, you might know that they can be extremely destructive pests. But are Japanese beetles dangerous? Here are a few facts to consider.
Finding Japanese beetles
Japanese beetles destroy plants, flowers and grass as a result of their eating habits. When feeding, adult beetles will chew the tissue of leaves, leaving behind skeleton-looking leaves that have only the veins intact. This damage can cause the plants to die.
Grubs, or immature Japanese beetles, can also cause damage. They live beneath the soil and feed on the roots of grass and other plants. This causes patches of grass to die. If left unchecked, entire fields of grass can be destroyed.
Because of their eating habits, Japanese beetles are common in areas where grass is watered often or where there is an irrigation system in place. This includes home lawns and golf courses.
Identifying Japanese beetles
The Japanese beetle is between one-third and one-half of an inch in length and about one-fourth of an inch wide. It has a metallic green body with darker, metallic green legs and copper-colored wings. Females are typically larger than males. Grubs are white with gray ends and measure about 1 inch in length.
Japanese beetles emerge in June and July and enter their most active period for the next four or five weeks. During this period they feed, mate and lay eggs. In the daytime, beetles release a specific pheromone that attracts other beetles. The scent of dying leaves that have been chewed through can also be an attractant. Beetles flying in to join other beetles in the area may occasionally land on humans. When many beetles are in the area, you may begin to wonder, “Can Japanese beetles bite?”
Japanese beetle bites
These beetles are considered harmless to humans. While they may gnaw away at plants and flowers, you will not come across a Japanese beetle bite on your skin. There is no evidence to suggest that these beetles bite. They do, however, have rough spines on their legs that might feel prickly against your skin.
Do Japanese beetles bite pets? Fortunately, your pets are as safe as you are. It’s your garden you should be concerned about.
Japanese beetle management
Healthy grass and plants are less susceptible to beetle damage than grass or plants that are not being taken care of. Weekly care will also help you detect any beetle threats. If you do discover Japanese beetles in or around your home, physical removal can be an effective way to control small populations. Treatments can also be purchased for plants and the surrounding soil to help eliminate both beetles and grubs.
Can Japanese beetles bite?
They are too busy gnawing at your plants and flowers to take a bite out of you. But if you’re looking to take a bite out of pest problems, call Terminix® and let a professional develop a custom plan for you and your home.