Japanese Beetle (Popillia japonica)
The USA, Canada, Mexico and other countries have a really bad problem with the Japanese beetle. Around the early 1900’s, a ship that was coming from Japan and going to New Jersey had the beetles in a package. The beetles established home then spread out of the state. Now, as for why they are pests, they are like rabbits of the insect world. They are always mating and constantly eating litteraly everything they see that is a plant. For decades now, Maine has had a plague of the beetles. This affects many farmers not using pesticides. This is a problem because if farmers dont want to use chemicals on their plants, they have to deal with insects ruining their crops.
That is a reason why growing food without chemicals is hard. ( I guess they could try to use diatomaceous earth, an insect killer, but that comes with the risk of killing bees.) As for the larvae, before the first snow/frost the adults mate and lay their eggs underground. The eggs hatch and the grubworms grow overwinter. In the spring, the larvae sense the temperature growing as the snow melts. They pupate (turn into a cocoon) until around May, then hatch and dig themselves out from the ground. This is called Complete Metamorphosis, but I will explain about that later in another article.
Like all beetles, they have hard wing covers called Elytra. Habits of the Japanese beetles consist of :
- You will usually find around 3-10 bettles all
huggingeachother. Some call this a nest.
- Where you find their nests, you will find lots of poo. Moist poo. Once I put my hand near a nest of them, my hand got covered in beetle poo.
- If you put one in your hand and close your hand up, the beetle will try to dig himself out.
This might feel like it is biting you, but it is just its spiny legs scraping your hand.
If you live in the USA, Canada or mexico, you should know about these pests if you are to plant a garden or planing to do so in the future. Also, please do not take my word for using diatomaceous earth. You might kill bees. If you kill bees, I will kill you beacause bees are cool and without them, we wouldn’t be here. Think about it.
Maps for Bugs! As of September 9th, 2018, readers will begin to see a new feture in articles for insects. This new feture is a map of the USA with its state borders and abbreviation for state (Note: ME = Maine ).
What it will be used for is to show what states of the USA the insect lives in.
The first article to include this feature is the Japanese beetle.