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This bug may change your life!

Japanese beetle entered North Dakota in 2012. Learn how to identify and manage this pest.
This bug may change your life!

Japanese beetle skeletonizing a leaf

The Japanese beetle crossed the ND border last summer accidentally in a truckload of nursery plants. The pest was later discovered in Burleigh, Cass, Dickey, Grand Forks, Griggs, Stark and Ward counties.

This is a problem! The Japanese beetle is one of the most destructive pests in America. The beetles feed on over 300 different plants, with a special preference toward rose, apple, crabapple, plum, grape, linden and elm. Its larvae viciously gnaw on turf roots, causing lawns to shrivel up and die.

This was not the first time the beetle invaded our state.  It was found in Bismarck in 2001—fortunately it died over winter.

Will this latest outbreak of beetles survive the winter of 2012–2013?

The larvae are sleeping in the soil right now. If they survive, we will discover the beetles devouring our gardens this spring.

The beetle is easy to identify. It has a bright green head with metallic copper wings. Two tufts of white hair are on its bottom and five tufts of white hair appear along either side. The beetle is big, about 3/8-inch long.

The pest is wanted dead or alive. If you see it, contact the Samantha Brunner of the ND Department of Agriculture or your local Extension Service. For more information, go to NDSU publication Integrated Pest Management of Japanese Beetle in North Dakota.

Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University Extension Service

Photo courtesy of Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service,

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