How can I stop Japanese Beetles from destroying my blackberry bushes?


Japanese Beetles invade my blackberry bushes. How do I kill the insect so they stop destroying my berry bushes?


Abi Griffith, Horticulture Community Education Assistant

Japanese beetles can be very frustrating to deal with! For detailed information about the insect’s life cycle and control, see UMaine Extension’s Pest Management Fact Sheet on Japanese Beetles.

The best practice to manage them is daily hand picking early in the morning before the beetles are warm enough to fly quickly. If the temperature is cool, just shaking the branch above a bucket of soapy water will be enough to dislodge the beetles and send them to their soapy death!

The pheromone lure/traps generally attract more beetles to your yard, thus perpetuating the life cycle. But, if you do decide to try the traps, be sure to put them at least 50 feet away from the plants you are trying to protect. Empty the trap as soon as it is full. Refer to the fact sheet for foliar spray options and be sure to read the instructions and follow the guidelines of any sprays you may decide to use.

Hopefully you can knock back the population enough and, even if they have done some damage, your bushes can push through!