Japanese beetle emerging in crop fields

An extension entomologist says Japanese beetles are becoming a problem for Midwestern farmers again this year.

Dr. Erin Hodgson is with Iowa State University, “On soybeans they cause a skeletonization,” she said. “They almost create a lacy type of appearance because they are feeding between the veins. They leave lots and lots of small holes on the soybean leaves.”

She tells Brownfield there’s not much farmers can do to mitigate the pests. “In addition to a wide host range, they are just extremely mobile,” Hodgson said. “They are bopping around, within, and between fields constantly. Even if you are spot checking fields over time, the numbers are going to seem like they go up and down, up and down.”

Hodgson says Japanese beetles feed on over 300 species of plants, and can be destructive in landscapes and gardens as well.

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