Japanese Beetle - Homeowner IPM Control Japanese Beetle - Homeowner IPM Control

No quick fixes can rid homeowners of the Japanese beetle once it becomes established. However, scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service have developed an integrated pest management (IPM) program for homeowners based on field experiences. The program combines biological, cultural, and chemical strategies. It will be effective if homeowners are willing to monitor both adult and larval beetle populations closely and implement this program with neighbors and their local agricultural or horticultural organizations.

What Is IPM?

The IPM concept comes from the realization that any disruption of a pest population will affect not only targeted pests but beneficial organisms in the ecosystem as well. Decisionmakers who choose IPM are attempting to manage pests, not to eradicate them, while at the same time exerting minimal impact on the environment.

IPM uses biological, cultural, mechanical, and chemical controls to keep pest populations below levels that cause economic damage. And, because tolerance to the presence of insect pests varies among individuals, the choice of methods will reflect the management objectives and control philosophy of the user. Components of an IPM program for any pest include survey, problem delineation and selection of control methods, application of controls, and evaluation of their success.

Why Follow an IPM Program?

Homeowners should consider the following reasons for implementing an IPM program:

  • Automatically and routinely applying pesticides can be counterproductive, economically wasteful, and environmentally unsound.
  • The Japanese beetle is here to stay. Therefore, we must learn to "live with" or manage this insect pest while attempting to minimize its impacts.
  • It is not necessary to eliminate the beetle in order to protect your trees, plants, and lawn.
  • It is hard to predict when and where Japanese beetle populations will increase, and there is no guaranteed control formula to follow. Consequently, intermittent monitoring and appropriate planning are necessary for adequate management.

Courtesy of the USDA.

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