How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles on Bushes


Japanese beetles can be found in several different parts of North America but are most prevalent in the northeastern regions. Adult Japanese beetles attack in mid-summer, between June and July. And they will feed ravenously for the 30 to 45 days after they emerge. These pernicious pests feed on the leaves of several different species of bushes and can defoliate a small bush in a matter of days if present in large enough numbers.

Step 1

Set out traps to determine how many Japanese beetles are in your area. Set the traps, if necessary, away from desirable plants to avoid attracting more of the pests.

Step 2

Pick beetles off of your bush by hand, preferably early in the morning when the pests are still sluggish, and drop them into a bucket filled with soapy water.

Step 3

Cover the bush with cheesecloth until the beetles are no longer active.

Step 4

Spray bushes that are heavily infested with a pesticide prescribed for use on Japanese beetles and listed as safe to use on the variety of bush that you have. Spray early in the morning when the beetles are sluggish. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application rates and amounts. Re-spray at the manufacturer-recommended intervals, if necessary.

Tips and Warnings

  • Contact your local county extension office to find out about herbicides cleared to treat Japanese beetles in your area. According to the entomologists at the University of Kentucky, Japanese beetle traps are not an effective means of control. They will lure more beetles to your plants than they trap and kill.

Things You'll Need

  • Japanese beetle traps
  • Bucket
  • Soap
  • Pesticide


  • Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs: Japanese Beetles in Nursery and Turf
  • USDA: Managing the Japanese Beetle
  • University of Kentucky: Japanese Beetles in the Urban Landscape
Keywords: rid Japanese beetle, pesticide Japanese beetle, bush Japanese beetle

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.