Friday, July 9, 2010

Asiatic Garden Beetles

Here are some of the Asiatic Garden Beetles I found buried in the soil and roots when I dug up my half-eaten basil. They're about the same size as the Japanese Beetle. Everyone at Shelton's Community Garden seemed to be losing their basil to some mysterious insect, but the bug was nowhere to be seen. Until recently at dusk, that is, when I discovered the brown beetles emerging onto my basil. That's because the Asian Garden Beetle is nocturnal. They are attracted to light, so you may have cleaned these out of your light fixtures in the house or heard them whacking into your screens at night.

The beetles not only eat the leaves and flowers in gardens, but lay eggs in the soil which hatch into larvae that eat the roots of your favorite plants.

As always, we know much more about how this invasive species effects lawns and garden than our natural areas. Are there any native plant species in the forest this beetle is favoring?