Nets could help control Japanese beetles


Nets could help control Japanese beetles

A University of Missouri entomologist expects Japanese beetles to be a key pest in Missouri next growing season.

 Kevin Rice tells Brownfield the beetles are hardy in Missouri because the state’s climate is similar to its natural habitat in Asia.

“They can borrow up to 12 inches underground so, they’re immune to cold winters, that’s not going to affect them,” he said. “Flooding does not affect them either because, again, they can move down 12 inches. It’s the drought that really affects them.”

Rice says other than drought, attract and kill systems can effectively manage the pest. Rice says he used nets ‘impregnated’ with pyrethroid, a potent insecticide, with a pheromonal lure. But he says there is a downside.

“Nets reduce [soybean] seed damage,” Rice said. “The insecticide applications, they’re really great at killing Japanese beetles but they also kill these wasps that attack stink bugs.”

He says without the wasps to control stinkbugs, soybeans will be more susceptible to damage late in the growing season. Rice says current spray systems do control Japanese beetles but are usually not cost effective.  

Rice spoke on the virtual 2020 MU Crop Management Conference.