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Houston Home Inspector Provides Information About The Japanese Beetle

The Japanese Beetle, Popillia japonica is 3/8-1/2" (8-12 mm) long. They have an oval, sturdy body that is bright metallic green, with elytra mostly brownish or reddish orange. On the underside of their body there is grayish hair and 5 patches of white hair along each side of abdomen with 2 white tufts at tip. The male has pointed tibial spurs and the female's are rounded.

  • Food Adult damages leaf tissues and ripening fruit of more than 200 plants, including vines, flowers, shrubs, and trees. Larva feeds on roots, especially those of grasses, vegetables, and nursery plants.
  • Life Cycle Elongate, yellowish-white eggs are deposited on soil, 1-4 at a time. Fully grown larvae overwinter in soil and pupate in the spring. 1 generation of adults emerges in summer when blackberries ripen. In the North, cycle takes 2 years.
  • Habitat Open woods and meadows.
  • Range Maine to South Carolina.
  • The Japanese Beetle was introduced accidentally in 1916 on iris roots imported from Japan and has been a major pest for years. Its numbers have been reduced by the controlled use of parasitic tachnid flies and tiphiid wasps that prey on beetle larvae.