I assume the article in the State Journal Register is referring to the bug that is commonly referred to as the Asian beetle. Because to me it seems rather obvious that Phil Nixon University of Illinois extension entomologist in Champaign hasn’t stepped foot into Chatham, IL. Maybe the SJR reporter Chris Young should head out to Chatham to see the true story. Maybe there are other parts of Illinois seeing less of this creature. But I can tell you our back yard is currently at war with the Asian beetle. Our home isn’t the only one in our neighborhood under attack at this time. I’m aware of two other households in our neighborhood that are fighting a Japanese beetle attack. Originally our landlord went the spray route. This only worked to a point. It also ends up putting dangerous chemicals into the area. We have many children and some animals that roam freely in the neighborhood. So reducing the amount of chemicals used would be a good idea. At this point we are using the Japanese beetle traps. Yes our landlord stated exactly what the article states. That this method is prone to attract more of the offending species. However I can say that this method seems to be very effective. Some might argue that this is less humane than pesticide. Do to the fact that the Japanese beetles aren’t killed on contact. They will struggle to get out of the trap.
However I think this method is more environmentally friendly. Do to the fact that your not releasing pesticides into the environment. From what I was told second hand. When called one local “expert” stated that you had to burn the affected areas to get rid of the Japanese beetles. Not sure how we could do that since the infestation is basically all of the tree along with several other plants in the yard. The State Journal Register article does offer some tips I hadn’t heard of previously. So I’ll definitely pass those along to our landlord. We are also seeing the horrible results of bag worms on our pine trees. Although an aggressive campaign of spraying has been undertaken. The three pine trees may not in fact fully survive. At this point it is hit and miss as to if they will be with us next year at this time.
So the overall conclusion of Phil Nixon may be that there are in fact less Japanese beetles in Illinois this year. But I can say from the point of view of myself and my neighbors. We aren’t seeing this to be the case. The number of eaten leaves on the ground in my backyard sure makes it seem as if the Japanese beetle is alive and well in Illinois. Maybe even thriving. One last thought. When emptying the bag of dead beetles the odor isn’t as bad as I was warned. Then again I was wearing a mask and gloves at the time. Just keep in mind that a nasty odor is involved when disposing of or emptying the collection bag.