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Podcast: How much do we know about Japanese beetles?

Japanese beetles feeding on a grapevine leaf
near Red Wing, MN. Photo: Annie Klodd
Many gardeners reading this article have either seen or dealt with Japanese beetles this season. Their population levels were high, and they could frequently be spotted enjoying the foliage of entire trees before moving on to the next palatable plant nearby.

As I have traveled the state to talk to gardeners and farmers, Japanese beetles were one of the most common questions I received. Many gardeners had stories and innovative ideas they have tried to control this invasive insect.

In response to this, I sat down with Jeff Hahn and Dominique Ebbenga in the University of Minnesota entomology department to get the scoop on what we currently know about Japanese beetles. In this recorded interview, Jeff and Dominique laid out what researchers have found, and where future efforts are going.

Some of the questions we discussed were:
Can you plant any flowers to ward off JB?
When might growers use nematodes to control JB grubs? Is it worth it?
Why do we advise against using traps for JB control?

Listen to our interview here, on the fruit and vegetable podcast called, "What's Killing My Kale?" Click on "Episode 12" and listen to the audio file.

Author: Annie Klodd, Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Production

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