Japanese beetles on rise in Mid-Missouri

James Quinn, the regional horticultural specialist for the University of Missouri Extension, checks a Japanese beetle trap located at the Cole County facility on Tanner Bridge Road.

James Quinn, the regional horticultural specialist for the University of Missouri Extension, checks a Japanese beetle trap located at the Cole County facility on Tanner Bridge Road. Photo by Julie Smith.

Japanese beetles are “our bugs we all love to hate,” according to James Quinn of the University of Missouri Extension’s Central Missouri Master Gardeners program.

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Whether rose gardeners or corn growers, central Missourians aren’t short of reasons to rally against these invasive insects.

First detected in the United States in 1916, the metallic-green, white-tufted beetles cause problems for gardeners by feeding on the leaves, flower buds and fruit of many common plants, according to an article from the Ohio State University Extension.

With their establishment in most of Missouri, including Cole and its surrounding counties as reported by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, it appears the beetles’ numbers in Missouri are growing.

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