ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Japanese beetle has been striking Missouri and Illinois with full force, eating its way through rose bushes and tomato plants and threatening major crops like corn and soybeans.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the beetle has been an urban problem for years. But now, farmers in both Missouri and Illinois say the bugs are moving into corn and soybean fields - crops vital to both states.
The bugs eat the corn silks, preventing pollination and development of the corn kernel. To stop it, farmers in some areas are spending $20 per acre to have their fields sprayed with chemicals from airplanes.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com