Japanese Beetles stripping trees in Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois MAP INFO

OMAHA, Nebraska - Japanese beetles are eating their way across back yards this summer in Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and throughout much of the Midwest and Eastern United States.

"You often have several years where there are very, very large numbers." Says Dr. Ted Burk, Creighton University Entomologist. "Then they go back into the background."

The bugs are about a half-inch long with metallic green heads and copper colored wings. See photo below.

Burk says Japanese Beetles move from neighborhood to neighborhood, and eat more than 300 varieties of trees and shrubs.

"Trouble with the Japanese Beetle is they're very good flyers. So even if they didn't grow up in a place, it doesn't mean they won't come there later." Burk says.

He tells WOWT-TV 6 that he recommends knocking Japanese Beetles into a bucket of soapy water. He says using traps often sold in stores will just attract more bugs.

Information from the United States Department of Agriculture:

The Japanese beetle is a highly destructive plant pest that can be very difficult and expensive to control. Feeding on grass roots, Japanese beetle grubs damage lawns, golf courses, and pastures. Japanese beetle adults attack the foliage, flowers, or fruits of more than 300 different ornamental and agricultural plants.

Japanese beetles were first found in the United States in 1916 near Riverton, New Jersey. Since then Japanese beetles have spread throughout most states east of the Mississippi River. However, partial infestations also occur west of the Mississippi River in states such as Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

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