Japanese Beetles Damaging Yards in Iowa

Tree Damage

DES MOINES, Iowa -- "We were out of town this last weekend and we had a neighbor text us that one of our bushes, one of our vines was being devoured by this little beetle," said Waukee City Council-Member Shelly Hughes.

Hughes says Japanese beetles have made their presence known in her neighborhood.

"We have a neighborhood Facebook page in Glynn Village and about two weeks ago, we had someone comment that they had them already and just a warning to the neighbors to be on the lookout, so we knew they were on their way."

And they've arrived with a vengeance.

"It`s attacked...a porcelain vine that I have, our Linden tree, and our Flowering Crab tree, and they attacked the Linden and the Crabapple tree last year as well, and they almost killed the Linden and it`s not in good shape this year from them."

At Waukee Hardware, beetle killing products have been flying off of the shelves.

"Our truck comes in on Thursday and it`s sold by the weekend," said employee Jamison Cahail. "Traps are a popular option and those go the fastest."

But traps may not be the way to go, if you ask Plant Health Care Manager Dan Lewiston of Family Tree Care.

"I entered a yard today that had a trap hanging on a chain link fence in the back yard and the bugs were just b-lining to it so the traps are bait, so they`re gonna bring them to your yard," said Lewiston.

Lewiston says the beetles have kept him busy with work.

"The last couple of weeks, we've been getting just an abnormal amount of phone calls for trees being eaten by an insect and almost every time, it's the Japanese beetle. It seems to be worse this year than last year."

For more info on the Japanese beetle, click here.