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New Beetle Invades Indiana

Master gardener Lynn Layden of West Lafayette spent part of this summer battling Japanese beetles, which damaged her roses and green beans. She was less-than-thrilled to hear she may soon face a new adversary.

A Purdue University graduate student found an Oriental beetle in Tippecanoe County, Ind. this summer. The insects, which are similar to Japanese beetles, kill lawns as larvae and eat flower petals as adults.

Doug Richmond, assistant professor of turfgrass entomology and applied ecology at Purdue, expects Oriental beetles to arrive in larger numbers over the next five to 10 years.

Oriental beetles are found mostly in the northeast, according to Richmond. They don't travel far on their own, but they are often transported in sod and other nursery offerings.

Their larvae eat organic material near the surface of the soil, pruning grass roots in the process, Richmond said. They are most active July through September or October.

Adults are typically active in June and July, according to Richmond. They gnaw on the petals of daisies, phlox, petunias and similar flowers.

"It just makes (flowers) look bad," Richmond said. "It doesn't kill the plant."


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October 23, 2019, 10:20 pm PDT

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