The other day another Tulsa exterminator came across my path. I had a customer that was told by this pest control company that she had Japanese beetles. Upon further inspection it was pretty obvious that that was the furthest from the truth. I properly identified the problem, applied the correct procedures and we were able to take care of her issue quickly. But where did this exterminator go wrong? At the end of the day, even the experts from your favorite Tulsa exterminator can make mistakes. So what are Japanese beetles? In this article let’s take a look at Japanese beetles, their lifecycle and what we can do to keep them from our property.


Japanese beetles are invasive species from, you guessed it, Japan. They might look a lot like a June bug but with much more interesting colorings. They’re about 3/4 of an inch long. The head and front of the thorax are a bright metallic green. Their wings are somewhat orange with white spots all along the backside of them. They are considered in an invasive species and are found in China, Russia, Portugal, Canada and the United States. They’ve spread to many states east of the Mississippi as well as parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas and here in Oklahoma.  

Japanese beetles love the climate here and have a wide variety of host plants. Because they’re not originally from the United States, there are very few natural enemies. Because of this, they spread like wildfire. Turf grass makes a perfect breeding ground for their young. Without enough predators, these Japanese beetles can do great amounts of damage.  Adult beetles will feed on the foliage of plants. You can tell where they have fed because they like to eat between the veins of the leaves. This leaves a lace like appearance anywhere they have fed. In their grub form, they consume the roots of turf grass. Once they’ve done large amounts of damage to someone’s yard, the turf grass can be rolled up like a carpet because the roots have completely removed. A good Tulsa exterminator can stop this


The Japanese beetle will finish its life cycle in one year. Sometimes climate changes can extend that to two years, but in most warmer climates, one year is normal. Adults emerge in mid-May. The males usually will usually emerge first, but in a few days the females will follow.  The females will emit a powerful pheromone that attracts the male. Often this will result in a cluster known as beetle balls where males have mobbed a single female. This seldom results in successful mating. 

Normally, the Japanese beetle will pair up to mate one by one. Then the female will look for a place to lay her eggs. She looks for somewhere without an abundance of good turf grass near larger leafy plants. This gives the grubs food to eat in the form of turf grass roots, and once they emerge as adults they can eat on the leafy plants. Protect your yard by calling a reputable Tulsa exterminator.  


Females will burrows into the soil between two and four inches to deposit anywhere from one to three eggs. The female will emerge the next day or sometime after a few days and continue to feed. At this point she will mate again and then reenter the soil to lay more eggs. In most cases, these females can mate and lay eggs more than 16 times during its adult life. This can result in as many as 40 to 60 eggs.  

These eggs will hatch in a grub like lava that will go through a grand total of four molts before they get to adulthood. In many cases, they finish the third molt around the fall. At this time they’ll burrow deeper into the soil and wait for the winter to pass. Usually, at about 50°F, they will cease activity. Once the warm spring weather comes back, they will pupate and then emerge from the soil as adults ready to mate. Call your Tulsa exterminator to stop the process.  


Being an invasive species, these Japanese beetles biggest factor in population control are us as humans. The best way to control these insects is usually through some sort of pesticidal manner. The greatest damage that we see in Oklahoma is to turf grasses. In order to eliminate these grubs, there are many different pesticides that can be applied different times of the year. This usually starts somewhere in May and will continue all the way through the month of August. This is the highest level of feeding activity that these Japanese beetles will take part in. 

Depending on when you call your Tulsa exterminator, they will apply one of three different kinds of treatments. The first kind of treatment is a preventative treatment. This is usually done in the month of June or early July. Usually people will do this if they are concerned about grubs or had problems with them the previous year. This is the best way to eliminate these insects before they do any damage. The wait and see approach waits for some of the grass to die and then in late July to mid September a curative treatment can be applied. But once late September comes, these grubs are full size and usually about an inch long. At this point turf has become dry and can be pulled easily from the soil. A rescue treatment can be applied at this point.

If you’re having a problem with Japanese beetles or any other pests, then it’s time to call in your Tulsa exterminator. Here at TermMax Pest Control, we are the best in the business when it comes to dealing with Japanese beetles or any other pests. We service the greater Tulsa area including Owosso, Jenks, Turley, Prattville, Sand Springs, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Coweta, Claremore and much more. Call today for a free estimate. We’re here to help!

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