Japanese beetles return to Chicago area, wreaking havoc on trees and shrubs

It's that time of year again. Japanese beetles are eating up trees and shrubs in northern Illinois, and they're causing damage on a lot of levels.

As grubs, the beetles feed on the roots of grasses, vegetables, and ornamental plants.

This month, they've emerged as adults, and they're feeding above ground.


An expert told FOX 32 News the best way to protect trees from the beetles.

"We have to spray the beetles. We spray the foliage of the plants so that it doesn't taste good to the beetles, and we also kill them as we're treating them. And then they can't do so much damage to our plants," said Shawn Kingzette, of Davey Tree Expert Company.

Another tip, don't use the Japanese beetle traps they sell at the hardware store, because while their scent attracts the beetles, many don't make it all the way into the traps. So you could end up with more.