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Asiatic Garden Beetle, is a small, velvety, cinnamon-brown, beetle. The adult beetle is 5/16 to 7/16 of an inch long slightly smaller than a Japanese beetle adult. A fully developed grub third instar measures about 3/4 inch long.
Asiatic Garden Beetle
The adult is chestnut brown or reddish brown in color and faintly iridescent. The grub immature stage is off white except for a distinct head capsule and three pairs of true legs that vary from in color from orange to dark brown.
Larvae occasionally attack turf but seem to prefer a variety of roots from weeds, flowers and vegetables. The adults feed on over 100 species of plants, preferring flowers of asters, dahlias, mums, roses and the leaves of a variety of trees and vegetables.
The Asiatic garden beetle is known to feed on more than 100 plant species, with some of the more important hosts including fruits, vegetables, flowering plants, weeds, and grasses.
Life Cycle :Adult beetles may be active from late June to the end of October, but most of the adults are found from mid-July to mid-August. The adults emerge at night and fly actively when temperatures are above 70 F. When the temperature drops below 70 F, adults tend to walk up the plants or grasses to feed rather than fly. The adults are strongly attracted to lights. During the day, beetles hide in the soil around favored food plants. After feeding several nights the females begin laying eggs in small clusters. The females tend to search out turf and pastures for egg laying and generally deposit an average of 60 eggs one to two inches deep in the soil. Eggs are laid over several weeks and normally hatch in 10 days during summer temperatures.
Young larvae dig to the soil surface where they feed on roots and decomposing organic material. Most first instar larvae are found in August and early September. Second instars are found in September and many do not reach third instar until the following spring. About half the population overwinter as second instars and the remainder as partially developed third instars. As cool October temperatures arrive, the larvae burrow down 8 to 17 inches to pass the winter.
The larvae return to the soil surface in the spring and all seem to mature by mid-June at which time they pupate 1.5 to 4 inches in the soil in compacted earthen cells. The pupal stage is relatively short, lasting 8 to 15 days. The adult remains in the old pupal skin, changing from white to the mature chestnut brown, for a few days before digging to the surface.
Asiatic Garden Beetles
Damage : The grub injures seeds and newly developing roots of corn seedlings in a manner similar to other annual white grub species. They are typically ore common in loamy to sandy loam soils compared to heavier soil types. On germinating corn seeds and seedlings, the grubs will chew off the fine rootlets, interfering with the uptake of water and nutrients, especially phosphorus. Severe injury results in unthrifty or dead seedlings, which in turn, results in a poor crop stand.
Feeding injury by adults on leaves and other aboveground parts of corn is not considered of economic importance. However, adult feeding can cause serious injury on certain turfgrass species and other host plants. Typical injury to turfgrass by Asiatic garden beetle adults results in irregular holes toward the margin of leaves, and severe injury leading to complete defoliation with the exception of the midrib.
Control: Asiatic Garden Beetle are night feeders who hide in the soil around plants during the day. Gardeners who notice damage to vegetable, fruit or ornamental foliage, particularly around the leaf margins, without seeing the destructive pest itself can monitor for presence of AGB by visiting the garden at night and shining a bright light down onto the soil. Adult beetles will be attracted by the light.
Spun-bonded fabric row covers may protect herb and vegetable planting beds against the predations of adult Asiatic Garden Beetle,unless larvae have overwintered in weedy garden soil. Prevent overwintering by cleaning up the fall garden, tilling under or composting all weeds and plant debris.
Scattered at different soil depths and feeding on the roots of almost all plants, Asiatic Garden Beetle larvae are not as destructive to turf and lawns as Japanese beetle grubs; rarely are controls needed for Asiatic Garden Beetle grubs on New Hampshire lawns. Chemical control Carbaryl, malathion, rotenone or pyrethrins will help control adult Asiatic Garden Beetle feeding on plant foliage, but during seasons when beetle populations are abundant even several applications may not result in total control. Merit, applied in early spring in areas infested with AGB the previous summer, will control larvae. Apply any pesticide according to label directions.
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