Neem Oil for Japanese Beetles

Will neem effectively deter or eradicate Japanese Beetles? I sprayed our young apple and cherry trees as well as my rose bushes. Some of the beetles fell off and became sluggish or appear to have died. Others flew right back up and got back on the plants.

I don't see beetles listed as one of the pests managed by neem, but thought I'd check with the experts! :-)

Comments for Neem Oil for Japanese Beetles

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Japanese Beetle control with neem
by: Birgit

Once Japanese Beetles are swarming, nothing will effectively eradicate them. (The best time to control them is the grub stage. But since the adult beetles can easily fly 5 km, that's also rarely a viable option for home gardeners. Still, you may want to research milky spore disease for future years.)

The best you can do now is minimize the damage. And luckily neem oil is effective here. It does deter feeding and it does reduce the population numbers over time, as explained here:
How does neem insecticide work?

The key is patience. If you thoroughly spray your trees once a week you should get on top of the problem. Unfortunatley you are already a bit late.

Ideally, if you know which trees the beetles love best, try to start a spray program at least a couple of weeks before you expect the beetles to arrive.

It is not necessary to cover each and every plant in neem oil, just the plants the Japanese Beetles like.

Japanese beetles
by: Pat

I have just started to use neem oil for control of an invasion of Japanese beetles on my roses. It is a commercial product designed for roses. It may be early, but I have not seen it do the job. I understand that it may take some time but it does not detour them from devouring the leaves in the meantime. I am disappointed.

by: tedw

When the bugs, especially beetles are hungry Neem Oil won't stop them.
It does do a great job controlling black spot and assorted molds and fungi.

Japanese Beetle Bag traps and neem oil
by: Anonymous

There are some Japanese Beetle trap bags that work well. I use Neem oil and also hang and Japanese Beetle trap in my grape arbor. It is more of a double whammy. The traps can be found at most gardening stores. I got mine at Tractor Supply. The bag do not have poison in them they have pheromones the beetles are attracted too. So you don't have to worry about that.

Japanese Beetle Traps
by: Anonymous

This is a double edged sword. Yes, the traps definitely attract the beetles and kill them. Trouble is they attract them from some distance and you end up with yours, your neighbors and the property 1/2 - a mile away. I say NO to traps.

Japanese Beetle Traps
by: Phil

I have to agree- Japanese Beetle Traps are the worst idea. We had a small infestation and installed them. Within days we literally had invited the Japanese Beetles neighbors over. It was out of control. This fall we laid down some milky spore. We hope that will help...

Beetle traps
by: Rita

Please do not use Japanese beetle traps. They will attract thousands, and yes I do mean thousands, more beetles to the area. My neighbor unknowingly hung up two traps in her yard, we went from some Beetles to thousands in the neighborhood in a few days. It has taken us 3 years to get the population down with grub killer on the yard and treating our trees. Even the University Ag sites say no to traps, especially in neighborhoods. They should be banned!!!

by: Roz Levine

I have one pound of neem powder, rather than the neem oil. Can I dust the powder on the veggie garden plants to rid the Japanese beetles?

traps are great
by: Alabama

Although you attract a lot of beetles the first year, year after year they get fewer and fewer. I first had to use small kitchen bags on traps since there were so many beetles but five years later I barely fill up one bag per trap in the season. The benefit of the trap is put them along the perimeter of your orchard or garden about 50 ft from the plants you're protecting. I use commercial traps as well as milk jugs with tops cut wider but handles intact with 3 cups water, packet of yeast and bananna smush with skin thrown in each jug. Beetles will drown in it. Make sure to dispose in trash. If you pour on ground the grubs will hatch from dead beetles. I dust my grapes with plain baby powder, they hate the stuff and everything else with neem since I don't use chemicals. Neem is a great choice but you have to put it out right at first sign of beetles. We start spraying in May and the side benefit is it keeps black spot under control on roses so it's a win win. With neem oil the traps are more attractive than the smell of neem covered plants. I have five acre orchard and personally I don't care if it draws everyone's beetles to my place. The more I get in the traps the fewer there are in the area. Kill em all! lol

Neem worked on Japanese beetles for me
by: Paul Smith

I use Garden Safe neem oil concentrate at twice recommended mixing rates (double strength) then sprayed directly on roses, cannas, royal frost birch tree, norwegian pine, wherever I detected them. They were all beetle free in less than 10 minutes. Two days later beetles returned. I resprayed them plus the plants and a few feet of soil surrounding the plant. Haven't seen any since.

Neem oil & house plants
by: Anonymous

This is the first year, in 30 years, having Japanese Beetles attack my roses. Since I have many house plants and start many of my veggies and flowers, in the house, in Feb., I get nats. I have successfully used neem oil for that. Today, I will spray my roses with it and pray.

My Birch Tree is Being Ravaged!
by: Renee

I've had a few issues with Japanese beetles over the years. Though, this year they are out of control! I'm afraid that if I don't get a handle on this I am going to lose my tree!
I am trying the neem oil but obviously can't reach all of my 20 ft birch tree!

Lilly Beetles
by: Anonymous

Will Neem Oil kill the Lilly Beetle?

Japanese beetle bags work
by: Robbie

The beetle bags do work... Everyone said don't put them in your yard. Well, I have the tastiest yard in the neighborhood and without traps I had literally thousands and thousands, all over my lindon (this 50 foot tree now has all lacy leaves!), my roses (120), my rose of sharon, etc. etc.

After a month of suffering their constant destruction, I put up 7 traps and change bags weekly, killing 1000 or more per week. That is thousands fewer laying eggs in the surrounding lawns. I can't do milky spore as I have almost no lawn but am surrounded by 1/3 acre-lawns of neighbors. The neighbors won't go to the trouble of milky spore in lawns because they don't have the problem, only 2-4 roses each!

So I am happy to trap and kill instead of feeding and releasing!

I am now also spraying BeetleJUS on my plants, but the instructions are poor. Do we use 4 tbs per gallon or 36 tbs per gallon? Big difference, since a bag costs $22-$25 each. I don't really know how effective this will be, as no one sees them die, and I don't know if I am spraying with enough, as I used 4 tbs per gallon as the website suggested. Later I read it could be 12-36 TBS per gallon. Yikes, expensive for MY yard.

Not very good
by: Bake

Neem oil has not deterred the beetles on our roses. They sometimes fall off and come back the next day. I have seen no significant success with neem oil. It must be I have waited too late.

Japanese beetles fall off in defense
by: Lala

Hi, it may have seemed like there was instant success when they fell off the plant as soon as they were sprayed, but that's their usual defensive move. They'll do it even you spray them with plain water!

Baby Powder
by: Bobi

I am gonna try milky spore in August as recommended. August is a log way away. So in the meantime I've dusted my 2 rose bushes and my tomato plant with baby powder. I just spritz the leaves and apply the powder. It sticks and I haven't seen a beetle for 2 days now. They are on my daisies so I'll get the biggest bottle I can find tomorrow.

Need + traps works NEW
by: Ken

Patience is required. Sorry but Cherry Trees are Japanese Beelte magnets and so are pole beans, the hair on your sweet corn and others. Once they swarm the Cherry Tree, they just shift to the other plants. I am sure it has to do with protein value. Going into my third year with traps. Put out a couple to warn you of emergence. I tried spraying without traps. Doesn't work and I lost a sweet cherry tree after being devoured three years in a row. Put out as many traps as you can hang. Need will kill on contact. Needm kills by immpbilizing an insect that eats it. It disrupts its ability to breed (control) and in many cases they stop feeding and die. Need keeps them from breeding and so do the traps. First year emptied 30full bags. Second year down to 10 and not all fulfill. This year I expect about full five bags over 3 months.

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