There are many insect pests you have to watch out for in the garden. If you have your own garden that you tend in your yard, then you know that you have to protect your precious plants against an army of pests. One major garden pest you need to keep an eye out for is the Asiatic garden beetle (AGB). These massively destructive garden pests are actually native to Japan and China where they are not very important pests. Up in the northeast U.S., particularly in Massachusetts, the Asiatic garden beetle is a common insect pest seen mostly in the Connecticut River Valley and throughout southeastern Massachusetts.

The AGB can spell the end of many of your garden plants, destroying everything but the midrib when feeding is heavy. Between the adult beetles and their larvae, these pests can consume and destroy your entire garden till all you see left are the bare stalks. These are extremely destructive pests to say the least. The adults are small scarab beetles that are chestnut-brown in color, with velvety and sometimes almost iridescent shells. Adult beetles are nocturnal, so you are unlikely to catch them in the act of destroying your plants. During the day they hide underground, emerging at dusk in search of host plants to lay their eggs and feed on themselves. The female adults will burrow into the soil around host plants to lay their eggs, which will then hatch in around two weeks. Once they hatch, the larvae start eating the host plant. Adult AGB are most abundant in July and August, but may stick around through October, depending on the weather.

The AGB feeds on more than 100 different plants, giving them a wide selection to pick from in your garden. They feed on both foliage and blossoms, with adult beetles starting with the margins of leaves and working their way towards the stalk. They will feed until only the thin midrib is left when their group is feeding heavily. They will completely destroy all foliage and flowers if left alone, causing extreme damage to your garden plants. Some of the AGB’s favorite host plants are rose bushes, dahlias, asters, butterfly bushes and chrysanthemums. The larvae feed on the roots of the plants rather than the foliage and flowers. They are not picky and will feed on the roots of most plants including many fruit, vegetable, annual and perennial flowering plants, shrubs, and trees. They will also feed on weeds and grasses, meaning just about everything in your yard and garden is in danger of being attacked.

Have you ever found your garden under attack from Asiatic garden beetles?