The mild winter and hot summer could be increasing the population of a summer pest. The Japanese beetle affects home gardens, trees and shrubs and farm crops this time of year. ISU Extension research shows that in a normal winter, mortality rates for these bugs average 53percent in southeast Iowa, however this year the predicted rate was close to 30 percent.
Gene Mohling the Washington County Extension Office says the Japanese beetle is similar to a June bug, and will eat leaves, and while it usually won’t kill a plant, it does affect it. Mohling says that infestations of the insect can be sprayed, but for farmers, that can get expensive.