Japanese beetle traps are safe, non-toxic, and very effective at capturing these nasty pests. But are they worth it? In this post, you’ll learn all about using them to trap Japanese beetles, including the pros and cons, how they work, when to put them out, where and how to hang them, and what to do with the dead beetles.
There are lots of different types of Japanese beetle traps on the market these days, and they all have one purpose… to help control Japanese beetles.
The good news is that these types of traps are super easy to use, and you don’t have to touch any bugs in the process!
They’re also non-toxic, and completely safe for use in the organic garden. Since they only target Japanese beetles, the traps don’t harm any other insects or animals.
But are they effective, and is it a good idea to use them in your garden? Below I will answer all of your questions, and give you the information you need in order to decide if Japanese beetle traps are right for you.
You can read through the entire guide by scrolling down, or click the links below to skip to the section that you’re most interested in…
- Do The Traps Really Work?
- How Do They Work?
- How To Use Them
- How To Dispose Of Dead Japanese Beetles
- Do The Traps Attract More Beetles?
- Should You Use Them?
- Where To Buy The Traps
Do Japanese Beetle Traps Really Work?
Yes! The traps definitely work to attract and trap Japanese beetles. And, after flying into the trap, the beetles will eventually die.
How Do Japanese Beetle Traps Work?
Japanese beetle traps come with bait that lures them in. The bait is made with pheromones (a natural sex attractant), as well as floral scents that the beetles can’t resist.
Once they fly to the trap, the beetles fall in and can’t get back out. It’s actually kinda funny that they can’t find their way back out because the traps are wide open on top. But I guess Japanese beetles aren’t very smart.
How To Use Japanese Beetle Traps
It’s super easy to use these types of traps, so you’ll probably find set up and assembly pretty self-explanatory. Of course you should always follow the instructions on the package that your trap comes in. But here are my tips for using them from experience…
When To Put Out The Traps
It’s best to put out the traps just before the beetles start emerging in mid-summer, or once you spot the first one in your garden.
As for time of day… I definitely recommend putting it out either at night or early morning when the beetles aren’t active. Also, I highly recommend waiting to open the attractant until the very last step.
Opening the attractant is the first step in the instructions, but don’t do it. Instead, get everything assembled and hang the trap before you open the bait packet. The lure attracts Japanese beetles immediately, and they’ll start flying in from all directions.
They don’t bite or sting, but having a bunch of bugs buzzing around and crawling on you while you’re assembling and hanging the trap might not be a very fun experience. Yuck!!
How To Set Up The Trap
The exact steps for assembling your trap depends on the type that you bought. So be sure to follow the setup instructions on the package.
The kit I have came with a reusable top with slots that hold the attractant, a lure, a tie for hanging, and replaceable bags. So, all I had to do was attach the bag, tie, and attractant to the top part, and I was good to go.
How To Hang The Traps
My kit came with a long twist tie to use for hanging. If yours didn’t come with one, then you could use cut-a-size garden ties, wire, or string to hang yours. The empty bags blow around a lot in the wind, so be sure to use a sturdy tie to hang them.
As for what to hang them from… well you’ll want to find a place where there’s plenty of room around the trap because the beetles come from all directions.
Where To Place The Traps
The key to success with a Japanese beetle pheromone trap is to hang it in an area of the yard as far away from their favorite plants as possible. If you put the trap right in your garden, it will attract more beetles to the plants.
Of course the joke is that the best place to hang Japanese beetle traps is in your neighbors yard. But that’s probably not going to be an option for most of us!
So find a spot that’s on the other side of the yard from the infested plants. I hung mine from my porch, which means I can watch it from inside the house (morbid curiosity).
Once you have the trap set up, be sure to check it daily to see how full it is. They can fill up fast, and the dead beetles get pretty stinky after a few days.
How To Dispose Of Japanese Beetle Traps
If your Japanese beetle trap has disposable bags like mine, then you can keep the top and attractant in place, and just replace the bags when they’re full. But be sure to do it early in the morning or at night when the beetles aren’t active.
The replacement bags are inexpensive, and make it super easy to get rid of the dead beetles. But some types of traps are disposable, so you can just throw the whole thing out once it’s full.
To dispose of dead Japanese beetles, simply tie the bag shut at the narrow center (I use twist ties to do that). Then you can throw the whole thing into the trash.
Do Japanese Beetle Traps Attract More Beetles?
Yes, the traps absolutely attract more beetles. But that is the whole point. That’s also why you want to make sure to place the traps far away from your garden.
This fact is both a pro and a con to using these types of traps. It scared me at first, but I have some of the biggest gardens in my neighborhood. So I’m pretty sure that I already have one of the largest population of beetles too.
So, I figure that if I’m killing an extra few hundred Japanese beetles in the traps… well, that’s less beetles that can reproduce in the neighborhood.
There have been years where I’ve used Japanese beetle traps in my yard, and also several years where I haven’t. I never noticed a larger amount of beetles on my plants in the years that I used the traps. But your experience may be different.
Should You Use Japanese Beetle Traps?
Ultimately, this is a question you need to answer for yourself. You should weigh all the pros and cons before deciding if they’re right for you.
If there are only a handful of Japanese beetles in your garden, then I would not use the traps. However, if you have thousands like I do, and your yard is large enough to place the traps away from your garden, then it’s worth a try.
Remember, the purpose of the traps is to attract Japanese beetles. So that means more will be coming to your yard. But, they also capture and kill TONS of beetles too, which means you’re taking them out of circulation.
FAQs About Japanese Beetle Traps
Below I will answer some frequently asked questions about the traps. If you still have a question after reading through the post above, and these FAQs, then ask it in the comments below.
What scent attracts Japanese beetles?
The attractant lure is made with a natural Japanese beetle sex pheromone, as well as flower scents that they love.
How long does Japanese beetle bait last?
If you buy reusable traps, the bait should last all season long. Discard it in the fall, and buy a replacement lure each spring.
Where To Buy Japanese Beetle Traps
You can buy Japanese beetle traps, as well as the replacement bags and lures at any garden center, home improvement store, or online. Like I mentioned above, there are different types available, but they should all work the same.
In this post, I’ve given you all the details, including the pros and cons of Japanese beetle traps. They’re easy to use, and non-toxic. But they also attract more beetles to your yard. So in the end, you need to decide if they’re right for you.
More Garden Pest Control Posts
- How To Control Garden Pests Naturally
- How To Release Ladybugs Into Your Garden
- Natural Garden Pest Control Remedies And Recipes
- Using Beneficial Nematodes To Control Garden Pests
What do you think? Are you going to try using Japanese beetle traps in your yard?