Many gardeners across southern Wisconsin are seeing their work hungrily eaten up by a booming population of Japanese beetles.
UW-Madison bug expert Phil Pellitteri says the swarms are about as bad as they can possibly get. He says the lushness of last August has resulted in some areas seeing 75 beetles counted in a square foot area.
The green and coppers insects feast on trees, flowers, and other garden plants. Pellitteri says the damage they do may not be fatal to plants, but it can be discouraging to gardeners.
Spraying the insects can help, but Pellitteri says it's usually not that effective. For the most part, he says we'll just have to wait until they go away in about September.