lawn and garden pests

Imported Pests and Their Arrival to the United States

japanese-beetle-279869__340Pests in their native land can be easily kept in small numbers because they can have many enemies like parasites, predators, and diseases. However, if they get into places where none of their usual enemies exist, a pest problem can develop quickly.


Japanese Beetles

When Japanese beetles arrived to the U.S., they became a serious lawn and garden pest. This insects are gold and shiny green. They lay their eggs in grassy areas. The young ones, called grubs, feed on grass roots for a year until they emerge as adults in mid summer. When they become adults, they eat a wide variety of plants including the cultivated ones.

Japanese beetles made their way to the United States as larvae that were included in the iris bulbs being shipped from Japan to New Jersey, where the insect was initially discovered. Today, Japanese beetles have reached almost the whole of North America and the task of getting rid of them is among the top lawn care priorities of farmers and gardeners.


Gypsy Moth

With a scientist’s goal of producing a hardy silkworm, the gypsy moth was allowed to be brought to America. In its native land, it is not considered a serious pest.

When it escaped from the laboratory, it established itself in the forests of Massachusetts. And without the European parasites, diseases and predators, its population exploded. The gypsy moth caterpillars eat the leaves most trees. They are capable of eating the leaves off of every tree in the forest.

From Massachusetts, the insect is spreading slowly southward along the East Coast of the United States.


Other Exotic Pests

Mediterranean Fruit Fly or Med Fly – arrived in California and became a major pest

Chestnut blight – a fungus disease that killed the American chestnut tree throughout it s entire natural range.

Dutch elm disease – another fungus disease responsible for killing many elm trees.

Citrus Canker – a bacterial disease that caused major pest problems in Florida.


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