What are Those Little Brown Beetles on Lansing Porches?
Summer in Michigan means time spent at the lake, catching fireflies, and roasting marshmallows by the fire.
It also means bugs. Bugs, bugs, bugs.
Pests of Michigan
Mosquitoes? Don't even get me started on mosquitoes and Skeeter syndrome.
Earwigs? I hate them.
And now, we have another creepy crawly that seems to be making an appearance in abundance throughout Lansing.
What are the brown beetles all over Lansing porches?
If you've been seeing a bunch of small, cinnamon-brown colored beetles on your porch lately, it's probably the Asiatic Garden Beetle.
These beetles are an invasive species that originally came to us from Indiana, and really reared their ugly heads in 2007, according to Michigan State University.
The beetles started off in southwest Michigan, and really hit Ann Arbor and Lansing hard back in 2016.
About Asiatic Garden Beetles
Asiatic Gardener Beetles aren't the greatest... At the least, they are pests attracted to light, so they end up getting into our homes at "night through poorly-sealed windows and doors."
At the most, the full-grown beetles "chew the leaves of geranium, asters, dahlia, mums, roses and a variety of other flowers, shrubs and trees" and the larvae typically can be found on the roots of perennials, field crops, or vegetable crops.
How to Get Rid of Asiatic Garden Beetles
If you've been finding Asiatic Garden Beetles on more than just your porch, perhaps your garden, there are ways to get rid of them.
One straightforward way to tackle these beetles is to handpick them. Yup. The University of Hampshire suggests you head out at night with your flashlight or a light trap. You're then going to use a big bowl of soapy water to collect the beetles as they fall after being disturbed.
If you don't feel like bug hunting in the middle of the night, there are some other things you can do:
- Barriers: Spun-bonded fabric row covers may protect herb and vegetable planting beds against the predations of adult Asiatic garden beetle, unless larvae have overwintered in weedy garden soil.
- Sanitation: Prevent over-wintering by cleaning up your garden in fall, tilling under, or composting all weeds and plant debris.
In the meantime, know that while they may be a nuisance, they can't hurt you!