They say there is an essential oil for everything. At first, this statement seems like a whole lot of marketing hype, but when you hear so many success stories of people using these oils for their many therapeutic benefits and even as a natural pest control method, you start paying attention. It turns out that the use of essential oils can be a very effective tool to help deter even Japanese beetles. These tiny green and copper-colored insects are found nearly everywhere across the states, causing damage to crops and plants. They are not finicky eaters either which means there are very few plants they will not eat. If you want to steer clear of toxic chemicals and commercial pesticides, then using essential oils to repel Japanese beetles could prove a very viable and effective method.
Some facts about Japanese beetles you should know.
Congregating in large numbers they can devastate a number of plants in a matter of days. This destruction is usually evident when only the remains of a skeletal leaf remain. Killing them or keeping them off your crops and plants may prove no easy feat. Japanese beetles use their antennae to locate scents in order to find a mate or certain plants. They are especially attracted to marigolds for example. Planting these next to your crops may help mitigate damage through diversion. Utilizing scent to control these beetles could prove to be their Achilles heel if you are diligent with your efforts. A study has shown that a few specific essential oils that repel Japanese beetles have a strong enough scent to effectively deter them.
These 2 essential oils repel Japanese beetles most effectively.
Using Peppermint and Wintergreen essential oils respectively, have shown great effectiveness in reducing the attractiveness of plants. A combination of these oils together with ginger packs a punch. Mix 5 to 10 drops of each essential oil in 1 cup water. Shake vigorously in a spray bottle and use this mixture directly on the areas of the plant that are infested with Japanese beetles.
The crisp-smelling Peppermint plant is actually a hybrid between the Spearmint and Water mint plants. Essential oil is produced from the peppermint plant through cold extraction of its active ingredients such as menthol and menthone. Peppermint essential oil repels Japanese beetles as well as other pests like mosquitos, spiders, and mammals like raccoons and deers.
Wintergreen essential oil with its refreshing scent is extracted from the wintergreen plant. The main compound found in this plant is methyl salicylate. Other plants like the Teaberry, which also repel bugs contain the same ingredient.
In the same 2009 study, it was shown just how effective Wintergreen is in repelling Japanese beetles from the trap.
Other essential oils that help repel Japanese beetles.
- Neem oil
- Bergamont mint
Last thoughts on essential oils that repel Japanese beetles.
The most important aspect of using essential oils to repel Japanese beetles is the scent. Although scented sprays require frequent application, simply reapply the mixture often so that the scent remains strong. Always buy pure undiluted essential oils with all their natural scent compounds still intact and not the synthetic fragrance variety. In a few days, you should see a great reduction in the number of beetles and a happier garden.