They’re Back!!! Those Damn Asian Beetles

They’re creepy…they’re crawly…but most of all they are a pain in the @$$. What else could it be other than those pesky Asian beetles (not to be mistaken with common lady bugs—which they look quite similar to).

It must have been about four years ago that life in southern Minnesota has forever changed. Suddenly, when the warmer temps of summer start giving way to the cooler nights of fall…they begin to appear in large numbers crawling all over the outside of the house. And it doesn’t matter where you live – the country or the city. The infestation can be severe and last ALL winter long. Eventually those bugs crawling on the outside of the house will find a way INSIDE the structure to spend the entire winter with you.

So how exactly did these beetles get here? Good question. It seems that back in the late ‘70s the U.S. government introduced them to help with the growing soybean aphid problem. You see, the Asian beetle is a voracious forager of aphids eating thousands daily. Aphids themselves are destructive pests as they suck the life-blood right out of the soybean plant eventually lowering crop yields. In fact, the farm community has growing concerns that out-of-control aphids could eventually disrupt the U.S. soybean growing region. Certainly, this is a serious problem with definite economic impact to the agricultural community. Learn more by clicking here.

So, there are too many aphids…and now, the primary predator of the aphids (the Asian beetle) can hardly keep up with this population explosion. Is there any wonder why one problem in nature somehow usually begets other problems?

The past two years I have dealt with the infestation by hiring a professional exterminator. In early September he spends about an hour spraying inside and outside of the house leaving a killing agent that has been quite effective. It’s not something I want to do…but it does allow for a much more pleasant winter life indoors.

Recently, however, I’ve been intrigued by the ingenuity of a fellow Minnesotan who claims to have all the answers to our Asian beetle problems. In fact, he’s written a book and has a web site promoting that book. Check it out by clicking here.

So, how are things so far this year? Well, signs have been promising that maybe this year we will have a natural reprieve from this perennial nuisance. You see, due to cooler than normal weather the soybean aphids have been greatly reduced this summer. Could it be that the Asian beetle population will also be self-limiting due to a limited food source? This homeowner sure hopes so.

© 2004 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Without Prior Permission.