Larvae of the Asiatic garden beetle occasionally attack and damage turfgrass, but they seem to prefer the roots of a variety of perennial plants, flowers and vegetable crops. Larvae are often found clustered in areas where orange hawkweed grows and around flower beds containing adult food plants. The adults are known to feed on more than 100 species of plants, but they have an obvious preference for certain flowers including asters, dahlias, mums and roses. Adults will also feed on the leaves of a variety of trees, shrubs and vegetable crops.
Adult beetles emerge from the soil mainly from mid-July to mid-August, but may be found anytime from late June through October. Adults can be a serious pest of vegetables and ornamentals, feeding on foliage at night and returning to the soil during the day. Unlike Japanese beetle, adults do not skeletonize leaves, but rather strip, shred and notch the foliage. Larvae feed on organic matter, roots and root hairs within the soil.
The Asiatic garden beetle was introduced to North America from Japan during the 1920’s. Since then, it has expanded its range westward from New England along the great lakes corridor to Ohio and south along the eastern seaboard into South Carolina. In 2006, Asiatic garden beetle was collected from traps in Allen, Porter, and St. Joseph Counties in northern Indiana. In 2007, Asiatic garden beetle was collected in Elkhart, Kosciusko, and Newton Counties.