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Japanese Beetles emergence in Green Bay area

Japanese Beetle in Green Bay, July 21, 2017. (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

HOBART (WLUK) -- Little green bugs are hatching around Northeast Wisconsin, and causing concerns for scientists, and others as well.

The Japanese Beetle can destroy the leaves on hundreds of different trees, plants, and flowers.

At the Brown County Golf Course, in Hobart, little green bugs are common.

"Yeah, where did they go? Oh, there's one right here," said Scott Anthes, Brown County Golf Course Superintendent.

Anthes says he's all too familiar with the Japanese Beetle.

"They've been around for, I would say up in this area for about six years now, we've been battling them," he said.

Anthes says the little green bugs eat just about anything green.

"The adults can attack. They eat the leaves off the trees and shrubs, and the landscapes. The leaves then are actually, they leave the actual stemmy part of the leaves. They just eat the tissue off the leaves. You can actually see through the leaves," he said.

On Green Bay's east side, an American hazelnut shrub was covered in Japanese Beetles Friday morning. Scientists say the green and copper-colored insects thrive in stretches of warm wet weather.

"The population is on the rise compared to last year. This year's population seems to be definitely higher numbers actually," said Vijai Pandian, Brown County, UW-Extension Horticulture Educator.

Pandian says larger trees and shrubs can tolerate the adult bugs. But the beetle has a larval form too. Those grub worms will soon hatch and feed on the roots below.

Pandian says people should treat their lawns with insecticide now, and follow up with more spray as needed, in about a month.

"Certainly it's one of the top three, type of bad bugs in the community," he said.

Back at the golf course, Anthes and his maintenance crew will do what they can.

"We do spray insecticides to minor the damage. And then we'll battle them again next year," he said.

There is some good news.

The adult beetles live only about four to six weeks.

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