Found throughout the country, the bronze, or brown, beetle is native to New Zealand and is one of our worst pasture pests.
From October to late summer the bronze beetle emerges from the pupae stage underground. They congregate in large numbers and feed on bushes, shrubs and trees, creating jagged holes. They can strip a plant of leaves in just one night.
During summer, the beetles lay eggs in the soil in grassy areas. The eggs hatch after two weeks, and the larvae move underground. They feed on the grass roots until spring, and turf infested with bronze beetle larvae turns brown or yellow and then dies.
Bronze beetles are hardest to treat in the beetle stage of their life cycle, as once the damage is noticed they are often no longer present. They are attracted to bright lights, so turning off your outdoor lights on summer nights can help.
Covering targeted plants with Bug Net can also help with prevention.
Using Insect Lawn Killer on infected lawns between February and April will kill the beetle larvae. In addition to protecting your lawn or pasture, this will prevent beetle damage to your garden and trees during the next stage of the life cycle. Water the granules in thoroughly and, to avoid harming beneficial insects, do not use on a clover lawn.
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