Japanese Beetles Eat Only The Good Parts

Leaf Skeletons Evidence Beetle Damage

Every time we see Japanese Beetles on plants around here the leaves appear to have similar damage regardless of what plant serves as their perch.

Cherry Leaf Skeletons Courtesy of Japanese Beetles
Cherry Leaf Skeletons Courtesy of Japanese Beetles

I’m not sure what makes the fleshy green parts of a leaf taste “good” to a beetle, but that’s definitely their preference, if it comes down to that.

Maybe their mouth parts can’t handle the structure of the leaf ribs or maybe the stemmy parts don’t have the right flavor – can beetles taste their food and do they have a tongue? So many questions, so little time!

Bing Cherry Tree Showing Japanese Beetle Damage in Upper Leaves
Bing Cherry Tree Showing Japanese Beetle Damage in Upper Leaves

By skeletonizing we mean all the fleshy green parts of a leaf are eaten and the ribs remain. Only the shape of the leaf or outlined structure is left intact and the remainder of the leaves turn brown.

Damage by Japanese Beetles extends to blackberry, basil, cherry, purple cone flowers, roses, and many others.

How To Get Rid of Japanese Beetles

Japanese Beetle On Echinacea Flower
Japanese Beetle On Echinacea Flower

Get rid of Japanese beetles by knocking them off their perch into a pail of soapy water.

Read moreJapanese Beetles Eat Only The Good Parts

Big Bowl of Basil Made Tasty Pesto

Pesto for Noodles, Chicken, Potatoes & Veggies

Basil, Garlic, EVOO and Walnuts for Pesto
Basil, Garlic, EVOO and Walnuts for Pesto

This simple pesto recipe is easy. The part that takes the most time is picking and cleaning the basil leaves.

  • 2 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts
  • 2/3 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan Cheese, shredded or grated

Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend it up for dinner tonight!

If you want to keep some pesto sauce in the refrigerator for about a week, don’t add the cheese in the first blending. Blend up the basil, garlic and nuts with 1/2 cup of EVOO. Transfer sauce to container and carefully pour remaining oil on top to cover the pesto. You want to keep air off the sauce as it will turn an unappetizing black color.

When you want to use the sauce stir in the cheese and you’re ready to eat!

Pesto can be kept under oil in the refrigerator for one week. To keep it longer, freeze it before adding the cheese.

For individual portions, freeze in ice cube trays and then transfer the pesto blocks to zip bags or freezer containers.

Make this recipe the way you like or alter to the ingredients you have on hand. We substituted walnuts for pine nuts.

Sorry, I didn’t get a photo of the meal before it was all gone. I guess I was excited to eat it. Yummy it was!

Tip: Pick the basil leaves before the plant flowers for the best taste.

Alternatively, pinch off the flower buds so the plant won’t flower before you’re ready to use the leaves in the kitchen or for making pesto sauce.