Are Japanese Beetles Poisonous to Dogs? Can Dogs Eat Japanese Beetles?

Are Japanese beetles poisonous to dogs? Can dogs eat Japanese beetles? In this article, we’ll answer everything you need to know about both of these questions, including how to prevent dogs eating Japanese beetles again in the future. We’ll also go over what you should do if your dog ate a Japanese beetle already.

Next, we’ll give you some information on these bugs so you’ll be ready to deal with them. We’ll tell you where Japanese beetles go at night, where they lay their eggs, and the regions where Japanese beetles are found most often. Finally, we’ll answer if Japanese beetles bite before finishing by teaching you how to get rid of Japanese beetles naturally. Keep reading!

Are Japanese Beetles Poisonous to Dogs?

Are Japanese Beetles Poisonous to Dogs?

Japanese beetles are not poisonous to dogs. However, they could potentially be harmful if consumed in large quantities due to their hard exoskeleton. It’s not the beetles themselves, but the possible intestinal obstruction or irritation they might cause when ingested, that’s a concern. For that reason, you should prevent your dog from eating Japanese beetles.

Are Japanese Beetles Toxic to Dogs?

Japanese beetles are not toxic to dogs, but they can still pose a health risk if your pet eats them in significant amounts. The hard, outer exoskeleton of the beetles can be difficult for dogs to digest. If a dog consumes a large number of these beetles, it could potentially lead to gastrointestinal upset, including symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea.

In rare cases, if a dog eats an exceptionally large number of beetles, it could lead to an intestinal blockage, which is a serious condition requiring veterinary intervention.

Japanese Beetles and Dogs

Although eating a few Japanese beetles should not harm your dog, it’s still a good idea to discourage the behavior. Ingestion of foreign bodies is a bad idea for dogs and can potentially lead to more severe health issues.

Therefore, you should keep a close eye on your dog when you’re out on walks or when your pet is in the backyard during the Japanese beetle season. If you observe your dog showing signs of discomfort or illness after potentially consuming beetles, consult your veterinarian immediately to rule out any potential health concerns.

Training the ‘Leave It’ Command

Training your dog to understand and respond to the ‘Leave It’ command is beneficial in preventing them from ingesting beetles and other harmful substances. Here are some steps to teach this command:

  1. Start by holding a treat in your closed fist and present your hand to the dog.
  2. Your dog will likely sniff, lick, and paw at your hand in an attempt to get the treat. Ignore these behaviors.
  3. Once your dog stops and pulls away, say ‘Leave It,’ and then reward them with the treat.

With consistent practice, your dog will learn that ‘Leave It’ means they should immediately stop their current action and focus on you. This command can effectively prevent them from consuming Japanese beetles or any other potential hazards.

These steps will get your dog to stop eating Japanese beetles, but it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (prey drive, curiosity, overexcitement, etc.) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like when your dog eats Japanese beetles and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog eating Japanese beetles ever again!

Can Dogs Eat Japanese Beetles?

Can Dogs Eat Japanese Beetles?

While dogs can eat Japanese beetles technically without immediate toxic effects, you should still not let them do so. If eaten in large amounts, these insects could potentially lead to discomfort or gastrointestinal issues due to their hard exoskeleton. Your dog eating Japanese beetles could lead to symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, and in rare cases, an intestinal blockage.

My Dog Ate a Japanese Beetle

If your dog ate a Japanese beetle, there’s no need to panic. Japanese beetles are not poisonous to dogs. However, they could cause gastrointestinal discomfort if eaten in large amounts. Monitor your dog for signs of discomfort such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or lethargy.

If your dog displays any of these symptoms or if you know they’ve ingested a large number of beetles, it’s best to consult your vet. We’ll teach you a command to prevent this from happening again if you’ll go back to the first section now.

Dogs Eating Japanese Beetles

If you have a dog eating Japanese beetles, you should work to discourage the behavior right away. While the ingestion of a few beetles isn’t likely to harm your dog, consuming these insects in significant numbers could potentially cause issues due to the beetles’ hard exoskeleton. This behavior could lead to gastrointestinal upset and even possible obstruction, especially in smaller dogs.

Training your dog to ignore these beetles when they encounter them outdoors is a good preventative measure. Learn the “leave it” command, which will help a lot in these situations, by going back to the first section.

You’ll want to get a handle on this problem now, as it will also allow your dog to have safe encounters with other insects. You then won’t have to worry about things like are Asian beetles poisonous to dogs, are snails poisonous to dogs, are slugs poisonous to dogs, are ladybugs poisonous to dogs, are dragonflies poisonous to dogs, or are boxelder bugs poisonous to dogs, because you’ll know your dog will stay away.

Where Do Japanese Beetles Go at Night?

Japanese Beetles and Dogs

Japanese beetles retreat to the ground, within grass and foliage, or underneath organic debris for shelter at night. Found in many parts of the United States, Japanese beetles are known for their destructive behavior during the day but are less active at night. They hide underneath things to stay away from predators and protect themselves from the elements.

Where Do Japanese Beetles Lay Their Eggs?

Japanese beetles lay their eggs in the soil during the summer. Female beetles will burrow 2-3 inches into the soil, typically in lawns or other grassy areas, where they deposit their eggs.

These locations are chosen because the soil provides the right conditions for the eggs to develop, and once hatched, the larvae (or grubs) have immediate access to their food source: the roots of grasses and other plants.

The eggs hatch into grubs in about two weeks and will remain underground until the following spring when they emerge as adult beetles.

Where Are Japanese Beetles Found?

Native to Japan, Japanese beetles have found their way across the globe and are now prevalent in every state east of the Mississippi River in the United States, as well as some western states. They thrive in areas where grass and gardens are abundant, making both rural and suburban landscapes suitable habitats.

During the day, they are typically found feeding on the leaves, flowers, and fruits of more than 300 species of plants. Despite their name, these beetles have become invasive species in many parts of the world outside Japan.

When Is Japanese Beetle Season?

The Japanese beetle season typically begins in late June and continues through August or early September, depending on the climate and geographical location. During this time, the adult beetles emerge from the ground and begin their feeding and reproduction activities.

The timing and duration of the Japanese beetle season can significantly influence their population dynamics and the extent of the damage they cause to plants.

Understanding the behaviors and lifecycle of Japanese beetles can provide valuable insights into effective strategies for managing and controlling these garden pests. It’s especially important for gardeners and homeowners who want to protect their plants from Japanese beetle damage.

Do Japanese Beetles Bite?

Japanese beetles do not bite humans or dogs in a conventional sense. Instead, if handled or threatened, they may pinch the skin using their mandibles (mouthparts), which can sometimes be mistaken as a bite. However, these beetles pose no significant harm or threat to humans or dogs.

  1. Not Typical Biters: Japanese beetles, like most beetles, aren’t known for biting as a primary defense mechanism. They are more inclined to fly away when disturbed. However, when handled or if they feel threatened, they can use their mandibles to grip the skin, which might feel like a bite.
  2. Minimal Harm to Humans and Dogs: While a pinch from a Japanese beetle might be surprising, it’s rarely harmful. These beetles lack venom or any form of toxin, making their ‘bites’ harmless to both humans and dogs. Your pet might show a temporary reaction if a beetle pinches its skin, but no long-term harm is anticipated.
  3. Damaging to Plants: While not a direct threat to humans or pets, Japanese beetles are notorious plant pests. They feed on the leaves of more than 300 species of plants, leaving behind skeletonized leaves and flowers. Their larvae, known as grubs, can also cause significant damage to the roots of grass and other garden plants.
  4. Control is Essential: Although Japanese beetles are harmless to humans and pets, controlling their population is crucial to protect your garden. Effective strategies include handpicking (wear gloves to avoid pinching), using beetle traps, and introducing natural predators, such as certain species of birds and parasitic insects, into your garden.

While Japanese beetles might pinch when threatened, they do not pose a threat to humans or dogs. However, their plant-feeding habits can cause significant damage in gardens, so control measures should be considered. Learn how to keep your dog away from them by going back to the first section.

How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles Naturally

There are several natural and eco-friendly ways to combat a Japanese beetle infestation. From biological control methods like introducing predator insects to the use of natural repellents, homeowners have various options to choose from. However, it’s important to note that these natural methods may take longer to see significant results compared to chemical treatments.

Introducing Predator Insects

One natural way to control Japanese beetles is by introducing their natural predators into your garden. Birds, frogs, and other insects like predatory wasps can help control beetle populations. Additionally, using Milky Spore, a naturally occurring bacterium that is deadly to Japanese beetle larvae (grubs), can also be an effective long-term solution.

Hand-Picking and Dropping into Soapy Water

Although it might seem like a daunting task, hand-picking Japanese beetles can be an effective way to reduce their population. It’s best done early in the morning when they are less active. Pick them off plants and drop them into a bucket of soapy water. The soap in the water will kill them quickly.

Does Squishing Japanese Beetles Attract More?

Contrary to some beliefs, squishing Japanese beetles does not attract more beetles. This misconception arises from the fact that when under threat, Japanese beetles release a pheromone that can attract other beetles. However, the pheromone is not released when the beetles are squished. Nonetheless, squishing is not a recommended method for beetle control as it can be quite messy.

Use of Natural Repellents

Certain plants, like chives, garlic, rue, or catnip, are known to repel Japanese beetles. Interspersing these plants with those that beetles find attractive can help deter them. Neem oil, a natural pesticide extracted from the seeds of the Neem tree, can also be used to control Japanese beetles.

Trap Cropping

Trap cropping involves planting a ‘trap’ plant some distance away from the plants you want to protect. Japanese beetles are particularly attracted to plants like zinnias, roses, and marigolds. By planting these away from your garden, you can lure the beetles away and then deal with them accordingly on the trap plants.

By employing these methods, you can effectively reduce the population of Japanese beetles in your garden naturally, keeping your plants, pets, and local ecosystem safe from harmful chemicals.

Keeping Japanese beetles and dogs separated hopefully doesn’t seem quite so difficult anymore. Good luck with all of this, and thanks for reading our article “Are Japanese Beetles Poisonous to Dogs? Can Dogs Eat Japanese Beetles?”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.