Do Japanese beetles eat tomato plants? Any tomato grower will want to know whether Japanese beetles are among the stubborn pests eating their plants. If you do no take action and remove them, in a quick manner, they would simply eat your crop out and degenerate it.

Japanese Beetles Eat Tomato Plants

Which means that you must start thinking of ways to eliminate these pests from your farm, this guide will tip you on the best solutions to adopt, don’t worry, all of them are here in this article.

Do Japanese Beetles Eat Tomato Plants?

💥 Yes, Japanese beetles eat tomato plants. They would start by eating the leaves of the tomato. These pests prefer tomato plants over other fruits and vegetables. An adult beetle will eat tomato leaves from the veins, thus damaging the plant.

Mature tomatoes can stand significant leaf damage. However, this might not be possible for young seedlings. Tomatoes are usually highly demanded fruits or vegetables. Growing these plants in your garden is often quite demanding since they need good care before they ripen.

Tomatoes are easily vulnerable to pests and diseases if not well taken care of. Most tomato growers will want to know whether Japanese beetles eat these plants and how to eliminate them.

What Are the Signs of Japanese Beetle Damage?

Signs of Japanese beetle damage would be looking for skeletonized leaves and flowers, and the presence of these beetles on the tomato. Moreover, if you also see the patch turning brown, it would also mean that these beetles have damaged it.

Damaging Tomato Leaves

Overall, these would mean that you can know how to control Japanese beetles, which is why it’s important to determine that you’re actually dealing with Japanese beetle infestation.

– Skeletonized Leaves and Flowers

It’s quite easy to identify Japanese beetle damage on your tomato plants. These pests often munch on leaf tissue from the vein area, leaving a lacy skeleton. Right from the first glance, you’ll know you’re dealing with Japanese beetle infestation.

You will see that the leaves have been eaten, or devoured, but the leaflet’s skeleton is still there, this is because they would eat the chlorophyll of the leaf, but have left the veins intact. Basically, the leaf will be seen with tiny little unpatched empty spaces around the leaves. 

In most cases, these little pests are associated with damaged leaves. You should also inspect the ground under the plant, because some of the leaflets may even be dropped on the ground, as they are the result of eaten and degenerated. These beetles leave their droppings when disturbed.

– Presence

The presence of Japanese beetles on your tomatoes is another sign you should be looking for. If your tomatoes are damaged, keep a keen eye, and you might notice these pests munching on your plants.

Infected Tomatoes Plants

They are little beetles that are darker on the edges and brown in the center of their exoskeleton, in addition to this, you would see them moving on a fast motion, and munching the leaves. 

– Brown Patches

Brown patches on your plants are an indication that you need to eliminate these insects before they completely damage your tomatoes and other plants in your garden. Which would basically mean that they have eaten the leaves, which have lost their chlorophyll concentration, and as a result, it has been degenerated. 

How To Get Rid of Japanese Beetles Eating Tomatoes?

To get rid of the Japanese beetle eating the tomatoes, you can always handpick them, you can use neem oil, or use row covers, spray the plant with hose, and use organic or commercial pesticides. Additionally, you can place repellent plants, use dead beetles to repel them, or insecticidal soap.

– Handpicking

It’s easy to spot beetles eating tomato plants in your garden. Remember to weak gloves to protect your hand or fingers when you are picking them up, and make sure you wash them afterward as well. Handpicking is one of the simplest methods that you can use in order to get rid of these little pests. 

Checking Damaged Tomatoes

Therefore, hand-picking them isn’t difficult or challenging. All you must do is to collect these pests in the morning since they are sluggish during this period. Wipe them off your plants and drop them in a container or a bucket with water, you can also add some dish soap to the water and when they land in it, they will surely die. 

– Use Neem Oil

Neem oil has proven to be effective when dealing with Japanese beetles. Spray this oil on your tomatoes. The earlier you spray your plant, the better. This will help to kill the beetle eggs even before hatching. 

The reason why this is one of the best solutions is that it won’t harm the crop, and it wouldn’t even let the larvae grow, mature and multiply on the leaves. In fact, it will get rid of them so quickly, that would have the chance to save the crop, if applies early. 

– Use Row Covers

Japanese beetles are normally active for about six to eight weeks annually. This happens from early June to the end of July. Use row covers to protect your tomatoes from these insects during their feeding season. Floating row covers are highly recommended, because they would be an easy solution to this issue.

– Spray With a Hose

Handpicking the beetles when they are in large numbers might be challenging. Instead, spray the tomato leaves with a hose. Use a high-power setting to ensure you do away with these pests.

Spraying With a Hose

Allow the leaves to dry out during the day and repeat the process in the evening. To make sure that you’re successfully removing these pests, spray your plants daily until the pests disappear. However, make sure that you are very cautious, because you wouldn’t want to over water your vegetables, and cause wilting. 

– Organic Pesticide

You can also create your own DIY pesticide to kill Japanese beetles. You can simply start by mixing some dish soap and water and spray this solution on your plants.

On the other hand, you can even use some cayenne pepper mixed with dish soap is another organic pesticide that works so well too. It is very simple, as you would place it in a spraying bottle and spread it on your plants in the morning and evening until the beetles disappear.

– Place Repellent Plants

Most gardeners report that planting garlic in their gardens helps to control most garden pests, including Japanese beetles. These pests can’t stand the smell of garlic, making them great companion plants to grow in your lawn. Therefore, garlic spray can help you control Japanese beetle infestation in your garden.

Another practical way to kill Japanese beetles in your garden is to grow geraniums. They enjoy eating this plant and will avoid eating your tomatoes. However, they drop dead immediately after feeding on this plant. 

On another note, you can also have the choice to place some companion planting is an excellent way to prevent beetles from destroying plants in your lawn. Plants that repel these pests include tansy, chives, catnip, rue, or marigold. These will secrete some natural repellent chemicals in the air through their aroma, and these pests will not approach it any longer.

– Use Dead Japanese Beetles

Set Japanese beetle traps using dead Japanese beetles to control the beetles without spraying them. Trap some of the beetles, kill them and place them in a container or bag. Place the dead beetles next to your tomato plants, as this will help to repel them.

– Use Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is a traditional way of dealing with pests in your garden. It’s a low-toxicity pesticide that contains fatty acids and potassium. This method is effective since the chemical solution can kill soft-shell insects such as Japanese beetles.

Colorful Chrysanthemum Flowers

Insecticidal soap doesn’t affect the plants and poses no harm to humans or other animals.

– Commercial Pesticides

Commercial pesticides can also help you to get rid of Japanese beetles in your garden. When shopping for the right product, confirm that the product is non-toxic to humans. It’s also crucial to settle for a product that doesn’t harm beneficial pollinators. 

Use the products as advised to ensure you kill the garden pests, you can place them all around, and after a while, depending on the damage, these pests will die. 


Do Japanese beetles eat tomato plants? Well, you now know that Japanese beetles eat tomato plants which could be why your plants are damaged.

To get rid of these pests completely from your garden, consider the following pointers:

  • Check your plants for skeletonized leaves and flowers to be sure you’re dealing with Japanese beetle infestation
  • Use natural Japanese beetle control measures where necessary, including handpicking, spraying with a hose, using Neem oil, row covers, or scaring them away using dead beetles.
  • Chemical solutions can also help to remove beetles from your tomatoes. Consider using insecticidal soap or recommended commercial pesticides that have little to no harm on humans and other beneficial pollinators.

Dealing with Japanese beetles that eat tomatoes in your garden doesn’t have to be difficult. Use the tips discussed in this guide to protect your tomato plants. Remember, choosing natural control measures for edible fruits and vegetables in your garden is always advisable.

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