'12 drought has fewer beetles bugging - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

'12 drought has fewer beetles bugging

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Photo: ag.purdue.edu Photo: ag.purdue.edu

Illinois extension agents say there appear to be fewer Japanese beetles swarming parts of the state this year.

Rhonda Ferree is an Illinois Extension Service horticulture specialist in Havana.

She tells the Pekin Daily News that the invasive bugs are present in far lower levels this year in central Illinois.

She credits the decrease with last year's severe drought and a westward migration of the insect.

Other experts say it may be too soon to say whether the bug's smaller-than-usual numbers will stick around for the rest of the summer season.

The metallic bug first arrived in the U.S. about a century ago and made their way to Missouri and Illinois gardens over the past several years, mostly attacking ornamental plants.

But the bugs also eat corn and soybeans.

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