Illinois Invasive Pest Species in Your Backyard

Common pests like ants, spiders, and wasps are native to Illinois and have natural predators and prey. It’s important to manage Illinois invasive pest species before they cause significant destruction. The native insect species cohabitate in an ecosystem that allows each species to thrive. When you add invasive species into ecosystems, oftentimes their populations grow at rapid rates. They are uncontrollable due to the lack of natural predators in the area, to reduce populations.

Invasive species can damage plants, as they rapidly feed and reproduce. Millions of dollars of research have gone into understanding these pests and ways to prevent them from destroying cash crops. Here are a few invasive species commonly found in Illinois, that could damage the plants on your property.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Introduced from Asia, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) has become a rapidly increasing pest in Illinois backyards and homes. The BMSB was first found in the late 90s in the eastern United States. They have continued to move west and populations continue to increase in states. Stink bugs are named due to the foul odor they release when they sense danger. They are harmless to humans but can damage crops for fruits and vegetables, as well as trees and shrubs. Stink bugs often are found on window sills in early spring and late fall. They enter the home in the fall to overwinter and return outdoors in the spring. Unlike common pests like ants and wasps, stink bugs will try to not remain inside of homes during the warmer months, nor do they breed during overwintering.

Japanese Beetles

Different stage of a Japanese Beetles life cycle
“File:Popillia japonica (25).jpg” by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Another damaging pests to plants are Japanese Beetles. In their larval form, they are called grubs and much easier to eradicate before they mature into full beetles. It’s important to take a proactive approach to spring pests like grubs. They have a year-long life cycle and spend about 10 months underground as a grub. Between June-September they metamorphosize into adult larvae. They lay eggs several weeks after emerging and the newly birthed grubs return into the grass to overwinter. They’re damaging in both larval and mature stages of life. Grubs can damage gardens and grasses, whereas mature Japanese Beetles can completely skeletonize plants and leaves.

Asian Lady Beetles

Many invasive species rely on their likeness to other native species, to remain unnoticed as populations continue to grow. One example is the Asian Lady Beetle, which closely resembles a ladybug. They were introduced to the United States for pest management of Aphids and have become a nuisance for home and business owners. They live in trees and enter homes to overwinter. Homeowners often notice them congregating on the south side of buildings in the fall before they come indoors.

Prevent Illinois Invasive Pest Species

We specialize in helping to maintain levels of invasive species on your property. Many invasive species are impossible to fully eradicate but can be reduced by maintenance and management. Call the experts at ProActive Pest Management at (630) 451-8101 to help you identify and target invasive pest species on your property.