These beetles are rather bumbling in their flight pattern and rarely fly too far in search of food, but they are capable of flying up to a mile for adequate food sources if need be. They give off a pheromone as they feed which attracts additional beetles in the area and results in large aggregations of these beetles all feeding on your prize roses or other plants. When disturbed they will drop off the plant to the ground to avoid being captured by a predator.
The one pictured here came into work attached to a guests purse. When she picked her purse up off the counter, the beetle was resting on the counter. My coworker captured it and I photographed it before adding it to my insect collection.
|Image from: https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef451|
While these are attractive beetles, they should not be tolerated in your garden, yard or agricultural area. The amount of damage they cause is significant enough to create millions of dollars in loss each year to the turf, and agricultural industries alone. Traps are one way advertised to control these beetles, but all indications point to these traps not being effective as the beetles often land on the outside of the trap and very few end up IN the trap. These traps also use pheromones to attract the beetles which can be counterproductive to eliminating the beetles from your area, and may in fact encourage MORE beetles. If your beetle population is small enough you may lay a drop cloth on the ground below the plants and in the morning shake your plants causing the beetles to fall onto the drop cloth where you can roll them up and destroy them naturally. You can also put a pan of soapy water below your plants and knock them into that. You may also chose to apply insecticides which are approved for killing them, but be aware these insecticides may also harm beneficial insects such as honey bees.