Besides drowning Japanese beetles in bowls of soapy water, I have my eye on some rabbits who seem to be working their way through the place. Wish my neighbor, Herb, who has a knack for trapping every manner of thing, hadn’t gone to Maine for the summer. Herb? Oh, Herb?
With the Japanese beetles, I’m long past the beetle-bag phase of my gardening career. I think that those lures just attract more beetles, and are just plain ugly. I lure them instead to their death-by-drowning by leaving in some appealing plants I wouldn’t normally grow, like a volunteer hollyhock that just sprouted in the vegetable garden.
The beetles really love it, and it seems to keep them out of the nearby climbing rose. Each day I visit the hollyhock and knock a handful more into the soup, as I do at a particular patch of ferns they really love that look like hell, all rusty-brown and tattered, but act as the trap I desire. (What plants are your beetles feasting on, either unfortunate choices or ones like my lone hollyhock that you’re using as a decoy?)
The way to reduce the beetles population, if it’s possible at all, is to reduce the population of grubs they come from, with natural inoculants like nematodes or Milky Spore. We’ve talked about this a little on the Forums, in a thread about moles (who love the grubs that become the beetles…one big chain of garden havoc).
So tell us now, truthfully: What is in your sight lines for getting real, real gone?