(japanese) beetle juice

beetle-soupOK, SO I’M A HOMICIDAL MANIAC AT THE MOMENT. What are you busy offing in your version of Trouble in Paradise?

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?

  1. Cheri says:

    Hello all. I got one of those bags. It is the hard plastic reusable ones. It has a flower lure and a sex hormone lure. I love it. I had them all over this year. They were even eating my bass wood tree. I have been getting rid of about a pound a day. I have no idea where they are all coming from. Last year was real bad too. got those cheep plastic bag ones and the darn beatles chewed threw them.
    I was for a while throwing the beetles in my pond. The blue gills were eating them but I think they are sick of them now..

    1. margaret says:

      Hi, Cheri. They say you get more beetles visiting when you have a bag to attract them than if not, perhaps, but sounds like it works for you! Glad to hear.

  2. narf7 says:

    My gran used to spray the bugs down into her soapy water with the hose…”knock them out of the sky gran!” She was a real problem solver ;). Rabbits are sorted out by the neighbourhood feral cat population on Serendipity Farm. They have learned NOT to consume our free range chooks or ELSE! We found some telltale chook wing feathers not so long ago and were somewhat mutinous to say the least BUT it turns out, not only do feral cats know not to “deposit” where their food comes from, but they also know the difference between Serendipity Farm chooks and other neighbouring farm chooks which they feel free to plunder at will! We had the same thing with the magpies that we used to feed. They would come for minced beef and when breeding and nesting season came and everyone else in the neighbourhood were getting “bombed” by their angst they somehow knew not to touch us and it was hilarious to see people walking their dogs in front of us and behind us being attacked while we were left alone! Its lucky they don’t still hold witch trials or we might have been dunked! ;) Cheers for another wonderful post full of organic delight. By the way…we don’t have moles in Australia…or racoons. I would love to trade a few moles (good luck to them tunnelling through our soil full of rocks ;) ) and racoons for some of the local brushtailed possums and wallabies. See you soon :)

  3. Sharon says:

    I started my war against JBs as a child over 50 yrs ago. My mother, not a gardener, picked them off into a coffee can with a bit of kerosene in it. later I used soapy water, now I just use water and only pick early and late in the day. I was glad when i got a dozen or more repeatedly on buds of my rosa rugosa til I saw the rec to pick off the part of the plant they are partying on…I would have nothing left! i recently sent you photos of a large insect we have seen twice on our raspberry patch which actually seems to be eating/paralyzing/sucking on a JB. You can share the photos margaret if you think it worthwhile.

  4. john hartman says:

    I also found that a black pussy willow shrub at the back of my property is a JB magnet.Thick!!! I go out in the morning . About 7 am. It is still relatively cool and the JB are very groggy. I lay down a plastic drop clothe. I spray a mixture of soap , water and a small amount of dormant oil spray on them. I start spraying from the top down. They drpop onto the plastic. If I tried later in the day a lot of them would simply fly away.As i notice the population in the willow grow i repeat. I dont know if this would work for my southern gardening freinds but i bet it would. From Michigan John

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