Japanese Beetles

Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)July 3, 2013

Ready or not here they come. I crushed about 20 of them this afternoon. I went out to the far end corner of the orchard and hung a "Bag a Bug" trap. Two hours later, the bag was full. I hope to get everyone of them. I don't mind changing the bags. The more I killed the less of them next year.


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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Your place needs Milky spores applied so can kill Japanese Beetles grubs, you right killing bug form helps.
One member reported killing 32,000 last year with bag a bug and they stink bad. If you got that many that quick tomorrow you could get 5 bags are you prepared lol.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 9:54PM
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I take the bags with dead bugs and hang them in the plants the beetle like to eat. They are repelled by the smell of their own dead.

Edit to elaborate: I discovered this when I was knocking them off leaves into soapy water. After a few days they seems to know I was coming. I dumped the dead and cleaned the jar and they no longer were flying away as the jar approached. Also I am sure I read something about replacing the bags frequently for that reason. It also helps to still knock them off of good plants. they attract each other when alive repel when dead.

This post was edited by cckw on Fri, Jul 5, 13 at 0:59

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 11:23AM
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If they were, they wouldn't keep coming into the traps.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 11:46AM
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I tried the traps and it made the problem worse. You are attracking beetles from far away into your yard, where the ones that dont go into the trap lay eggs in your yard. Your yard becomes a breeding ground. Put the trap in your neighbors yard (just kidding). But if you are catching that many beetles, dont you think next year there would be less? But you will find out there are even more, and you will spend money on traps, and time empting traps. And the whole time you are making the problem worse. It would be better to scrap the whole trap route and put down grub killer or milky spores as was suggested. Google this topic and you will find more about the traps.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 11:53AM
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I agree with KG. I used them at another house in Maine. I had beetles everywhere. At my current residence I put down milky spore for four years in a row. Maybe I'll see one or two beetles a summer. The bags only attract beetles from your neighbors yards! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 12:52PM
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alan haigh

Milky spore is said not to overwinter reliably in Z5. Actually Cornell no longer recommends it in Z6 but my anecdotal results with it have been good and longstanding in 6 so who knows? Maybe Cornell.

Of course JBs can also come from nearby, untreated areas but killing them in your own soil is an option. Right now your best bet is probably Sevin although it may only take a little more than a week for them to rebound, requiring another spray or two.

I gave up on trapping them years ago and join that growing consensus. One of many bogus gardening products, IMO.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 2:42PM
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I put my trap up three days ago or so. There is only a few in it. I have been walking around the last two days catching them as they fall into a bucket of soapy water like others have. I have more going to my fruit trees than the trap. I think I am just attracting them to my trees. I might just take it down. After seeing some of the pictures on the net of the numbers they can get to I am getting scared. With all the pest in gardening I wonder at times if it's worth it! It sure can get stressful. I don't know whats worse these beetles or the deer. I was thinking about putting the lure in my bug zapper.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 3:17PM
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THAT's a thought!

I've always thought the solution would be to put the lure on your neighbor's property.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 3:20PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Jbs must like the persimmon leaves. Right now they are after my Nikita' Gift hybrid persimmon. I guess that was their main food in Japan.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 3:31PM
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Location of the trap is a big deal. If you put it close to good plants you will draw bugs to the good plants. The trap is an attractant. they don't make a straight line to the trap and go in, they get close and circle and etc. I go for the furthest part of my small yard that is still basically in sight of the plants. As stated before; I then take the dead and hand that bag where I don't want the beetles to go. I do also check and removed any live ones that do go to my plants. This is effective enough that the beetle cause very little or no harm.

We had drought last year, so the bug numbers are the lowest I have seen since I put in my first trees and bushes a few years ago.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 12:01PM
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Saw my first lightning bug last nite - very late this year, after the 4th. Usually, they come with the JBs.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 12:28PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

My kid has caught a few JB's... not many.

They love my sweet cherries...last year they probably had 90% of the JB's in my yard...

What is with the music on this website? Its like rainforest jungle music.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 12:40PM
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Yep, they're here. In the plums and the roses.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 4:34PM
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mark_roeder(4B IA)


The JBs ate all my peaches last year. The JBs consumed all my rose flowers from late June to end of August. The JBs shredded a full-sized linden tree.

Last spring I applied milky spore. I applied milky spore this spring. I saw only 2 grubs when I dug my garden this year; very unusual to find so few grubs. The drought helped the JB problem here.

The linden tree was cut down in my front yard this spring.

First day of JBs 2 weeks ago I had about 200 on my roses. I picked them off. I have been spraying the heck out of roses since. None have landed on my peaches yet.

I was deadheading roses tonight 3 days after the last spraying of them, and only found about 10 JBs, and I still have roses blooming despite the JB invasion.

I suspect that the drought was my biggest help on this, but my wife sprayed a systemic this spring intended to make roses less vulnerable, and I sprayed the heck out of them for a few weeks to see if I could get their #s down so they wouldn't attract their friends with their phernomes. Is it the combination of efforts that is working? Or is it just the 2012 drought.

What else should we do to stop them from coming back next year?

I am optimistic that I can get a peach crop this year. After last year I thought I would never get a fresh peach again, and was thinking I may as well throw the towel in on major rose gardening.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 1:39AM
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I have brown and white birds sitting on my fence post waiting for their moments to get a beetle. They don't keep up. I was dropping beetles into my mop bucket when I saw the biggest dragon fly in my life! It was lime green with a body an easy 3/4 of an inch thick behind the head. Its eyes were 1/4"! The body was about four inches long. I hope he's eating them. That would be great to get a mess of flies that size to eat them. They do a great job on the mosquitoes.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 8:54AM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

I removed the bug a bags two days ago but JBs still coming. I might have to use the big gun (spectracide) spray. I also use a butterfly net to scoop them in and crushed them.


Here is a link that might be useful: JBs Article.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 2:01PM
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Insecticidal soap makes a good contact spray.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 3:02PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I squished a pair having relations on my plum tree... I really think the drought last year did us a favor up here...the rose chafers were the lightest i've seen them... i never picked a chafer this year!...normally its buckets full.

I've tried traps...they make no difference here...maybe if i had a huge amount of land where i could get them to some corner full of walnut trees or something they don't care for....then maybe they would leave the good stuff alone.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 5:29PM
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