What's a non-chemical based treatment that I can use on the japanese beetles that are eating my beautiful variegated porcelain vine???
Will just a soap and water solution work? What type of soap should I use?
I've been using dish detergent and water. It seems to be doing the job. The only other option I know of is hand picking. That's what I usually do but there are just too many this year.
Only AFTER the JBs had devoured most of my roses and cannas this year I discovered the 'bags' at Lowes. I'm sure other major home and garden stores have them as well.
It is a plastic bag with an attractant at the top. Pretty strong smelling stuff. It only cost 5 dollars. You hang it up near whatever plant or bed the beetles are a problem. I couldn't believe the numbers of beetles in there. They started swarming to the bag within minutes of hanging it up. I am continuing to treat my lawn because the larvea attract moles and voles but in my area there is just no way to really control them. These bags are the best - next year I plan to have several.
I know they say those bags are bad business and they attract..but I can not say I agree...this year after believing the hype that they attract beetles more than they help for many years..this year I was overwhelmed with beetles and decided buying a bag could not be any worse than ignoring them. I simply have WAY to many to handpick or soap down. I bought the bag, hung it on the edge of my property and the bag began filling instantly....while it does not cure the problem, it has significantly reduced the numbers. My flowers are not getting ate to lacework any longer and my pool is not covered in them daily. They can tell me all they want, that they increase my numbers not decrease them and I will argue that is not true in my case.
I think you need to use them within reason tho, or they might be right. If you have a modest number of beetles, deal with them one of the other ways. If you have a modest number of beetles and you use a bag, ofcourse you will attract more with the bag than you had.. Keep lawn grubs down also..but, when ALL else fails and there are more Japaneese beetles than grass blades..don't hesitate to use the bags...I say, it can't get much worse...good luck!
Foxglove--I have the same vine as you and those nasty JB's munched them down to the stalk. I think they're trying to move in. Three of them were hiding in my hair when I came back from the garden. Did the creepy dance while DH picked them out.
I heard that those bags attract JB within a 5 mile radius,
your bringing them to your doorstep.
I heard that as well, but the moment I put the bags up the JBs stopped munching on my flowers and started piling up in the bags. It was so depressing to go out and see every single flower chewed to nothing. I even resorted to using chemicals and it seemed to have no effect at all. Only after the bags went up did I finally get to see any of my flowers grow beyond a little bud.
I agree 100 percent gurley..and I too heard and felt the same thing sunflrlvr..but when half millions eating everything in sight.. I decided the bags can not be any worse...They have literally stripped all the leaves of my river birch and ate everything in sight...they were so heavy that there were tons of black specks..beetle poop covering my deck every morning....and that was BEFORE I had bags..now..they flock to the back and leave everything else alone...not a new nibble anywhere since I put the bags out, no beatle poop on my deck in the mornings..... I was anti bag for many years...but not anymore...as long as you use them ONLY when you have a heafty problem, they work...I wouldn't use them for mild problems...again, just my own thoughts and experience...I am a beatle bag convert...and I never thought I would be...I am eating my words now, but no longer beatles.
Well, there is the skunk solution (they love to eat the grubs before they hatch), but that's not exactly an option for most folks.
For adults, I knock them off-- they have a hard time climbing back up. Quite a few on my raspberries, but I give the bushes a quick shake when I pick and they drop right off. Little damage.
For other stuff, hosing them off helps. I think all our heavy rains this year has helped a lot.
For a longer term solution, there is a BT bacteria specifically made for Japanese beetles. You spray your yard, and when the grubs hatch, it kills them before they get to adult stage. I think you only have to treat once, because it stays in the soil (check on that, though, might vary depending on where you live).
I've been lucky so far - only smallish JB attacks. So, I've been using the "knock them into a container of water" method so far. It helps - and no chemicals are needed. I'd read about using kerosene, but they drown in just plain water, and there's no fumes to worry about, etc.