Japanese Beetles in Cedar Rapids

cathy3777(z5IA)August 4, 2006

I was appalled when I visited my favorite nursery, Culver's in Marion, yesterday, and found Japanese beetles swarming on one variety of shrub, the summersweet clethra. How common are JBs in Iowa? I know my cousin in Illinois has them, but on my rural farm garden I have yet to see them. I pointed out the beetles to one of the employees, and they said yes, they knew they were there and were spraying. They still looked very healthy, however. It makes me very nervous to bring home a shrub from a nursery when there could possibly be JB grubs in the soil. Am I taking this too seriously? Are JBs already common in the Cedar Rapids area, or could these have come in on the nursery stock? I didn't see them on any other plant. If I owned the nursery, I'd isolate and destroy the plant and do everything I could to get rid of them instead of just spraying the area once in a while. I suppose it's inevitable that the little pests will show up eventually, but I'm not going to help them along.

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I have seen a few in Hardin county this summer...but not as many as when I lived in Virginia.

See the map below...It shows that some eastern Iowa counties are infected in 2005

Here is a link that might be useful: Japanese Beetle Map from Purdue U

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 12:43AM
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Two different friends who have big flower gardens in CR, are overrun by JB's this summer. We toured one gal's garden, and she'd shake shrubs, and clouds of beetles would fly out. It looks like it's inevitable, that they are going to become a major problem in all of Iowa, and change our gardens forever.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 2:05PM
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This is my first summer living in Cedar Rapids. JB's seem pretty common all over. I couldn't believe when I walked through Noleridge Park and saw tons of them on flowers. It seems though that they prefer certain plants and flowers over others. They lay their eggs in the lawn and that's where all the lawn grubs I saw this spring were from - nasty things!

As for harming my gardens - I've had far worse problems from other bugs such as bean leaf beetles & squash vine borers. Hopefully they'll remain rare or unseen on your rurual property but it is probably just a matter of time. One thing I've heard is not to put up the traps because it just draws them to your garden.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 10:04AM
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garasaki(z5 IA)

It's sort of crazy to read all these posts about places I go to quite frequently...

I've been infested w/JBs at my old place in Ely, and my grandma had them bad in Springville. I haven't had them at my current residence in Lisbon, but I think that's because it's a new development w/o any trees.

My mom in CR hasn't complained about them (as far as I can recall) but they are there I'm sure. If you haven't had them yet, consider yourself lucky!!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 4:22PM
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Ive been a home owner in Cedar Rapids for two summers now and I had a severe infestation of both asian and japanese bettles last year, leveled all of my herbs. This year I have not seen any asian beetles and the japanese beetles have been much less noticeable but have still put damage in on my basil plants.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 7:58PM
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This is the first year I've really seen Japanese Beetles in my gardens. They are exceptionally fond of wild grape and perennial hibiscus. I did get the Seven out, I hated to, but what can one do, other than hand pick them, and I don't have the time to be doing that.

IA Z5a

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 11:46PM
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I killed 2 of them in my garden,near West Branch. I figured it was inevitable that they would get here.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 9:11PM
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I understand that Japanese Beetles are very fond of Four O'Clocks. I also understand that Four O'Clocks are quite deadly to Japanese Beetles. I plan to trying this out next year. I'll plant some Four O'Clocks and let the JB dine to their hearts content and then hopefully croak. :) I would like it if I didn't have to resort to seven again.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 9:58PM
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whatcheer(z4 Ia)

I haven't seen any JBs in Waterloo, but went to the Rieman Gardens in Ames yesturday and they had them everywhere.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 3:42PM
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I live on the NE Side and have had a problem with JB the last 2 years!!! They eat my raspberrie leaves. It is not quite as bad this year as last year through. Some one told me that you can put a can a fruit cocktail out and they will go to it and drowned in the juice. I didn't try it I figured it would attract other insects or animals. This year I have had a horrid time with rabbits eating my hostas all the way down to ground and eating my lilies before they bloom

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 6:27PM
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Pardon me for posting on an Iowa forum but I suspect our topography is more similar than my other alternative which is the Great Lakes forum. I live in Peoria...perhaps 2 hrs. from the Mississippi. We found Japanese Beetles for the first time this summer but there were so many...so, so many that they must have been here before. I smiled when I read the post of having them drown in a can of fruit cocktail. We'd need a swimming pool filled with fruit cocktail to kill all that were just in our backyard. They literally made a linden and sasafras tree look like they had moving branches. They devoured roses, grapevines, blackberries and other plants. We'd find our pool literally covered with floating rafts of beetles that had died. They clogged the pool filters. I am not the least bit hesitant to use insecticides but I'd have needed a crop duster. And I'm not exaggerating.

This spring I'm going to begin to treat my lawn and flower beds to kill the grubs before they change to beetles. When you see the beetles it's too late for large scale eradication. There is a lawn treatment that uses nematodes that multiply in the soil and eat the beetle larvae. It takes several years though to reap the full potential.

I recommend that if Japanese Beetle is spreading into Iowa and it certainly seems it is that you check online for sources of the nematodes and begin treating your lawns and flowerbeds now so you'll have a full nematode bloom when the bettles arrive en masse.

Good luck...I'm sure they can be controlled but it's going to take some effort. You'll know what I mean when you see hundreds of bettles flying around your yard and even landing on you!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 12:56AM
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Let's hope this extra cold spell eliminates most of the beetle problems this year. I'm hoping for fewer rabbits to survive as well!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 10:06AM
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i have a question. how do u get rid of the little devils (japanese bettles) when they are in your house. i can't seem to find anything on killing them inside. any help would be greatly appreciated. u can email me at -breed1951@yahoo.com

    Bookmark   April 13, 2007 at 4:52PM
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Rjli, you sure you don't have Japanese Beetles confused with Asian Lady Beetles? They are completely different critters...

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 12:31PM
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I'm in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Last year I had lots of JBs on my sage. This year, they have been all over the apple mint (although hand picking and drowning in soapy water has eliminated the destructions there) and now they are on the strawberries. I've expanded my garden from last year, and there are also a few on the sunflowers, the potatoes, the new fruit trees, and a couple on the zinnias and cilantro. I make two rounds a day with a bucket of soapy water, and they are much easier to get into the water than I thought they would be. I get most of the ones I see, but of course there are more the next day. I'm not giving up though. I do feel like there are fewer than when I started. But it's frustrating for sure... good luck to all.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:33AM
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I haven't gardened for several years (the rabbits finally exhausted me), but while returning to my house I noticed a rather pretty beetle which I haven't seen before. According to the photo on this website, it is Popillia japonica.

I guess that is the Japanese beetle we are discussing? If so, I have quite a few which are happily and fearlessly consuming the leaves of a vine on a trellis next to my house in Marion.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 6:24PM
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scotlfs(Zone 4)

The japanese beetles ravaged my grape vines this year and ate all the almost perfectly ripened yellow june apples. Ugh....

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 1:24AM
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