ocdgal11July 1, 2014

I am watching some metallic colored beetles nearly destroy my Blue Lake beans. This is my first garden and I've been adamant with my husband that it remain organic. Everything I've read says that hand picking is the only option. Is there anything else that might help? There are probably 100s of beetles. I go out at least once a day and pick and dump them in soapy water. I work in the mornings and have a 7 month old baby so I'm only able to go out after he goes to bed. But I'm just wondering if my efforts are in vain. Can the beans survive? Is this just temporary? Thanks!

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Japanese beetles will decimate beans. Some varieties are beetle magnets. Hand picking can't keep up when thousands are flying in daily. I only have one suggestion that is organically accepted. Pyganic can be purchased for about $160 per quart. An internet search will show several vendors. It is OMRI certified. It is also a serious pyrethrum based poison made from chrysanthemums. Read the instructions and pay attention if you use it. Beans have to be sprayed every other day in the height of beetle season.

If you are not averse to the chemical route, malathion is more effective than sevin, but there are several usage restrictions that have to be considered.

Beetle traps can also be purchased, but they may make things worse by attracting beetles from far away. Even though they kill many, the end result may be more beetles eating your beans.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:34AM
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They'll survive. They will respond to the beetle attack by growing more vines, as long as you keep up with the picking. Don't use beetle traps as they will attract your neighbors' beetles.

Bring the baby with you when you garden. (Off topic a bit.) By one year old, my son knew how to use 2 hands to pick beans.

Don't be discouraged. Beetle damage runs in cycles. One year you'll have so many you just want to rip the vines down (wait till you have stink bugs.) And other years you get a free ride. I'm counting my blessings that I didn't see any Japanese beetles this year! But I'm haing my first fight with red lily beetles and their disgusting feces-covered larvae. Can of soapy water is always in use.

Try to have fun with it and bring a baby carrier of somesort with you to garden.

This post was edited by susanzone5 on Thu, Jul 3, 14 at 8:20

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 8:14AM
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My husband is going to be livid if we don't have any beans :( But I refuse to allow any chemicals in it. I am seriously ready to torch the beetle, beans and all! Lol. I'm kidding. I'm just a so angry.

Will we maybe have at least enough for one can of beans ?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 2:17PM
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What you see is perfectly normal. You will have beans. Just keep up with daily tapping of beetles into soapy water. Don't waste anger on this. It's part of gardening. More of a nuisance chore. Hint: beetles will fly away at noon, but will drop at other times.

PS, if hubby will be livid if he has no beans, tell him to deal with beetles.

This post was edited by susanzone5 on Thu, Jul 3, 14 at 15:04

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 2:47PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I've been using 'Surround', a kaolin clay product to protect against Japanese beetles and other pests for several years. It makes a physical barrier that keeps pests from chewing, sucking juices, laying eggs. I also apply it to prevent heat stress and sun scald.

The problem that first led me to Surround was, coincidentally, Japanese beetles! It takes a couple of applications to create a good enough coating, which will persist for a couple of weeks even if it rains.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 3:22PM
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How does the plant photosynthesize with the clay coating? Interesting...

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 3:44PM
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How does the plant photosynthesize with the clay coating? Interesting...

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 3:54PM
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If I were to just continue hand picking would I still have some beans? I don't know where to get the Surround and I'm afraid it would be too late by the time I order online. Any stores that carry it?

Also, does it last long term in the bottle (could I use next year)? Any other veggies you can use it on?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 4:27PM
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Weicker(6a PA)

You'll still get beans. Mine are all yellowish and leaves FULL of holes, a handful look like the worst of yours in the center of the pic... and the rest are about half that bad. Wasn't expecting a single bean, but got my first crop today with plenty more ready to set.

Got hit by 3 different tyes of bugs. No idea wha the black things were... maybe black aphids? Then the mexcan bean beetles hit hard. Just this week, Japanese beetles appeared. Still going strong, even though the leaves look very sad.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 10:08PM
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Well I think the JBs have done me in! There are too many to hand pick. There are 100s of them. I get so depressed when I go out to the garden. I picked up some neem oil but I don't think it's even worth trying they're so bad. I'm going to call my local Southern States in the morning to see if they carry Surround. The JBs have been around for about three weeks. Is it worth putting the surround on them at this point?

My tomatoes are lovely but the sun is getting to them so maybe that'll help them to!

See the pic. Not all the leaves are this bad but it's becoming this way. Are they even worth trying to save?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 10:39PM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

Okay, it's August now . . . how are/were your beans?

Many years ago we were overwhelmed by Japanese beetles on our beans, roses, and some other plants. The solution turned out to be Milky Spore, which we applied to our lawn. No exaggeration--it eliminated the Japanese beetles for 15 years.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 7:09PM
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