Where are the Japanese Beetles?

silver78(Z7 MD)June 15, 2005

I live in Montgomery County MD. I have been using the beetle traps for several years now. In prior years I put out the traps and they filled up fast. This year I put out the traps about 10 days ago and almost nothing. And yes - I replaced the bait with new bait.Where are the Japanese Beetles? Anyone else notice the same thing?

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alfie_md6

I noticed one in my yard two days ago, pretty much at the same time as I noticed one last year. The two years before that, I didn't notice any in my yard until the last week of June. I'm in upcounty Montgomery County.

Incidentally, the conventional wisdom on Japanese beetle traps is that you will get more Japanese beetles in your yard -- and more beetle damage -- if you use the traps than if you don't. What you really want is for your neighbor to put up traps :-).

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 10:28AM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

They're starting to munch on the hardy hibiscus in my yard, just in the last few days. Hope they don't get too bad before I can spray this weekend. Last year they defoliated them so badly several times that one died. Evil things!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 11:11PM
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ellieandethansmom(7)

Watergal, what do you spray with? I used Sevin last year dusted on some plants but recently heard that it kills earthworms too (not good in my newly established garden). What do you have luck with, and how often do you use it?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 3:34PM
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spanaval

Saw the first of those eeevil critters today. E&E'smom, I'm not sure if it is worthwhile spraying them. I just go around knocking them off into a mug of soapy water, and will admit to taking a certain amount of pleasure in watching them die.

Suja

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 6:21PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

They were chomping so badly on my crape myrtles, that this year I'm going to try the traps. I have absolutely nothing to use.

What I don't get is why I put the traps downwind of my plants? Why not upwind, so the beatles can smell them?

Christine

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 8:58AM
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lori_elf z6b MD

I saw the first ones today. Oh no!!! I usually pick them and drop them in the soapy water thing too, but at their peak I give up and don't bother going outside:)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 7:44PM
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silver78(Z7 MD)

Hi Christine - With your large lot size you should be able to keep the traps away from your most valued plants so that they will not be damaged. In my experience, the traps are more of a plus than a minus although it might be even better if my neighbors had the traps. However, I do have 2 acres. It would be a lot harder to seperate the traps from the plants if my lot was smaller. Anyway - the traps are still almost empty. Most years they fill in 2-4 days when I first put them out. Maybe we will be liucky this year.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 10:15PM
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olga_6b

Lori, I also caught my first 3 today :(
Olga

    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 10:24PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

Actually, I've never sprayed them before. Most years I just let them do their thing and the plants eventually bounce back. But I got really mad when they killed my hibiscus. I had bought some really nasty spray years ago, but after I read all the warnings and precautions I was too scared to use it!

I have some Bayer Rose & Flower (there is also a Tree & Shrub formula) that I have used on other pests on my potted tropicals. It is listed for Japanese beetles too. The key ingredient to look for on the label is imidacloprid.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 11:35PM
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emfdvm(4)

I haven't seen any on plants yet, but my kids and I dug up a newly minted one while finding worms and grub to feed the little baby turtle found in our garden. Will they eat my green bean plants?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 2:45PM
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spanaval

Couldn't find any all this time, and Wham! Picked off about a hundred yesterday, and half as much this morning. My poor Persicaria's leaves look all lacey now.

Suja

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 12:42PM
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busyasabee(7MD)

The beatles have invaded my backyard and are feasting on my poor roses. They first showed up 5 days ago, slowly and in small numbers. DH and I have been knocking them into a container with hot soapy water and watching them drown! Right now they are at a low number, in comparison to last year's invasion. We are restraining ourselves from using the beatle traps, because we tried this method last year, and ended up inviting more beatles.
Die Beatles Die!!!!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 8:22PM
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blueheron(z6 PA)

Instead of using chemicals like Sevin, why not just spray them with soapy water? That should kill them and it won't hurt the environment.

And don't use the traps, they attract beetles to your yard! You don't want them in your neighbor's yard, either, because they stop on the way to the traps to munch on your flowers!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 7:37PM
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Riff(z7 NorthernVA)

emfdvm, I don't know about *your* green bean plants, but they eat *mine*! So far that's about all they seem to want in my veg/herb garden.

I've only seen a few each day; I catch 'em with my 4-year-old's "bug kit" net and drop them into the bucket of soapy water. This is my third year with a veg. garden, and the last two years I didn't see *any* of them. Now, a few. Next year will I have an invasion? Oh, no!

--Riff.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 12:49AM
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silver78(Z7 MD)

Well we still have very few of them - same with my neighbor across the street who also uses the traps. I know a lot of people do not like the traps, but they seem to be working for me. This is my third year of using the traps. Perhaps that's why I have fewer beetles this year. Big benefit - no need for chemical control!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 7:43AM
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oath5(z6b/7a MD)

Oh they're all over in Baltimore county! I just spent today rounding up at least one hundred and drowing them in the tub of cold, orange fresh water with suds of doom! XD It's amazing what they can do in a day, my poor sassafras tree, she's about one third skeletalized, and our old evergreen azalea is starting to slowly turn into swiss cheese, I haven't seen so many before, strange, but they're leaving my small rugosa rose alone, do they not like rugosa foliage? Or is it because it's a young plant and doesn't have any flowers on it?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 9:23PM
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beng(z6 western MD)

Just started seeing them in western MD.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 11:06AM
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paste592(6bMD)

I know where mine are!! They're DEAD! I've always been a hand-picker, but last year they really got ahead of me. I've had a lot of luck using beneficials against other pests, so I ordered 10 million Grub-away nematodes -- applied them last fall, and, presto! no JBs!

I kinda miss the old soapy-water dunking, tho

Pat

Here is a link that might be useful: Grub-Away source

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 11:53AM
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lynnt(Z7 MD)

Is there something I can spray on my roses and hollyhocks that will kill the JB's chomping on the petals & leaves without poisoning the pollen and therefore killing the bees I am delighted to see in THEIR droves?

LynnT

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 9:30AM
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pjdsr(z7 VA)

I used the grub nematode this spring, but I must not have gotten them all b/c I picked 2 JBs off my strawberry plants this morning. The directions say the nematodes take a few seasons to work completely, so I'll keep at it.

Pat, did you get all your JBs with just one application?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 1:00PM
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ryanzone7(z7MD)

We had plenty yesterday and we hand picked em off (you want em?)
Being garden sissies, my wife and I bought a beetle trap at behnke's, all the while knowing full well that they "supposedly" attract more (does anyone have proof of this?).
With that being said I will still set up our trap on the furthest end of our property (just in case), although, after hand picking about a pound yesterday, I only saw about an ounce around today.
ialbtc

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 5:26PM
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Mandyvilla(7a No.VA)

Two years ago, I treated our entire property with Milky Spore and have noticed a dramatic drop in beetle poplulation. Now, if I could just get my neighbors to treat........Suz

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 8:02AM
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alfie_md6

Professor Dirt, on the IPM forum last year, our very own lrobins posted a correspondence with Daniel Potter of the entomology department at the University of Kentucky. He said his research showed that the result of traps was a net increase in the number of not-dead beetles in the garden. This is from the Japanese beetle fact sheet, coauthored by Potter, at the U of K entomology department web site:

"Japanese Beetle Traps
Japanese beetle traps are sold in many garden centers. Commercially available traps attract the beetles with two types of baits. One mimics the scent of virgin female beetles and is highly attractive to males. The other bait is a sweet-smelling food-type lure that attracts both sexes. This combination of ingredients is such a powerful attractant that traps can draw in thousands of beetles in a day.

Unfortunately, research conducted at the University of Kentucky showed that the traps attract many more beetles than are actually caught. Consequently, susceptible plants along the flight path of the beetles and in the vicinity of traps are likely to suffer much more damage than if no traps are used at all.

In most landscape situations, use of Japanese beetle traps probably will do more harm than good. If you experiment with traps, be sure to place them well away from gardens and landscape plants."

Here is a link that might be useful: Japanese beetles in the urban landscape

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 10:20AM
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marymd7

Shhhhhhhhh ... be very, very quiet about this.

I have seen only 1 JB so far this year. There have been fewer every year for the last several, but this is really almost spooky.

Again, shhhhhhhh, don't tell them.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 4:31PM
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getyourleash(z7 Mid-Atl USA)

I'm having a Japanese Beetle Invasion. HELP! They are eating my potted geraniums and my clethra alnifolia like it's going out of style. By the way, how do those nematodes work? Is it a yucky procedure to apply them?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 8:26PM
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Stacrio(z7 MD)

I have them up in Rising Sun. I think I may go out and give the garden a soapy bath after Cindy comes though. Not too bad, I have seen maybe a dozen or so. What is the best stuff to use to prevent these suckers next year? I need sommething safe since I am on a well, and have pets in the yard.
Thanks! :)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 10:19AM
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alfie_md6

Mary, you know, it's funny -- I was just thinking about you the other day, because the one plant the (fewer than last year, I think) Japanese beetles are really flocking to this year is the Rosa virginiana.

The Darrow's Enigma rose is right next to it, and the beetles are ignoring it. Who can understand the mind of Japanese beetles?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 10:46AM
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olga_6b

I wish my JBs ignore Darlow's Enigma. It is half skeletonized, buds and leaves. In my garden it is their favorite and I have many other roses.
Olga

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 4:28PM
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Molineux(6b)

Olga why don't you post some of your Japanese Beetle horror pics? These good folks need to know what is in store for them.

As for my garden, yes they have arrived. The good news is that I got a head start on my preventative spraying. I used Cygon early on to treat some Awakening climbers for RRD (they don't have it but my neighbor's roses do so it was a premptive strike) then switched to BAYER Advanced Garden insect control. The beetles are leaving my roses alone but have descended on every other flower I've got. I've never seen JPs eating shasta daisies before but that is just one of the flowers they are munching on. Oh well at least they are leaving the roses alone...

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 6:12PM
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weddingdance(z7 MD)

We had a horrible infestation last Saturday, July 9. Too many to spray. They decimated my basil plants. We set up four traps around our property lines, and each trap filled to overflowing on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Yesterday only two traps filled to overflowing. Hopefully today there will be even less.

My neighbor said she actually gave up growing roses over the years because of the JBs. She got sick and tired of changing the bags on the traps all the time.

I'd like to use beneficial nemotodes on my lawn instead of grub-x. Is it too hot for that down here? Or will it work? When should I apply them?

Thanks,
New England transplant, LOVING this warm weather!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 4:35PM
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olga_6b

Weddingdance, I used nematodes several years in a row. It really didn't help. I also use Milky Spore for several years and it efficiently killed grubs on my property but they continue to fly from other people yards.

Desperate.
Olga

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 8:42PM
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blueheron(z6 PA)

I think the secret is to not grow plants that JB's love. My neighbor has a perennial geranium (not a pelargonium) that is full of JB's. I'm going to suggest that she pull the plant. It's like a JB trap! I don't know what cultivar it is, but I have some perennial geraniums and they're JB-free. Go figure!

I have some hybrid tea roses and the JB's have left them alone, but my one climber, Maiden's Blush, is full of them. I'm tempted to pull it, too, because it's also full of black spot.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 7:45PM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

Wow Olga, that is sure a lot of Japanese Beetles. I am glad that I have not had to deal with a beetle infestation of that magnitude. I can usually knock 20 or 30 off my Crepe Myrtle, but it looks like you have that many in just your second picture. Anyway, I am glad they don't stick around for too long.

- Brent

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 10:06AM
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weddingdance(z7 MD)

When *do* they go away? We have four traps on our property (I know, I know, they attract JBs for miles. I don't care, they're leaving my basil alone finally). My basil plants looked like Olga's before I set the traps up. My husband has emptied a full bag from each trap every day for two weeks now! I used GrubX stuff on my front lawn, but will try the milky spore and beneficial nematodes on my backyard near my garden. I'm told the first two weeks of August is best to apply those. I also put some tree and shrub stuff around a red maple whose top has been eaten off by the JBs. I swear I had like 20 bugs when I lived in New England, and thought that was bad!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 1:36PM
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DawnStorm(7/MD)

Where are the Japanese Beetles? They're all in my yard munching on my cannas and rose mallow! *scowls*

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 12:25PM
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lrobins(z5 CO)

Can we say that we are officially done with this plague until next year?

By the way, Prof. Potter advised that the most effective known way to control Japanese beetles is to remove, or avoid planting, their favorite food plants. Starting with the large trees, that I imagine "draw them in" to an area, which they then explore to find the smaller tasty plants. The most beetle-attractant trees in my neighborhood seem to be linden and Japanese ornamental cherry. It would be a massive operation, that I don't have the power to instigate, to replace these trees.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 12:14AM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

Those @#$@#-ers are all eating my crape myrtles. I also have bag worms this year which are destroying my hibiscus and other plants.

I am probably going to try some of the systemic things for next year. I'm tired of them having sex all over my yard.

Then, we could talk about what their darned grubs do to the yard and the destruction their predators (moles) do...

Christine

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 10:13AM
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gardengranma(6a/6b MD)

I have been picking these beetles twice a day for several weeks now, especially on my rose bed. I bought the spray but since my gartden is fully organic, I have been postponing, because I don't want to kill the beneficial insects. Just today the number of those I got seems to have decreased. How long are this beetle bugs around? Christine, be careful with that spray.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 5:15PM
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lrobins(z5 CO)

The Japanese beetles are here all year ... the good (?) news is that they are grubs living underground (or eggs that will hatch into grubs) most of the time. The adult, leaf-eating phase is out for about six weeks. (Possibly an individual adult is even shorter-lived, but there are overlapping "generations".) Having tired themselves out cavorting in your garden, the adults usually die off soon after August 1. That is my observation anyway. So it doesn't make sense to start spraying them on August 5.

Ah, the advantages of a small garden - the less ground to cover, the more easily non-flying insects like bagworms can be picked off.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 12:03AM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

Henrietta, the systemic thing is something you pour with water onto the roots in the fall. It is absorbed into the plant. I don't know if it would get into the CM blossoms, but it's supposed to make them unpalatable to JBs.

Interestingly enough, the JBs really only hit my garden this last week. I find that to be fascinating, since last year they were wildly rampant. If they really go away after August 1, perhaps I'm in a different microclimate as far as those are concerned, too.

Hmmmm....

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 9:09PM
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lrobins(z5 CO)

Bah humbug! I found more this morning. Since there were only a few visible, I just used the "grab and crunch" method on as many as I could reach. I wish I could teach this method to all the birds. "See, you can do the same with your beak, now get to work."

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 11:35PM
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