Japanese Beetles :(

juicylucy(z5 IN)June 15, 2004

Saw the first Jap. Beetles yesterday at my Grandmother's house in Noblesville. There were only a couple but it won't be long now until they are out in full force. I have been dreading their emergence :(.

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These things are the worst. I was a masochist this year and put in a light yellow rose bush too. This is an experiment, I may end up ripping it out.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 9:50AM
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ddunbar(z5 IN)

OMG, already???? In Indiana???? It's too early!!!! I hate these things with a passion!!!! I thought we had until July before they emerged.
Talk about a horror story... I had one chew through my eardrum. I am not kidding! September 21, 2002. Woke up in the middle of the night with it. So, word to the wise... put cotton in your ears when working in your garden or yard when they are at their worst. I wouldn't wish that agony on my worst enemy!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 5:40PM
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pebbles67(z5b IN)

OMG!!!! Well, I am sorry to hear that! Those suckers are the worst!! I live in Carmel- so Noblesville in only just miles away! Time to get out the Sevin!! Last year they tried to eat my quit large grapefruit tree that I put out on my deck and Sevin did the trick. I usually start about right now giving them, what I call, the "Sevin Treatment" in their soil about once every 7 days throughout the Japanese Beetle season. I know what I'll be doing tomorrow! hehe Those little critters start to chew on the leaves and all the sudden they don't feel too good! Die critters- die!! hehehe

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 7:49PM
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annerem(z5 IL)

Sevin kills other bugs like bees and maybe even butterflies too....I've got 'em taking over my yard!! I put in some nematodes last night but am not expecting too much. I live so close to downtown and there are lots of people and pets around that I'm very hesitant to use Sevin. I have bees flying in and out pollenating away too. Hope you've found some solutions other than that one!!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 8:35PM
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juicylucy(z5 IN)

Wow DD- that IS a horror story, makes my skin crawl just thinking about it! I, too, hate them w/a passion. I'm in Fishers and saw a handful in our yard this morning :(. I refuse to spray since we're planning to certify our backyard as a natural habitat. Argh, just thinking about being on JB patrol makes me very tired.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 10:32PM
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pebbles67(z5b IN)


I have always used Sevin with no problems at all. The only thing I use it on is my grapefruit tree on my deck (I put it out on my deck every summer in my backyard)- that's because it's the only thing I have that they chew on. Sevin has been around for many, many years. It is safe when used correctly and I for one use it as it is supposed to be used. I use it in the soil as a systemic- I don't spray it on the leaves of my grapefruit tree. I have always followed the detailed directions inside the label telling how much and how often to use it. I wouldn't dream of harming the bees, people, or my dog (or anyone else's dog or pet), or anything else. I feel that I am a competent person, particularly when using Sevin, and I so far haven't killed or maimed anything other than what I use it for- killing Japanese Beetles. I have been using Sevin on my grapefruit every summer for 20 years. I grew it from seed, and I definitely don't want Japanese Beetles destroying it's tender leaves it just put out. I will continue to use Sevin as long as it is on the market, and will use it with confidence in it and myself.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2004 at 4:53PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

We didn't have them until about 10 years ago...they have been slowly[?] migrating westward. They were in the D.C. area 50 years ago.
Anyway, someone asked if there was any other way than Sevin. Of course there is Milky Spore at about hundreds of dollars for my large area and there are traps. Traps? yeah, I bagged about 280,000 last year...up to 20,000 a day at the peak. The goal also is to use floral scent lure besides sexual pherenes to capture as many females as possible early in the season.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2004 at 11:02PM
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juicylucy(z5 IN)

Hi Wayne,

That is a LOT of beetles, holy cow! I have considered a trap (or 2) this year and have a couple of questions if you don't mind. How far do you place your traps from the plants you are trying to protect? The land behind our backyard is undeveloped (for the time being anyhoo) and I was thinking of placing some traps back there, which would be approx. 250' from our house. This area is to the east of our house, not sure if that makes a difference? Also, do you recommend a particular trap? Thanks :)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2004 at 1:49AM
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JaneMagnolia(5a IN)

Hi all,
I'm new to this Japanese beetle thing. I bought a house last year southwest of Lafayette (on the Wabash River) with 5 Chinese Elm trees in the side yard and from what I hear from the neighbors the beetles ravage the trees more every year. It was so bad last summer that if you shook a branch of the tree then the air would cloud with beetles! I haven't seen any yet this year (thankfully). They're such a nuisance, clinging to my hair and clothes. Yuck. How long does the Japanese beetle season last around here?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2004 at 3:56PM
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ddunbar(z5 IN)

I live about thirty miles south of you. The last two years we have had japs until the first of October. When they first hit the area, supposedly their lifecycle was only five weeks, then they were supposed to be done. I'm assuming they have mutated / acclimated and actually go through two mating cycles.
I just saw the first few here this week, so be on the lookout... you should have them within a week or so.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2004 at 1:58PM
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JaneMagnolia(5a IN)

Thanks DD! I guess that means we're in for about 4 months of fun. Such a pity; those elm trees seem to look pathetic - so many dead branches. I hope they can withstand two generations of beetles this summer!

JuicyLucy, I did some research today and I read on Purdue's Extension Office website that the bag traps are ineffective and can actually draw beetles to your property. Purdue has a document that provides some useful information about what pesticides to use and what plants the beetles like to feast on. Check it out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Japanese Beetle Facts Sheet

    Bookmark   June 18, 2004 at 5:05PM
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juicylucy(z5 IN)

Thanks Jane! I, too, have read about the traps attracting more beetles so that's why I was considering putting them off our property if the JB's get out of hand. I am very much dreading being on JB patrol. I am really, really hoping that they won't be too bad this year though (wishful thinking probably :). I actually saw a female house sparrow eat a jap. beetle today, couldn't believe my eyes! I usually try to keep the hosp's out of our yard but if they eat jap. beetles they are more than welcome for now! I have also read that Starlings will eat JB's. Pests eating pests, how about that?!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2004 at 7:04PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

As far as traps doing more harm than good........look at it this way --- the traps do kill off thousands of beetles and if properly disposed of [not buried] there are bound to be less of the beetles. So you can hand pick, Sevin them, Milky Spore them, trap them, or do nothing.
I placed the traps about 300 feet away and mainly upwind of me.
The beetles are in the soybean fields by the thousands and in the edge rows of field corn silks. I do wish that others around me were helping more.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2004 at 11:20PM
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jepper(z5 indiana)

Great to see all these Hoosiers here! I live in Westfield, just north of Indy.

For you veggie gardeners, what kind of veggies/herbs do the JB's prefer? Want to be prepared, and this info was not in the article of the link that was posted.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2004 at 12:56AM
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juicylucy(z5 IN)

Hi jepper! If memory serves me correctly the JB's seemed to prefer the bush beans but I also found them on the tomatoes, cukes, watermelon & dill. Most of the damage in our yard is the ornamentals though, specifically crabapple, contorted filbert, roses & redtwig dogwood. Although they have their preferences it seems to me they will eat almost anything :(.

Wayne- thanks for the info. & good luck to you in your battle w/these spawns of satan!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2004 at 11:05AM
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Irene_IN(z5 In)

Saw the first one today on a clover bloom..If that is all they chew on, I'll be happy. Got rid of all my roses last year because of that dang bug...just wasn't worth all the work and heartache. I am trying different flowers and scrubs
to see which ones they will eat,and what they will leave alone. The ones they like I will get rid of. Irene

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 2:50PM
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janice__indiana5(Z5 Indiana)

They are out in full force here in Terre Haute. They are really eating on my Roses. I try and pick off and kill as many as I can. Just wish I could squash them with my fingers, but the feel just gives me the creeps!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 12:27AM
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juicylucy(z5 IN)

Still not too bad here, have been squashing approx. 20/day but I'm sure it won't be long now until they are out in full force. BTW, Janice, squashing them used to gross me out but now it gives me great pleasure :). Something (birds I presume) is eating a few beetles, I have found some empty beetle bodies lying about. Go birdies! I did buy a trap yesterday and will not hesitate to use it off our property if (when) they become unmanageable. We shall see... What I can't understand... My sister lives 10 mi. from me in Noblesville (though not in the city) in an older development that is pretty wooded. They NEVER have JB's. How is it that they are soooo lucky?! I'm presuming because their area is heavily wooded? Think I read somewhere that they prefer to lay eggs in sunny spots? Anyhoo, I am very jealous!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 9:27AM
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Carrie77(z6 St. Louis MO)

Ugh! I saw my first japanese beetles this Sunday! I picked them off and put them in soapy water. They are only on 2 of my many rosebushes, they are in the yellow petals of the roses. I found 12 of them. I am going to see if there are any more today after work. I am sure there will be....So this gets worse? Ugh! I can't imagine it. It seems like that just love to be in the open blossoms of my roses for now. And of course these are my two favorite rose bushes...Sigh.. I am going to buy some of the Bayer Advanced Garden Spray. It is supposed to prevent them. I may just try spraying it on just the blooms at first.

I have a huge corn field behind my house, I haven't seen any of them on my neighbors corn yet.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 5:04PM
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pebbles67(z5b IN)

Does anyone know how to tell if a JB is in your ear canal?? DD, can you elaborate on your experience? I feel like I may have something in my ear. It doesn't hurt very much- just feels like something is in there. I flushed it out with hydrogen peroxide- nothing came out that I know of. I also cleaned it with cotton swabs- still nothing. I'm scared to death that a JB is in there chewing on my eardrum!! If anyone can help I'd really appreciate it alot!! Thanks!


    Bookmark   June 23, 2004 at 2:26PM
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ddunbar(z5 IN)

If it was chewing on your eardrum, you would know it..the pain is excruciating...as is the noise. Plus, as big as they are, you would feel every little movement. In that small of space, you can equate the feeling to having a tennis ball in your mouth. If you have any doubt, lie down and shine a flashlight in your ear. Light excites them and they go crazy trying to head for the light.
I would strongly urge you to seek medical help asap to find out what is causing your discomfort.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 9:01AM
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pebbles67(z5b IN)

Thanks, Dana!

Well, I don't think it's a JB that's in my ear. I haven't experienced any of the symptoms you described. Thank God! hehe So maybe it's just an ear infection- or swimmer's ear. Or it could be another bug- only smaller! I hope not! That would totally freak me out! I'm calling the doctor today to have him look at it! I'll let you know what happens! My DH looked in there last night and saw nothing. So that's a good sign I think.:-) Wish me luck at the Doc's office!

Gosh, now that I think of it- how awful you had to go through that pain. All because of a JB!! Those things are so creepy to me. Ewwwwwwww!! From now on I'm putting cotton in my ears when I go outside to garden ect. How did you finally get the JB out of your ear? Has your hearing been affected? I'm sorry that happened to you, Dana! Makes me hate JB's even more now!!


    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 9:35AM
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ursulita(z5 IL)

Bayer Advanced Garden Spray is way better than Sevin - it has the same chemical as Advantage flea treatment. And I read in the Rose forum that it kills JBs very quickly. One poster said she saw them hanging dead by one "foot" on her rose, and the rose itself had almost no damage.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 1:42PM
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You know, just yesterday I was out in the yard (Bloominton, IN) and got to thinking that it was about time for JBs to show up. I've spread GrubEx last June and this June so perhaps the JBs won't be as bad this year. I read, with some horror, that JBs enjoy a munch on roses and dill. Just planted a single rose this year and have quite a bit of dill. Have spotted none so far but will do a close look on the birch in the front yeard as that seemed to be a lunch counter for the little nasties the last time.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 2:17PM
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juicylucy(z5 IN)

Just thought I would update... On Tues. afternoon the JB's were much worse so I put up the trap (off our property, approx. 100' directly behind our back yard). Much to my delight the JB's in our yard decreased DRAMATICALLY! DD & I went out of town for a couple of days and when we returned yesterday found numerous printouts on why traps should not be used, thanks to my next door neighbor. He was griping to my husband that there were many, many more JB's in his yard because of the trap. Whatever, I find it quite interesting that there are hardly any beetles (or damage) in our yard but according to him they are out of control in his yard (and it's not like his yard is far away, it is right next to ours and I sure haven't seen swarms of beetles over there). I haven't taken down the trap but did move it farther away. I am LOVING not having to patrol these dang beetles.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 4:59PM
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juicylucy(z5 IN)

Well it turns out my neighbor was just screwing w/me :). I really should have known better since he is quite the prankster and forever trying to push my buttons. The trap shall remain... It really is a Godsend so far!!! I am also continuing to see hollow beetle bodies so the birds are still eating some JB's. When I dumped the bag of beetles in the pond behind our house yesterday there were birds swarming, going crazy trying to get at them. This is the first year we have worked at attracting birds to our yard and I really think they are making a difference as well.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2004 at 11:34AM
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ourguys(z5 NIL)

They're taking over my raspberry patch - I don't think I can pick many more. Hate cleaning a bucket full, and having them come up to the top. Ugh!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2004 at 4:38PM
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Carrie77(z6 St. Louis MO)

Bayer Advanced Garden Spray works GREAT! I bought it and it seems to kill them after they munch a little bit. It lasts 30 days!! I got it at Wal-Mart in a spray bottle. You will find them dead, hanging by one leg or laying on their back after you've sprayed your rose bushes. It is really good! I have seen less activity on my roses..I am not even worrying about them anymore like I was..


    Bookmark   July 1, 2004 at 4:43PM
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New to the JB thing..recently moved into my house and those darn critters are attacking the heck out of my ornamental plum tree. Do they make bottles of sevin large enough to spray a whole tree? Something I can attach to the hose and spray maybe? The spray bottle I'm familiar with is only good to reach small plants.

BTW how worried should I be about my tree dying? Do they just chew on the leaves...or kill the whole tree? This is my favorite tree in the yard...and the JB's favorite tree too unfortunately!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2004 at 10:03AM
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Hey bean0,

There is an effective Bayer spray (as well as a host of other effective products) that you can attach to your hose to spray your plum tree. The Bayer (and more recent) products are supposed to be more environment-friendly, I think.

For future reference, I would recommend that you apply Bayer's systemic product for trees/shrubs to your tree (and other affected woodies) at least a month before (mid-May) JB season .

This keeps you from having to spray and has worked great for me.

Depending upon the size of the tree/shrub, the systemic takes a few days to a month to get circulated throughout your tree's system, so it probably wouldn't do much good for you at this point.

Go ahead and get the (hose attachable) spray though (at Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) ... Japanese Beetles love plum trees ... and Birches ... and Lindens ... and Roses ... etc.

I've seen JB's make lacework out of Plum Trees (and their Sand Cherry cousins).

BTW ... your tree won't die if you don't spray ... it just won't look any good for the rest of the season (unless you like lace).

    Bookmark   July 2, 2004 at 4:33PM
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I consider myself lucky, this is the first year I've heard about JBs and my fingers are crossed I don't get them. I'm on alert though. I've heard gardening pros around here recommend Merit as a preventative. For the organic folks, picking off and dropping them in soapy water will kill them instantly-- again, that's according to the pros.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2004 at 5:56PM
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We used a homemade garlic spray on the zinnias on our deck. Didn't smell too bad, kept the bugs off for sure! Had to reapply after every rain tho. We're just trying to grow things the beetles don't like. Having good luck this year so far. Oriental lillies, snaps, cosmos, gloriosa daisies, begonias, sweet peas, black eyed susan vine, larkspur. Have found that something is eating the morning glories, moonflowers. Not sure what it is, haven't seen anything around them. Did find a couple of them on our pale purple petunias tho. Yuck!!!!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 8:15PM
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Oswegian(Z5 IL)

This is the first year I have seen japanese beetles, and they were chomping my purple conflowers, but left the black eyed susans. They love hibiscus, and between them and this other bug, the rose of sharon is in shreads, same as last year.

Does anybody know what this bug is that is eating my rose of sharon? they are of two colors: one of them is green and the other is tan and brown stripe. They're kind of small but not teeny. And but for the color they are exactly alike.

I took some to the Morton Arboretum plant clinic in a jar last year and stumped them. She said it was a "plant" bug like a cucumber bug or something like that. They just shreaded that shrub last year, and also my daylilies.

This year they're not so bad yet. Last year they ate the leaves and the flowers. So far it's just the blossoms.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2004 at 1:14AM
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juicylucy(z5 IN)

Hi Oswegian,

Cuke beetles are probably what's eating your ROS. One type is green w/black dots and the other is exactly as you describe, tan w/brown stripe. They are a pain also! The Japanese beetles are still here, hoping they will be gone soon! The population seems to be fluctuating, some days hardly any and other days they are numerous. I haven't used the trap for a while now since I ran out of bags and never got around to replacing them. My 3.5 y.o. daughter has gotten really good at hand-picking them and she actually enjoys it so I've been more than happy to let her keep them under control!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2004 at 9:12AM
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Oswegian(Z5 IL)

Juicylucy, so you know what I'm talking about! Well, that's a relief. Are you in or near a farming community or former one? Our village of Oswego is in the process of turning into a suburb, and I suspected that the reason nobody closer in to Chicago recognized the bug was that it must be a crop bug. That's a theory anyway. Nobody seemed to know what the heck it was.

I'd rather not have them but if I do, I like hand picking the j. beetles, too. I know their fatal flaw: as soon as you touch them they drop like a rock. At first I wasn't expecting that and wasn't ready for them. But now I always have something under them to catch them when they try that stragey, LOL. Squish goes the pretty chomper.

Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2004 at 3:50PM
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juicylucy(z5 IN)

Your theory is correct, Oswegian! Cuke beetles are a crop pest, most notably of curcurbits since they spread bacterial wilt but they will attack many different crops, including corn & beans. I am in suburbia but we are surrounded by farms and most likely our development was farmland in the past. As nasty as the cuke beetles are they do make a very satisfying pop when squished (esp. the green ones :).

I have to agree about the JB's being easy enough to catch. That is probably their only attribute!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2004 at 6:26PM
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girlfromthegarden(z5 Indy metro)

Oh, this has been such a comforting thread to read through, I've been trying to get some good info (and feel like I'm not the only one hissing through my teeth in distress each time I go out to the garden beds) on these horrendous JB's. Wayne helped me out in another forum with some advice on using Milky Spore, but this was great hearing from some local fellow Hoosiers (I'm in Noblesville, seems like the northside of Indy's well-represented!), especially on using the traps. On some other forum or thread, I saw a person had substituted ziploc bags for the trap bags when they ran out, it was quite the neat improv, so if anyone's using the traps and doesn't have enough bags, go do a search on JBs in here, the picture was worth a thousand words! Just to ask, if anyone's still using the traps, does it help now when maybe they're still mating, to reduce the numbers so there's less adults laying eggs in the soil, or have they already done most of their egg-laying? also, are the grub lawn treatments other than Milky Spore harmful to earthworms?

AEGIS500, a grateful thank you for mentioning that the plum trees will recover despite the ravaged leaf-work, I planted new fruit trees this spring and the JB's chewed the Burbank one to smithereens. I was heartbroken, didn't think it would survive, but this gives me hope.

To those with the ick stories about the JB invading the ear, this isn't farfetched on insects thinking eardrums are cool places to dig into - a friend of mine in Colorado had an earwig enter her ear in the night and had the same awful crawling experience deep inside the canal. Who'd a thunk it, that they can't just pester us on the *outside*, but have to see whether bugging us on the inside is a bigger annoyance? yuck and double yuck.

To those on Indy's northside, do the JB's seem more disoriented and stupid of late? I've been doing the picking-by-hand and dropping into soapy water, they seem so "duhhhh" about it, not as likely to drone off or drop, just cling to the leaves of my raspberries or eggplant until I throw them into the Jar of Death. I didn't know if it meant they were closer to expiring anyway. They've been like a mini-plague this season, been praying the Lord sends something like a fierce west wind to bring relief and send them into the stratosphere. Good to know all of you are out there!


    Bookmark   August 10, 2004 at 12:28AM
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Do a search on "corn rootworm adult"-you are probably seeing the adult beetles.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2004 at 8:27AM
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Oswegian(Z5 IL)

KEVIN 5, thank you. I did go look at that. The corn worm and the cuke bugs are given as each other's closely related species on various pages. They also eat dahlias and roses, they say. My roses have not been affected -- only hibiscus and daylilies.

And the bugs don't look EXACTLY like either one of the species in photos shown. Pretty close, but nobody shows the lime green manifestation. It makes sense, because I'm sure they grew corn and soybeans in this field before the houses went in. That's what they grow in Kendall Co.

What I would like to know is, if they are corn worms, are they in the root system of my rose of sharon and daylilies. That would worry me. It doesn't look like it, by the health of the plants. And there were fewer bugs this year than last, I believe. Thanks very much for your help and everybody's.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2004 at 1:38PM
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    Bookmark   August 23, 2004 at 8:31AM
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juicylucy(z5 IN)

Hi marge,

Hang in there, shouldn't be long before they're underground to lay eggs and hatch grubs to munch on our grass roots :). Seems like they are around later and later every year though. Last year there were still a few hanging around the early part of Sept. if memory serves me correctly. I've just been finding a handful/day lately and that makes me very happy, although some that I'm finding are dirty, like they just emerged from the ground?!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2004 at 5:43PM
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magazinewriter(z5 Mich)

The funny thing about these Japanese beetles are they don't seem to notice when you creep up on them. They just sit there and let themselves be squished.
I must have destroyed about two dozen a week since June, except when I was on vacation. Of course, I have been an absolute fanatic about my garden this summer, since it's the first summer in 15 years I haven't been working full-time. Several times a day, I make the rounds, deadheading, weeding, and killing Japanese beetles.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2004 at 6:13PM
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alysa(z5 IL)

Oswegian -
Northern Corn Rootworm - I've got lots of 'em!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2004 at 8:58PM
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Oswegian(Z5 IL)

alysa, I've STILL got em. Those little bastiges are still eating my ROS and daylilies to bits. I hope they go away after a few years when they realize there isn't any more corn or soybeans around here. I really hate to spray anything. I have a fledgling toad troop, which I hope will grow into a small insecting eating army after a few years, and sprays aren't good for them. The houses have only been here three years.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2004 at 11:25PM
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butterbeanbaby(z5 MO)

For some reason we were inundated with those for several years. They seemed to like my sweet autumn and Julia Correvon clemmies best of all -- they could denude the sweet autumn within a few days, and the thing grows almost to the top of our second story. Hubby asked the garden center for advice and they recommended something to put on the grass... don't remember what it was but he used it and thank the Garden Gods they're all gone. If I can remember I'll post.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2004 at 6:26PM
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magazinewriter(z5 Mich)

I Think they're gone for the year. Unless I crushed all the Japanese Beetles in southeast Michigan single-handedly.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2004 at 10:43PM
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Are you sure that you have a sweet autumn clemetis? Could it be a silver lace vine? Man, I yanked out the silver lace vine and planted a sweet autumn because I thought the beetles didn't go for clemetis. Please, tell me they don't!!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 10:43PM
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Hello from a tranplanted Hoosier! We've got em down here in Georgia, too. There's a weed that we let grow up every year by our steps cause it's kinda pretty - looks like an underwater sea world plant. For some reason the Japs lite there and I just go out with my sandals in hand and smash em. I leave their carcasses dangling down. Here's a new example of hard up: beetles will come and try to mate with these dead bugs!
I thought about getting a neighborhood kid to monitor the plants and give him a nickel for every squeeshed bug, a quarter for copulators!
I really do have better things to do with my time . . .

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 2:50PM
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JBs are worse than the tripods in the new "War of the Worlds". JBs were defoliating my new Dutch-elm resistant American Elms (c.v. Valley Forge) until this year I tried a systemic drench of Bayer Advanced Garden Spray (imidacloprid, a.k.a. "Merit") at the roots in early June. The JBs descended with a vengence as they always do in late June. They nibbled at the leaves but must have moved on since they didn't stay to congregate and skeletonize the leaves as in previous years.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 7:53PM
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Linda Eastman

while it won't help all of you this year, thought you might like to know about the reinforcements which may be on the way. check out the info at nancy lindley's great lakes roses website. there's a project going on at MSU to eradicate the little buggers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Meet the Beetles

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 9:10PM
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I just learned about Japanese Beetles when they ruined a brand new apple tree, peach tree and pear tree. I have been catching them and drowning them in soapy water. Heres the fun part. I bought a bug zapper at a trade show. www.bugzapfun.com It electrocutes mosquitos. As for JB's. Well it actually fries them and gives a nice burning smell. All you do is hold it under the tree and shake.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bug Zapper

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 7:54PM
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I saw my first 3 this am. Squished 2 lost 1. I've been watching for them since I read a warning here. The eardrum thing really scares me, a real horror story if ever there was one. If they get too bad, I don't know what I'll do, weighing the options I've read.

If I ever had a problem with them before, I was oblivious to it, never knew what they looked like. Or cared. Now I have a lot of flowers and tomatoes. And care.

Not that it's an option, but does anyone know what the natural predator is in Japan that kept them in check there?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 7:20PM
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we put traps out a couple of years ago and they attracted more japanese beetles then we had started with. we were being bombarded with them. started using seven dust and we have very little beetles now. they usally start coming out In my area about the first week of july, so we start dusting the flowers they are attracted to at that time.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 10:21PM
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lesley4936(z5 WI)

It appears that using a systemic insecticide makes the roses unpalatable to the JB, but I wonder if it will also make the pollen poisonous for bees? Does anyone know? I'd love to get rid of theJB, but don't want to harm my bumble bees.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 2:32AM
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Thankfully Japanese Beetles have not been a problem here in South Central Kansas. It could be because of the enormous flocks of Starlings we have here. Starlings LOVE Japanese Beetles and will eat the grubs and the adult beetles. We also have a healthy population of Ribbins which eat the grubs. I would suggest putting out bird baths to attract insect eating birds such as Starlings and Robbins to your yard. Did you know that you can buy a bucketful of "beneficial nematodes" to add to your soil? Imported from China specifically to control Japanese beetles in the United States, the spring tiphia wasp burrows into the soil to lay its eggs on top of Japanese beetle grubs. The eggs hatch, and the wasps eat the beetle grubs. Just an idea. It would nice to get the problem under control before it even starts. Also, the
Istocheta aldrichi, commonly known as the tachinid fly, locates small beetles and glues its eggs on them. These look like common houseflies, but nearly always remain outdoors and feed on nectar and pollen. What a great little insect! Its larva eat Japanese beetle grubs while the adult flies polinate your garden.

Here is a link that might be useful: Natural Predators of Japanese Beetles

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 10:12PM
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okie92281(6a Grove)

First Japanese beetle sighted yesterday ( June 2, 2012) north of Grove, Ok. Several already today

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 2:12PM
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Already eating my raspberries here in southern Wisconsin. This is the earliest I have seen them. Put down milky spore powder three years ago. I see less every year but they still manage to destroy the raspberries. The worst part of it is that they wait until the berries are ripe, then they eat them. Might just tear them out if it happens again this year.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 9:00PM
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I have had them up here in mid-Minn. When I saw the number of grubs in the ground while digging I put some soil insecticide down.
They are not gone but now I can dig and see most earth worms.
My significant other still put insecticide in here flower garden at times as one or two still show up there but I can turn a shovel over in the lawn now, very sandy and rarely does one show up.
We used to have a lot of starlings up here, to the point I shot them with a BB gun as I got tired of having to worry about being pooped on as I walked under a tree but now they are still around but far fewer and not due to the ones I shot.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 12:53PM
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mikeinmo(Z6 MO)

how does everyone dispose of the bags from the traps. i have my third full bag in two weeks. i taped the second full bag shut, wrapped it in two plastic grocery bagds and let them all die in the sun. the day after i put them in my outside trash can, horseflies are all over the outside of the trashcan.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 3:07PM
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My husband saw the first JB of the season (for us) 2 days ago. This makes me so sad. I was dreading this.

Last year, we moved into a new house and there was a Virginia Creeper vine all across our back fence. The JB ate it to pieces--which was fine because I didn't much care for the vine. Well, I tore out the vine thinking that without the vine less JB would show up and possibly threaten my raspberries and garden veggies. Silly me proceeded to plant 7 rose bushes only to receive an email from my husband telling me that JB love roses!!

I don't know what to do. I am open to using organic insecticides. Anyone have any suggestions?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 11:04AM
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We have had a wicked JB problem since moving here a few yrs ago, and because I worry about harming our birds and other insects, I am only open to a few options. I don't do the traps because I keep reading that it will just bring more to your property and they all don't all get trapped. We put down milky spore for 2 years (it's a natural baterial powder which kills the grubs-not harmful to anything else) and we did see a reduction last year, but this unbelievably mild winter, I think, allowed way more grubs to survive than normally would. I was seeing incredible numbers of grubs whenever I dug in the spring...so my only option now is to go around the property with a dustbuster-type mini vacuum, suck them up and dump them into soapy water. I am obsessed. (or you can tap them into a bucket of soapy water) When you think about each female laying 50-100 eggs a day...
Also this year I've read about catnip, white annual geranium,4 oclocks, ruta graveolens, and a couple varieties of allium can deter them; haven't tried the allium yet but of the rest, so far it looks like the white annual geraniums are helping my baby river birch, which last yr we ended up putting a sort of tent made of tulle/netting material over the poor thing-they'd eaten him down to a few leaves-their favorite plant in our yard for their gluttonous orgies, this yr only had a couple on one day! So they are all heading to my bee balm patch instead...but I do recommend milky spore for long term; it does take 3-5 years for full effect.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 1:16PM
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I saw my first JB last month, and thought it might be some type of baby June bug. Boy howdy was I ever wrong! Within a few days my beautiful red rose bush was decimated, and there wasn't a bud or remains of a bloom one that wasn't covered with those little nasties. So I took a can of soapy water and went to town, drowning every one I could find. Then I snipped off every bud/bloom piece that remained in an effort to discourage any more JB from moving in. Hopefully it worked as I haven't seen a JB for the past few days. Keeping my fingers crossed that their numbers are down enough that my poor rose will pull out of it and maybe even able to produces a few more blooms this year.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 9:55PM
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garden_crazy(z5 N IL)

Milky spore has helped significantly -especially if the neighbors use it also. Put it down about 5 or 6 years ago and had only a few this year -I was wondering if our crazy hot, dry summer has had an effect on them? I'm 50 miles northwest of Chicago and have had only 3/10 inch of rain in the last 6 weeks.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 4:54PM
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