UMass Extension Landscape Message June 1, 2012

claireplymouth z6b coastal MAJune 1, 2012

UMass Extension Landscape Message June 1, 2012

"Winter Moth began pupation in the soil starting last week in the warmer regions of the state. In the cooler (more coastal) regions feeding continues but will cease very soon. Defoliation was spotty in the greater Boston area with the heaviest defoliation occurring between Providence, RI and Southeastern MA and out onto Cape Cod. "

and before you let down your guard:

"Japanese beetle adults may emerge early this year: I have had reports from colleagues in the Midwest that Japanese beetles have been emerging two to four weeks earlier than normal in their locations. Since the Northeast has also experienced a warm spring, we can expect beetles to emerge early here as well. Normally I begin to be aware of Japanese beetle adults swarming in early July (often right around July 4th), although the earliest ones start flying in late June. This year I would not be surprised if people start finding Japanese beetles in monitoring traps as early as late next week. Certainly I suspect we will be seeing them by the middle of the month.

Reported by Dr. Pat Vittum, Professor and Extension Entomologist, UMass Department of Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences, Amherst."


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Not to sound dumb here. But what is a Japanese Beetle? Specifically - what plants do they eat? I have vague recollections of catching them as kids.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 1:01PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

You're very lucky, pixie_lou, if you haven't had experience with Japanese Beetles beyond catching them when you were a kid. The Japanese Beetle is one of our earliest imported pests (accidentally introduced in 1916), sort of a prequel to winter moths and other defoliators. The grubs eat the roots of lawn grass, with serious effects, and the adult beetles eat the leaves of something like 300 different species of plants, also with serious effects. Roses are particularly hit hard.

When people complain about grubs in their lawns, it's usually Japanese Beetle grubs.

I don't have a big problem here, for which I thank the skunks and birds for eating grubs, but I'm sure other GW members can give lurid descriptions of their experiences with Japanese Beetles.

A few good links:

UMass Extension

Morton Arboretum

Missouri Botanical Garden


    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 2:31PM
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I don't have grubs. Fortunately.

We used to also collect grubs as kids. We would have contests to see who could fill a coffe can full of them first. I remember my grandfather would then give each of us kids a dollar and he would dump some nasty chemical on the grubs and then throw the coffee cans in the trash. And now that I know they are nasty pests - I will mention that we would pull the wings off the Japanese Beetles. I should have known that they were nasty bugs if my grandmother let us do that. She would catch bugs and release them outside instead of killing them. But she didn't seem to mind when we tortured grubs and Japanese beetles.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 10:04AM
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