It's been great, enjoying my roses without centerpieces of those nasty Jap. beetles. But now they''re here, enjoying my roses. Do you have them yet?
They showed up here (Vermont) yesterday, defoliating my pumpkin leaves. There were a lot of them, much more than the past few years. I tried the bucket of soapy water routine and drowned a couple dozen of them.
A question: is it safe to pour the bucket of dead beetles and soapy water onto the compost heap? They can't lay eggs after they have died, can they?
I've had them for a while. I think they have been eating my basil.
No, do not put them in your compost pile. The eggs can still be expelled, and IMO the nasty beetles do not decompose very well. Plus they'll start to stink very soon.
Thanks Mehearty. Perhaps I need a colander or strainer to remove them from the bucket, and a bottle w/ air tight lid for disposal. My compost heap is mostly horse manure, far from the house, so dead beetles decomposing, or not, are a drop in the olefactory bucket. Clearly, though, I need to dispose of the bodies where they cannot be expelling eggs into the soil.
I think if they're dead for a while, the eggs cease to be viable. I do not know how long that is, however. We empty out beetle jars after a few weeks, so I'm guessing that's the right amount of time.
The reason I say they're not good decomposers, is that I planted a bunch of 4 o'clocks in a bed that gets hit particularly hard by beetles. Not sure if it's true, but I've heard that 4 o'clocks are poison to the JBs, but they cannot resist them. The following spring, when I was cleaning up that bed, I found hundreds of dead JBs looking as fresh as the day they were hatched the previous July. I cannot say with certainty if the 4 o'clocks killed them or an early frost (our beetles can hang around till October) got them. But they were on the ground where the 4 o'clocks were. I did not plant them again, because like beetle bags, they may kill, but their scent may also attract.
Keep fighting. I won't rest until they're completely eradicated from the face of the earth. =)
Whitegarden, I just went out to the garden and now the beetles have discovered the basil!
Sorry Carol. I have wrapped mine with a ring of small wire and then a wrap of a wad of bird netting. They can still get through if they really want to, but they have to go through a maze to get to the basil. I'll let you know if it works. Another year, another combination of critter issues!
I see a few Japanese Beetles on the roses. I have been absent from the garden so I probably have a lot more, just not getting in there and seeing to what extent. I noticed them on a rose near the front walk on my way by. I don't usually get a high population of them. I hope to get out there and get rid of them before I end up with one.
Yes, each year it's a different combination of critters. I usually get a lot of damage from earwigs during the night. This year I've barely seen any damage from ear wigs. It was quite a significant difference, especially to my basil and echinacea. Last year they were awful and this year I can actually enjoy them. I wondered if that crazy winter with all the snow cover had something to do with it. I can't imagine what other reason would have made such a change. I haven't been keeping up with the RLLBeetle this year either and I noticed going past a Lily the other day the foliage is not looking so good. But I'm not worrying about it. I think whatever year I have time to pay attention to it, I can get it under control.
I was reading an article in the Globe from the Sunday paper about a gardener that was not keeping up with her garden this year and how it was doing better without her interventions then it usually did with it. That gave me a good laugh. I think it is just a better gardening year then usual. Next year will be different again.
The odd thing is, that first day there was a swarm of the nasty Japanese beetles, but since then (for the two days following their arrival) I've only seen a few. Do Japanese beetles migrate?
Unless they return en masse again, I'm not going to get crazy with erradication methods. It is annoying to think that perhaps the beetles I've squished over the years may still have been depositing eggs.
I live just north of Concord NH and I think the beetles are just finding my garden. A couple of days ago it was just one here and there but this weekend I clapped a leaf that a half dozen or so were sitting on. I don't have roses so I'll have to look to see what they might be eating.
I just saw a couple gorging on the Queen Elizabeth rose on Fri -- first sighting. But just about on time. Now I see holes in the few blooms left on other roses from the first flush. Yesterday, out came the soapy water jar to flick them into. It is so satisfying.