Japanese Beetles - What's the deal this year!?!?

elongrad97(z6 PA)July 5, 2005

My God, they attack me when I'm watering, they are desimating the my gorgeous hollyhocks, and what great timing, I planted no less than 4 new rose bushes 2 weeks ago.

WalMart is out of bags, so I bought Sevin and was throwing dust around the side of the house. They're EVERYWHERE! I was riding a horse out and around the Brandywine Conservancy area of Chester County this weekend and I was seeing 10-20 beetles on one leave in wide open fields. I have never seen so many in my life. What's the deal!?!?

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Me too.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 11:48AM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

Is milky spore still in use? My husband treated our lawn when we first moved here, and as a result we were JB-free for about 15 years. Before that, we were loaded with them. The stuff was expensive, as I recall...

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 12:08PM
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blueheron(z6 PA)

Yes, I use milky spore and it works. I did see about 2 dozen in my yard, though, but I caught them in a jar of soapy water.

FYI, here's an item from Mike McGrath, former editor of Organic Gardening Magazine that I bookmarked:

"Come fall, beetle battlers should plant some (or more) forsythia, peonies, firethorn and tulip poplars to attract the spring tiphia wasp (tiphia vernalis). Deliberately released in the U.S. a few years after the dreaded beetle was accidently introduced (in 1916), the wasp was recently rediscovered alive and well here on the East Coast (from New York down to North Carolina). It's a great beetle enemy - the female wasp goes down into the soil and lays her eggs right on the grubs, so more beetle-battling wasps emerge instead of those armored rose-eating pests! The wasps can kill 85% of the grubs in a lawn. That's better than nasty chemical insecticides achieve!"

Important info: These wasps closely resemble another feared pest - winged black carpenter ants! Luckily, the wasps' attraction to the above-named plants (and not to the wood of your house) should help you ID the good from the bad, so the good can survive to go after the ugly."

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 8:01PM
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elongrad97(z6 PA)

I waged war and won! I dusted with Sevin and they are ALL dead and on the ground. That'll teach 'em!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 9:47AM
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Is sevin potentially harmful to birds (particularly bug eaters and hummingbirds)? How about butterfly catipillars? My guess is yes. If it is not I'll consider useing it because those dang JBs are qucikly devouring my garden as we speak! But, I have worked too hard to attract butterflies and hummers to my garden to risk harming any of them!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 10:22AM
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hannah(5 south IN)

JD...maybe use Safer BioNeem?
I know it's safe for food crops, so perhaps it's safe for birds...you'd have to do a search, I guess.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 11:32AM
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I don't have any real problem with Japanese beetles in my 3-year-old garden. I have found a few on my bee balm and I flicked them into soapy water to kill them---SO easy, and no wildlife is/are harmed. My bee balm still looks great flower-wise, where the beetles sit, although the foliage is a little bedraggled which is mostly from the weather & a bit of mildew.

I do not use ANY herbicides or insecticides or anything like that in my outdoor garden because the wildlife are going to be affected by that cr*p.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 12:02PM
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I started using Safer this year and is does attract and capture the beetles. I am still playing with where to correctly place it as I have large gardens. As for the use of Sevin: it kills butterflies, their larvae and other insects beneficial or otherwise. It is an insecticide. AND the beetles still have to chew the leaves in order to ingest the Sevin so the holes are there even though the beetles drop dead. Sevin has a false reputation as being "safe" It kills insects. It is non-selective

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 10:53PM
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rsmallen(z6 PA)

I am loaded with beetles this year. I must have planted their favorite foods! My husband is picking them off by the handful. I think I'll look into Milky Spore to see if it is effective for the grubs or also for the beetles. I don't have a grub problem...but since nobody else in the devlopment gardens beyond foundation shrubs I get all the beetles in my many flower beds (I believe if it can be planted in flowers, do it!).

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 11:01PM
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lynn_d(Z5 PA)

I hate using any sort of an insecticide in our gardens but I did spray the little buggers yesterday. They have totally devastated my rose bush, there is not a single leaf left on it and they are after my weeping cherry and Harry Lauder's Walking Stick. They nearly killed them last year so I killed them yesterday before they could get to my cannas. This is the first time in 11 years I have sprayed any pest in the gardens but have to admit, it felt good watching them drop.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 8:50AM
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Couple of weeks ago my brother and I were fishing and he asked me where all the beetles were this year, 1st time he has not been plagued with them.

Yesterday I left him know that they are all at my garden this year attacking my sweet corn and blueberries!

Read the post about planting forthyia ?? well I don't know what that is about, I have 250 feet of it 15' wide 10' tall right alongside of my garden that I have been attempting to cut down and recover my property and beetles I have!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 2:05PM
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HerbLady49(Z6 PA)

I have kept my population down to a minimum for years by putting up 5 traps around but away from my gardens. In 2004 and 2005 I didn't trap because there were hardly any. Unfortunately in 2006 they came back with a vengeance, probably from the neighboring community so I put out my 5 traps again and this year the population has been reduced considerably. I expect that next year there will be hardly any but I will still put up a couple of traps. I never spray because the only insecticide that kills them is "Seven" which kills everything and can make people and pets sick.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 8:28AM
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We've had very few Japanese beetles here for the past several years (knocking very loudly on wood!) That may be attributable to the fact that I apply beneficial nematodes every year, though another family members insists that it's probably our flock of guineas that is cleaning them up. We also have a large number of songbirds hanging around, which probably helps.

Strangely enough, all the beetles I saw last year seemed to head straight for my variegated porcelain berry vine. I don't know if they liked the lighter-colored leaves or what.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 3:25PM
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missriss(6b PA)

We had a lot of success early on but now that the lures on all 3 of my traps are old and the bags have held thousands of dead beetles I'm finding more and more on my plants and it realy ticks me off. When is their season done?? I guess I'll have to buy new traps and do the soapy water trick for now. Today I checked out my hyacinth bean vine and some of the leaves are chewed to bits. It didn't look like that a couple of days ago. Argh!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 10:57AM
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earline_pa zone 6 Pa.

Has anyone noticed English sparrows munching up the JBs? I have not seen this until this year.
Last year I broke down and purchased two traps (I strongly dislike them) I was catching so many that I rigged up store bags to capture these eating machines.
My purple plum looked like a lace tree!! The variegated porcelain berry vine was the same way. I found out latter that both of these plants are magnets for JBs :0
This year I did not send out buffet invites ;)) with the traps. The English sparrows are keeping them in check.
I know that many in the birding community have no tolerance
for the English house sparrow but they are doing a great job
on my JBs.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 7:21AM
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Pipersville_Carol(z6 Bucks PA)

The JBs are munching the heck out of my hibiscus and echinacea.

Is milky spore difficult to apply?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 9:48AM
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missriss(6b PA)

Last year I broke down and purchased two traps (I strongly dislike them)

This year I did not send out buffet invites ;)) with the traps

earline pa, I have found the traps to be highly effective in drawing the jb's AWAY from my plants. The key is putting them somewhere that is far enough away from the plants you're trying to protect. My hubby put one on a birch tree and I scolded him because the jb's were landing there devouring my tree instead of falling in the bag. We use 3 traps on about 1 acre and finally had to pitch them because we need new lures and bags and now the little nasties are eating my valuables! I'm going to WalMart today to get new traps! My birds just aren't cutting it.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 10:29AM
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I live in a condominium complex and the beetles are eating all of my flower leaves. I don't want to use Sevin because I have a cat. I tried garlic spray but the beetles don't seem to be bothered by it. I keep killing them with soapy water but more keep coming back to my plants. I thought about Milky Spore but not sure if putting it on my small patch of grass (since live in complex) will even help since they can fly in from all over? Any ideas???

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 11:55AM
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Luckily I'm so busy moving back into my home from overseas that all I have time to do is notice that my roses are covered and the buds never have time to open, my Hypericum androsaemum is turned to lace and the red raspberries are clusters of beetles instead of berries.

If I had time maybe I'd get upset...as it is, I figure there's always next year.:^)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 9:13PM
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