They are even eating the rhubarb leaves! I thought they were poisonous. Very frustrating. According to my Rodale's "Garden Problem Solver" they have a 1 or 2 year life cycle with larvae overwintering in soil. Sigh!!
Are you talking about Japanese beetles?
Here's what I do - I make up a homemade spray of dishwashing liquid and hot pepper sauce and spray the beetles with it. They don't die right away, but they do eventually. I also shake off the ones I can reach into a bottle of soap solution. I made the mistake of putting them in just plain water one time and they swam around for TWO DAYS! I'm sure to use the soap solution now. I don't use chemicals in my garden and I figure the soap solution should be eco-friendly.
Last year we were inundated with them and I used my spray. This year, there are fewer beetles and I have to look carefully to find them on my plants. So I'm thinking the spray worked and that's why there are fewer this year.
Yes I'm sorry I forgot to mention Japanese Beetles. I guess I am so focused on them I think everyone has the problem. Yes I do knock them into a container with soap and water morning and evening. I used Neem spray and my husband used grub killer on the lawn in the late spring. Thanks for your response. All suggestions are thankfully accepted.
My mom bought a "Japanese Beetle trap" at Agway...she said that you open the bag and hang it up...there's bait in there that the beetles are attracked to.
The funny part is...she opened the bag outside and they were all over her trying to get into the bag! It was hanging for 24 hrs and she actually had to empty it! She re-hung and they are continually drawn to it...it's like an airport!
I haven't seen it in action...and I don't know if this is a "natural" product...and I have no clue what you do with a bag of beetles...but it seems to keep them off of her plants.
JP traps are not recommended by most gardeners! They attract many more beetles to your garden and they don't all end up in the trap! You have more beetles than if you had no trap at all.
mombo - you could try getting some row cover and securing it over the plants. That way the beetles can't get in but the rhubarb will still get some sun.
I know how frustrating it can be. One of my sisters had them swarming all over her pole beans a couple years ago and they just defoliated almost every leaf of every bean plant despite our furious hand-picking. It was pretty disgusting to see dozens and dozens piled on top of one another gorging themselves and reproducing at the same time. They had even covered her peach tree. At some point, she gave up with the beans but did sprinkle Sevin on the peach tree, which took them all out almost immediately. She fortunately managed to get some bean harvest before the deluge and the plants continued to produce some more foliage and beans at the end of the season after the beetles were gone. She had also staggered the planting, so several bean plants were maturing after the beetles were gone too. She found the following year that they didn't bother with the bush beans she decided to try as an alternate.
She was trying swiss chard this year but the groundhogs got that before the beetles even emerged! And that was with her having a tall fence around the plants (that they figured out how to get under)!!! :-\
Japanese beetles are munching the heck out of my rugosa roses, but I just pretend not to see them. Works like a charm. I try not to get stressed out about the garden anymore, life is too short.
Beetles? What beetles??
After a while you get used to ignoring them like Carol said. If you plant enough there will be always something not getting eaten! What better excuse to get more plants!!
Plant garlic around everything they like to eat. I've done this in the past. Some plants they won't touch, and others they'll eat less.
The thing is, what type of garlic? The first time I did this, I used garlic that I bought at the supermarket. Broke the bulb down to individual cloves, and planted the cloves around the plants the jb were munching on.
The foliage was small and grass-like, so it worked rather nicely.
The next time I planted garlic, I used a garlic bulb that I bought at a farm market. The foliage grew about four feet high, and looped at the top. I found it amusing so I let it go, even though it looked terribly out of place next to the rose bush. :-)
The neighbors loved it, and kept asking what it was.
In the fall, I harvested the garlic plants, and distributed it to the neighbors.
Right now I don't have anything that the jb's like, so there have been no more adventures in garlic growing.