What are these beetles and how do I get rid of them?

2ajsmamaJuly 8, 2011

I saw this forum and figured this was the best place to ask, though they don't seem to be damaging my tomatoes too much (just cosmetics). But I think this may be why my in-ground peppers aren't doing well? The hot peppers in pots on the porch are much bigger, darker green, and are starting to form flowers.

My great-uncle says these are Asiatic Beetles, DH calls them June bugs (says they're in the lawn too), but a Google search yielded much different-looking bugs with those names. These are about the size of a Japanese beetle (have those too, destroyed my roses and now they're moving to the tomatoes), they fly pretty well though low, and buzz like a bee while flying. Just too many to pick off and squish, and they're out all day long.

Help!

Sorry - my camera does not take good closeups

On the peppers

Leaf damage on tomatoes

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Your camera takes fine pictures. The problem is you're holding it too close to the subject.

Please try again with the critters on your hand.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 10:50PM
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2ajsmama

Can you tell what they are from the middle photo? There are 2 on the pepper leaf to the left, at the base of the triangle formed by the pepper blossoms.

I'll try to take better pictures after it dries out a bit - thunderstorm last night. Thanks

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 5:45AM
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lionheart_gw

I suspect they are flea beetles, but you may want to verify. There seems to be a bumper crop of flea beetles in many places this year. They are usually dark colored but appear to have a metallic sheen.

Link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flea Beetle Info

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 9:29PM
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2ajsmama

Those pinholes do look like flea beetle damage but I haven't found any flea beetles. These beetles are much larger (about the size of a Japanese beetle) and fly, don't jump. I suspect they are causing the large holes in the peppers.

They seemed to disappear after the rain, but they're back today. Hope these are better pix:

Damage

They seem to like to burrow in the bark mulch - I wonder if they came in with it, or maybe the grubs were in our soil anyway? I'm wondering if mulching with newspaper covered with grass clippings would be better? Though we have used bark mulch for years with no problem?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 11:06AM
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2ajsmama

Ag Test station sent me a brochure listing common pests, looks like these are Oriental beetles. Haven't heard back from them on how to get rid of them - any suggestions? I did find OMRI listed Ortho Elementals insecticidal soap but label doesn't list adult beetles. Even if it works, it will only kill the ones I soak, won't keep them away from my plants. Thanks

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 11:20AM
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