Goodbye Japanese Beetles

gaitten(6a)August 15, 2006

Anyone else confirm my anecdotal observation that the plague from hell disappeared early this year? While they ruined another season of roses and devoured everything from maple trees to my new Harry Lauder's Walking Stick, they are scarce on my property today.

Perhaps it was the week of intense heat that did them in?

Good riddance and syonara in any case. btw, Milky Spore doesn't work :-(

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slubberdegulion(z7 VA)

Unfortunately, no. I haven't ever seen masses of them here, but there are more this year than most and they are still cavorting in the flowers.

Glad to hear yours are gone though!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 10:42PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

I saw only two this year, but I apply Milky Spore every 4th year in spite of the ads that claim a 15 year life for the spores. My neighbors have [finally!] also all applied MS, so there are very few areas for the grubs.

Steve, I can think of several reasons for the apparent lack of effectiveness of milky spore: a- the spores were damaged en route, and there weren't enough live ones to make a noticeable effect; b- it takes at least one full growing season for the spores to multiply sufficiently to overcome numerous grubs; c- while JBs can fly up to mile in search of forage, the majority seem to stay within 600 feet of their hatching grounds. If only a small area was inoculated, the beetles will come over from the neighbor's! and lastly, d- if you grow or are surrounded by their favored host plants, it is rather like ringing a dinner bell... all JBs within scent of the plants are going to come and eat, and then lay their eggs so that next year's beetles have goody food nearby.

The attached link includes a nice list of favored host plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: about japanese beetles

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 9:49AM
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Yea!! Almost gone here too!! Still a few on the roses.
I have never tried Milky Spore, guess I'll be doing that this year, when is the "right time" or is there one?
I have no neighbors except for deer and trees so I'm hoping this will really work for me.

Thanks Meldy,
Always a wealth of information!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 1:12PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Cross your fingers, Heather -- I would think the deer more of a problem than the bugs, lol.

I usually sprinkle the powder in very early spring, mostly because I like the rain to help settle it into the soil. I don't remember, but I think the recommended time is actually in the late summer or fall. I will warn that it is quite expensive, and you really do have to consider the 600' radius of the new beetle's likely travel, which means a lot of area to cover with the spore!

Here is a link that might be useful: info on milky spore

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 3:36PM
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On WAMU, they had a gardening show today. Unfortunately, I only caught the last 10 minutes or so. Anyway, one of the callers said that he has used Habanero + garlic (ground up and strained), and it kills the JBs if you spray 'em. Next year, I'm going to give it a shot.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 11:41PM
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The big brown furry monsters eat everything, azaleas, hostas and even nibble on the daylillies- although the local nursery lady says no. I think they get to a point where they'll try anything once!! Better at experimenting with food than my kids are.

Yes, the deer are a problem, however this year what the deer didn't eat, the beetles did! I did not realize what a delicacy the roses and crab apples are to the green monsters until the other post....

Black spot and rust have been a real issue too. ALL the HEAT and HUMIDITY...... Our area has seemed worse than normal. I'm actually thiking of cutting all the peonies to the ground and burning all the stalks and leaves- no matter how much I clip and burn, more appears!!
I'll look into the spore and start with the "hot spots" this fall. Under the Rose of Sharons, roses, crab apples and fruit trees, then fan out. Realistically we hang 8 bags on the forest's edge to help control, but that isn't enough. I'd like to get about a 200' circle done.

Gotta start somewhere!!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 3:01PM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

I have seen very few Japanese beetles this year...and the slug damage has been way down...but I have had a lot more problems with aphids, powdery mildew, rust and black spot...and lately I have been dragging around the hose a lot to keep everything alive. I have not quite figured out if this is the easiest place to garden or the hardest.

- Brent

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 9:32PM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)


I'm over by Harper's Ferry and the JB population has been very low this year. I'm actually able to cut roses AFTER they open. And my plum tree has hardly been munched at all. I wanna do a happy dance but I'm afraid it would be bad luck:)

The Ag ex agent told me that others in the area have reported seeing far less JB this year also. She said she thinks it's because of the drought last fall but I say that never stopped em before!

Keeping fingers crossed.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 3:16PM
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I didnt have any problems with JB's this year in my garden. Not even a bit but the rose of sharon and the roses that didnt get any worm castings got eaten up real bad.I spread worm castings on my yard and garden and didnt even have problems like aphids, grubs, or black spot on roses but no castings and they eat it up.Go figure. I missed it and they told me which ones it was that was missed.I had the big problem with squash borers and little green worms on my Brussel sprouts. I didnt even have to use as much water in the garden. By now you dont have any beetles but thought this would help out some. Signed mikee22712 Culpeper Va

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 11:46PM
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Wish I could say there were few beetles, but we were inundated with them. A plague of JP. They devoured our peaches, corn and crepe myrtles. I think the only reasons the roses were left pretty much alone this year was due to the first crop of fragrant sweet peaches. I think we got one out of every 10 peaches before they were COATED in beetles.

Strange enough they only devour the stuff around the house and in the orchard...our crepe myrtles at the bottom of the driveway (600 feet from the house and along the roadway at our neighbor's are left completely alone.

Unfortunately Milky spore doesn't work for us because we also have pasture areas where it isn't supposed to be used. We're trying to keep things organic, but I'm at the point where I will use Sevin next year just to kill them off.

Someone told us to try those spiked aerator shoes to kill the grubs when they get close to the surface again in spring...anyone have experience with that method working?

~ Tru

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 12:16PM
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myloki(7 Va)

Well, I think everyone else's beetles were dining in MY yard this year. I had two roses that were nearly leafless by the end of August and I still saw one or two beetles in October. Hand picking did not nearly keep up with them. I'm going to HAVE to do Milky Spore.
And Heather, deer LOVE daylilies. My in-laws haven't seen them bloom in years despite many gadgets and sprays including electric fences and predator urine.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 4:34PM
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And I thought I had every Japanese Beetle in the state this summer. What hurt even more was as soon as the beetles were gone along came the Stink Bugs that demolished my late cukes and everything else the bettles didn't touch. Being on 3 acres surrounded by farm fields using Milky Spore is useless. Once they get tired of the corn/soybeans over they come to get dessert on my flowers. I have made a list of the things they didn't harm and will plant more of them next year, but still can't find the answer to my existing roses etc that they love.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 7:35AM
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