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Nocturnal beetles eating everything

Posted by victorine72 7a (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 26, 10 at 11:35

Help! I'm new to zone 7, but not new to gardening. I have a huge bug problem as of late in my Richmond VA gardens. Just in the past two weeks, a plague of smallish, round brown nocturnal beetles have been devouring just about everything in sight. Last year (my first year at this house) I had only had the occasional spider mite infestation to deal with. Now I'm outside spraying until midnight in an attempt to save the last green shreds remaining on many of my plants. I generally don't use hard-core chemicals (I have a wild honey bee hive in one of my oaks) but I can't seem to get rid of these little brown f*****s using my usual (and usually effective) neem oil/dish soap spray. I tried systemics on the vegetative plants (coleus, weigela, rumex) but saw little improvement. Anybody else out there with the same problem?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Nocturnal beetles eating everything

I live in SJ and I have the same problem. They haven't destroyed everything but they have made it look bad. With no rain were not getting the nice lush groth so I think it stands out more. I don't really know what to do either.


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RE: Nocturnal beetles eating everything

OMG! I wonder if this is the same beetle I have seen in the soil under every plant I have dug up! This little brown beetle comes out at night to fly around the light at my back door. That was a bit of a clue that tells me they are nocturnal. There is one question that remains however,...is THIS the real culprit that is devouring everything in sight? Monarda, Cleome, Mint, you name it,...I wish my daughter ate such a diverse diet!
With the amount of damage I have gotten this year, I HAVE to identify the problem!
I'm thinking of putting something systemic down in the fall and spring. And I hate to do this, because I am an organic gardener!!!!!


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RE: Nocturnal beetles eating everything

Look up June bugs and see if that is what you have.
They are a beetle reddish brown solid color


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RE: Nocturnal beetles eating everything

Victorine, can you take a picture? I'd guess a lot of different bugs fit the description.... A photo could really help. (They're not Japanese beetles are they?)


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RE: Nocturnal beetles eating everything

You dont think it could be stink bugs...


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RE: Nocturnal beetles eating everything

I am getting literally attacked by these bugs so I know exactly what you mean! I made the mistake of walking out on my porch around 1-2 am and they were EVERYWHERE. Eating all of my sunflowers, my peppers, my tomatoes, my raspberry plants...not very happy about them, lol. There were so many out there I ran back inside because I couldn't even sit out there peacefully like I like to do before bed!

I think they may be brown June beetles, seems to somewhat match what I can see of them - unfortunately I've only seen them when it is dark and the camera does not do so well in low lighting.

If anyone has some suggestions on how to get rid of these things I would love to hear them! We had sprayed earlier this year to get rid of those pesky stinkbugs and that does not seem to be effective on them at all!


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RE: Nocturnal beetles eating everything

Folks, I think we're dealing with the Asiatic Garden Beetle... http://sheltontrails.blogspot.com/2010/07/asian-garden-beetles.html .... I got up this AM and found skeletons in my garden..peppermint,spearmints, (both are suppose to repel harmful bugs- HA!!)bachelors buttons,nasturtiums,sunflowers, marigolds,jalapenos... My daughter and I have been using DE(diatomaceous earth) fairly consistantly; except last night and it's reasonably priced. Sometimes it takes some patience. My daughter said she found some of these beetles dead in the garden later today..(YAY VICTORY !!!!) I pray that y'all have victory in your gardens , too!


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RE: Nocturnal beetles eating everything

If this is the same brown nocturnal beetle that I've got, then yes it is the Asiatic garden beetle.

They definitely prefer some plants over others and although I might be imagining this they seem to really go for the herbs -- basil, pineapple sage, mint etc. They also really love my sunflowers! Other stuff they don't touch at all.

The only way I have found to control them is late-night patrols with a container of soapy water. Knock 'em in and drown 'em. During the day they burrow around the roots (and eat them!)

You can usually flood them out by filling the root area with water.

In the spring, get rid of them by pulling the white grubs from the soil. Also, slimy white stuff = egg sacs.

I've had to trash all my pineapple sage, they were skeletalized! They attack some coleus, but not others. Hmm . . . They have also done damage on my woodland Asters and Beautyberry but they don't touch the Bugbane, geranium, or heuchera which are planted in the same bed. Go figure.


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RE: Nocturnal beetles eating everything

I have them too. They are eating my coleus!


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RE: Nocturnal beetles eating everything

The Asiatic garden beetle (aka June beetle) is destroying my plants this year!!! I'm debating trying diatomaceous earth (DE) or a pyrethrin spray. Anyone have advice about this? Thanks in advance.


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RE: Nocturnal beetles eating everything

Yep, the June bugs are really bad this year. Every night I kill dozens of them in my house. They swarm in when I open the door for my dog.


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