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japanese beetles- Help- help

19 years ago

I moved to Tennessee last summer and this is my first year gardening. I am drowning in JB, they are eating everything. I picked over 70 off my garden yesterday. I got mad and sprayed malthion yesterday evening. What can I do?? I love my bees and ladybugs. Help!! How long do these horrible things hang around!!

Comments (19)

  • 19 years ago

    Plan on about 6-7 weeks for Japanese beetles to be in your garden. They invade mine by the hundreds. It is not unusual to find a hibiscus blossom with about 50 on that one blossom. Yuck!! I have gotten to the point that I cut off blossoms of hibiscus, cannas, and roses then spray the foilage with BUG STOP. I think this is made by Spectracide. It is supposed to be effective for up to 4 weeks. I hate to use any chemicals, but by cutting off blossoms before spraying, I try to minimize the damage to other beneficial insects. I guess I hope they will go to someone else's yard to eat if they can't find food here. I also grow banana plants, which they love and I have to regularly spray these as well. For other plants I pour about 1" of gasoline in a can and hand pick the buggers and drop them in the gasoline. Kerosens also works as well as many other things. Good luck!!

  • 19 years ago

    Try putting out some birdbaths. I've got a metal birdbath and a clay saucer I keep filled with water and the saucer seems to be the most popular. The birds sit on the edge of the metal birdbath and wait for a turn in the clay saucer!
    Get a couple of the big clay saucers -- the ones that go under pots to catch runoff. At least 12 inches across or bigger. Keep them clean and filled with water. I scrub mine out and replace the water every day to keep mosquitos out.
    The birds come in for a bath and then hop around my plants and eat the bugs. Sort of a bird country club with an all-you-can-eat buffet. Sparrows are my most regular "customers" but I've also got some cardinals, robins, Jays, doves and mocking birds stopping by.
    It's the most pest-free my garden has been. Just make sure you don't use any poisons on the beetles since it will kill the birds.
    It helps to give the birds places to perch near the plants you want them to eat the bugs off of. I stuck in some branches that they find handy.

  • 19 years ago

    The Bag-A-Bug is a very efficient JB killer. We had JBs like crazy back in upstate NY, so we hung several out, just upwind of the Rose of Sharon bushes. Sure enough, they follow the perfume right into the bag, where they die. You do need to empty the bag every week or so or they stink. But at least you don't have to spray.

  • 19 years ago

    We got our first ones this week. Ours tend to stay on the Cannas. Bayers use to work but now, after four years, I think that they have built up an immunity. I'm gonna try the BugStop and see if that helps. The Bag-a-bug just seems to draw them from every other yard within a mile radius so that's not an option at all. I'd like to find a trap that keeps 'em alive so that I could fish with 'em on Saturdays.

  • 19 years ago

    It's expensive, but I treated my yard with Milky Spores three years ago. And last year, I could really tell a difference in the number of Japanese Beetles. I also planted 4 o'clocks which are supposed to be poisonous to the beetles. Does it really work? All I know is that I didn't have Beetles last year but for a short period of time.

    I do keep a cup of soapy water handy and will patrol the yard, knocking the nasty things into the cup.

  • 19 years ago

    Hmm I like the 4 o'clocks idea..Will have to try that and the saucer thing.. We haven't seen any yet..But last year I was eat up with them nasty little things.. Of course..We had those stupid bags which I never want to see again.... They do seem to come from miles around to sniff the bait....

    And as for fishin' with them..The Catfish didn't like them..Not sure about anything else...My koi dont either..hehehe

  • 19 years ago

    They will eat the heck out of all my Hibiscus when they bloom. Havn't seen them here alot YET, but they are driving my mother crazy eating her Hollyhocks.

    Cheryl

  • 19 years ago

    I put down beneficial nematodes this spring and I haven't seen one yet.

  • 19 years ago

    Cool idea about the nematodes. Where did you buy them? The JB's are on my hibiscus, cannas, bananas, roses, well, most everything. I tried the traps last year and found that it did seem to pull them away from my flowers. About half of the people in my subdivision also had the traps. We usually had 3 full bags every day for weeks. It gets expensive buying all the supplies. I wonder if I put down Milky Spore or beneficial nematodes if it will really reduce the number of beetles. Will they just find my flowers anyway, even if they are hatched (do they hatch??) in neighboring yards?

  • 19 years ago

    The japanese beetles here are having a lovefest on my four o'clocks so that is out. I finally sprayed malathion just to give my flowers a break. I have been handpicking about 4 times a day. I sorta frighten myself at the elation I feel when I knock them into my soapy water!

  • 18 years ago

    Regarding the four o'clocks, what I have heard is that the Japanese beetles *will* eat the heck out of them, but that a little while later, after they fly off, they die of poison from eating them. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but that was what I was taught.

    I'm getting quite a few beetles this year already, more than the last two years. Usually, I just let them devour my yellow roses--I have two prolific Austins that bloom like crazy. The beetles prefer those so much that they mostly stay away from everything else and I can go out in the morning and squish them. Of course, I'd forgotten how much they like cannas. Hadn't had any cannas for a few years. But the yellow roses do seem to be their favorites. Apparently they are attracted to yellow as a food color, which is why all the traps are yellow, in addition to having a scent lure.

    Milky spore will help decrease the population in your yard, but there is nothing to prevent them from flying in from the neighbor's yard. If you can convince your neighbors or the neighborhood association to work together, every one can treat their yard, which WILL put a big dent in your local problem. But eventually they will come back.

    Luckily, they are mostly gone when mid-August rolls around. But the month of July is always a total loss for my roses.

  • 18 years ago

    We inherited 2 roses when we moved in last June. Jerry couldnt bring himself to prune the taller gangly one, and its gotten all eaten by beetles, but the shorter one in the back of the house has a mint planted next to it, and little to NO beetle damage. Are herbs the way to go? Ive also had extra healthy pink fairy roses at my dads since I planted chives between them.

  • 18 years ago

    I hit 'em with Bayers today and they're toast. We'll see how long it lasts.

  • 18 years ago

    Spray them with Windex With Ammonia. The ammonia kills them on contact and it won't hurt the plants.

  • 18 years ago

    They are worse here on the mountain than they were last year and I thought that was bad. Didn't see any the first year we were here so wonder why that was? Anyway, we have several color roses and they like all of them but especially a pink shrub rose which they are on by the hundreds several times each day. They have almost completely destroyed our small crabapple trees. We have the traps and also pick them off and drop them into water with oil in it. When I dig there are hundreds of grubs under the mulch so I'm going to check out something for a more permanent solution.

    Raney

  • 18 years ago

    I spray my garden with Pyola (I don't think it is as bad as malathion). It really has made a dent in the population of all the yucky bugs. Used to have some sand cherry bushes that the bettels really liked. Never got any little cherries off of them, but they made a great attraction for the June bugs. Kind of collected them in one place so I could spray them really good. And since there weren't any cherries or flowers I wasn't sparying bees either. I generally spray in the evenings. The bettles still seem to be busy, but the bees aren't.

  • 18 years ago

    Lots of interesting ideas! I've had a couple of really bad JB years, but this year thanks to what I think is the following multi-pronged attack, there's only a few!
    1) Increased birds...the jays, mockingbirds, and brown thrashers came to the new birdbaths & feeder, and stuck around for the JBs. I've seen them munching away like crazy (see #4)--surprised me that anything eats those rotten things...
    2) Milky spore--from GardensAlive
    3) Nematodes--from GardensAlive
    4) Physically crunching the little buggers btwn thumb & forefinger, and chucking the carcasses to the mockingbirds!

    I'm keeping the pyola in reserve, but haven't needed it yet. The cannas got hit, but not too bad.

    Good luck!

  • 18 years ago

    Someone on the Georgia forum had good luck with the bag-a-bug. Because you have to empty them weekly - JBs don't like the odor of dead JBs and stay away from the bags- she got the idea of emptying the dead bugs into water and making a japanese beetle tea. She then sprayed the tea on her plants to keep of the JBs. It seemed to work well. Check out the Georgia Gardener forum for her posting.

  • 18 years ago

    There's an idea! Wow. Who'd a thunk it? I may just make a little tea this weekend and ruin their orgies.

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