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Old February 19, 2014   #1
Mbrown9510
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Default Japanese Beetles

Does anyone have any tips for controlling Japanese Beetles in the vegetable garden? Those evil scarabs attack my eggplant, squash and hops , as well as my roses. Since we try to be as organic as possible I have tried neem oil but all that does is harm the bees, I don't want to do that.

Any input would be appreciated because I'm very close to waging chemical warfare.


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Old February 19, 2014   #2
shelleybean
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We had a massive invasion two summers ago and they were all over my pole beans then my roses and crepe mertyls and I didn't do anything about it until it was too late. At the very beginning of the season, put out traps and lures and keep changing the bags. I did better with them last year because I got a jump on it. Apparently, they like the grubs that live in peoples lawns and if you treat the grubs, you'll have less of a problem with the Japanese beetles, or something like that anyway. Maybe someone else can chime in with some advice on that part. Good luck!
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Old February 19, 2014   #3
Labradors2
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I haven't tried this yet as we haven't had a problem - until last year when a few Japanese beetles showed up on my grape vines.

Over on the Hops Forum a while back, they were saying that the annual "4 O'Clocks, Marvel of Peru" attracts and poisons them! Wouldn't that be amazing? A quick Google seems to bear out the story so I'm going to get some seeds and try them out. Be careful where you grow them though because they have quite the reputation for self-seeding......

Linda
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Old February 19, 2014   #4
linzelu100
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I get them bad on pole bean plants- we dust the plants with DE (food grade diatomaceous earth). Its a good neutral solution. I only use it when I see the bugs, not as a preventitive. Rain washes it away. We don't have any problems with DE. Use a mask to apply, so it doesn't go in your mouth and nose. I usually only have to use it once or twice a season.
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Old February 19, 2014   #5
Mbrown9510
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Thank you Labradors2. I will have to search for the 4 O'Clocks and Marvel of Peru seeds. I have a 90' fence line that I could turn into a scarab killing zone.

I will have my husband check into diatomaceous earth. He handles all the chemicals - selection and application. Oh joys of being married to a chemical engineer.

Margaret


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Old February 19, 2014   #6
Doug9345
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The nice thing about DE is that it kills by mechanical action. It abrades their exoskeletons and the bugs dehydrate.
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Old February 19, 2014   #7
Mbrown9510
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Cool


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Old February 19, 2014   #8
Lee
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Japanese Beetles are the adult of the "grubs" in your lawn.
Milky Spore is the "organic" solution to long term control of Japanese Beetles, as it helps control the grubs.
Roses and Crepe Myrtles are some of their favorite foods, although they
also like beans and apple trees.
Sevin does wonders in controlling these critters. You can also hand pick or capture in a jar.
If you do go the "bag trap" route, buy them for your neighbors. That way you won't end up attracting more to your yard.

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Old February 19, 2014   #9
FarmerShawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelleybean View Post
We had a massive invasion two summers ago and they were all over my pole beans then my roses and crepe mertyls and I didn't do anything about it until it was too late. At the very beginning of the season, put out traps and lures and keep changing the bags. I did better with them last year because I got a jump on it. Apparently, they like the grubs that live in peoples lawns and if you treat the grubs, you'll have less of a problem with the Japanese beetles, or something like that anyway. Maybe someone else can chime in with some advice on that part. Good luck!
Just a quick clarification - I believe I am correct in saying that they ARE the grubs (or at least some of them) in your lawn. That's their larval stage. I have had several years of severe infestation - they LOVE soybeans and other beans, several of DW's flowers, the silk on my sweet corn ears, raspberries, grapes, asparagus, even the apple trees. I will definitely look into both DE and four o'clocks. I'll try anything at this point. I spent big bucks for stuff (spinosad, or maybe it was milky spore, I think) to treat our extensive "lawn" several years ago and saw zero results. I hate those buggers.
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Last edited by FarmerShawn; February 19, 2014 at 01:14 PM. Reason: clarify
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Old February 19, 2014   #10
biscgolf
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do not use the bag traps!!!!!! yes they catch hundreds of beetles but they attract thousands more.

i too use diatomaceous earth and milky spore.
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Old February 19, 2014   #11
biscgolf
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for anyone who grows pole beans- the japanese beetles will not bother the heirloom variety "rattlesnake" for some reason or another. i have had rows of them planted literally touching other varieties and the rattlesnake beans are fine when the leaves of the others look like lace from the bettles. delicious bean as well.
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Old February 19, 2014   #12
beeman
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Another quite successful method is the use of beneficial nematodes.
Bought and sprayed on the area in the early spring, kills all sorts of ground insect larvae. Actually seeks them out, enters and lays eggs, then the larvae supply food for the emerging new brood of nematodes.
Well worth the time, money and effort.
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Old February 19, 2014   #13
shelleybean
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Okay, they ARE the grubs. I knew there was some connection. Thank you!

I only use Sevin as a last resort. Will look into the DE. Thanks for the idea.
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Old February 19, 2014   #14
Doug9345
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You can always work on attracting birds. Many will eat Japanese Beetles.
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Old February 19, 2014   #15
kath
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Thanks for posting this, Margaret- it's given me some new ideas to try this year! I've also found that certain pole bean varieties seem to attract JBs while others don't and also have had good luck with Rattlesnake. I don't have roses but the beetles LOVE the Rose of Sharon buds (that are way too close to the garden) and also turn apple leaves into lace. Milky spore didn't seem to work for me either and I never used the bags because of reading that they just attract more. We've got loads of birds and bats, too, but not enough to keep up with the JBs, I guess.

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