Saturday, June 13, 2009

Japanese Beetles

I have had a couple questions asked of me about these dreaded summer visitors. I am by no means an expert but I just had to share a way that might keep these critters away from your plants this summer. I have never tried this before, but I got the idea from Suite 101 and it made a lot of sense to me.

Japanese beetles start sending out their scouts here in Ohio in mid-June. The scouts find the good feeding grounds and send out thier "good grub here" scent, which brings their buddies running at full speed. So the trick here is to catch them early, BEFORE they send out thier "come hither" scent.

Photo by The University of Kentucky

When you see the scouts in your garden it's time to be a little gruesome; you must kill the scouts. Put the dead beetles in a bucket of water which you have added a couple of tablespoons of dishsoap to (the soap is to deter mosquitos). Now the rotting beetles will send a new scent, the "danger, will die" scent. Place the bucket by the plants you had found the beetles on or where past infestations have occurred. Leave the bucket there for a few weeks and continue to add beetles should they continue to visit.
Photo by The University of Kentucky

I am going to try this and was just looking for those scouts today on my roses. For more information on Japanese beetles visit The University of Kentucky Entomology site.

If you haven't already, be sure to enter my felty giveaway; the winner will be announced tonight.


Patricia said...

I'm glad that the Japanese beetles don't live in the Netherlands.
What I don't like in my garden are snails and slugs.
What can I do? Let them drink beer?

Olga said...

We don't get much of these here in Poland either, I have occasionally seen only a couple. What I found a bit scary in Ohio though is when mayflies appear some time in June in lake Erie area - the are literally thousands of them everywhere!

Holly said...

Thanks for this info. We get this beetle here, too. (New England area)

Georgine said...

We had a horrible beetle invasion when we lived in Indiana. They ate everything, the lawn and the flowers and they bite! Thank God we don't have them here!!!

We have dogs, so I would never use chemicals on them. We put milky spore powder on the lawn for the grubs and I did a modified version of your bucket idea.

What I really wanted to do, but didn't have the stones for, is collect the beetles, whir them in the blender with water to make a dead beetle spray. Then spray that on your plants. What I did do is (and not as effective) is knock the beetles to the ground and stomp on them. Believe it or not, it actually worked.

I wish I had your suggestion 8 years ago. If we ever get an beetle invasion again, I will try the bucket of death!

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

Heads up, they smell AWFUL while they're rotting.

renee @ FIMBY said...

This was very useful. I hate these little buggers. We squish them all summer long but don't usually make a "dead beetle soup". I'll try it this year.

enikő said...

Hi Lisa,
you asked me if the fruits my kids were eating were apricots. Actually they're loquats. They're also known as Japanese medlars.
Have a relaxing Sunday! :)

Shady Lady said...

Love this child, pet and earth safe solution. We had these when I was a kid back in the Philly burbs, but I haven't seen them here in Portland, OR.

Ute said...

I don't like beetles. Or slugs or snails. Can't we just get rid of them all and resort to ladybugs only? :)

Becky said...

that is quite yucky, but when needs must!
I keep seeing those yellow plastic catchers in peoples yards, but I heard they attract more to your yard than they dispel!
I see grubs similar to those when I'm digging, but never dare kill them incase it's a good grub I just can't recognise!
Happy Gardening season! :D

Anonymous said...

Our chickens eat all the Japanese beetle grubs that they can find. We hand-pick the adult beetles in the garden (where the chickens are not allowed), toss them in a lidded tin, freeze them to slow them down, and then feed those to the chickens who go absolutely nuts over their frozen "treats"! :)

tamdoll said...

Thanks so much for this tip, if I see any early I'm definitely going to do this!!! They always attack my basil and Japanese lantern plants.

Starry Nites said...

I don't like Japanese beetles, either (or most invasive species...), but your post and pictures reminded me of the beautiful book, The Root Children by Sybille von Olfers (spelling?). You must know that book?