Japanese Beetles - an experiment

Discussion in 'General Gardening' started by Hobie, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Saw my first (ugh!) Japanese beetles these past couple days. I am trying an experiment I read about: Someone wrote that, if you catch the earliest beetles, drown them in a bucket of soapy water, and then leave the bucket near the rose bush, grape vine, raspberry patch, whathaveyou, the smell of the dead beetles will deter other beetles from feeding there.

    Sounds reasonable, so why not? I must have stomped or drown over 10,000 beetles last year. I have buckets started near 5 key parts of the yard and garden. So far, only about 2-3 beetles in each. Will keep you posted.

    (Success of the experiment may be marred by the fact that I am going on vacation for a week soon, so no one will be picking off the beetles.)
     
  2. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Something is eating the leaf part and leaving the vanes of the leaves in tack on my sweet potatoe plants? It must be a bug ( but haven't seen any), i don't see any tracks or where the ground around them is disturbed?? A deer, rabbit or groundhog i think, would eat the whole leaf. Anyone else ever had this problem. Jack
     

  3. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    They are bad this year, i have sprayed and killed thousands of them. They are on my blackberries again but not as bad, but i can't spray them because they are rippening now. They are on the blooms of my Vitex bushes not eating them but using them for a breeding place, and again i can't spray them because the bees are working the blooms, :confused: . They will be after my peaches, grapes and sweet corn next but i can spray them. If they don't come up with something to controll them, they are going to devastate the countries food supply. IMO, Jack
     
  4. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Eating the leaf and leaving the veins sounds like Japanese Beetle, but could be a different insect pest. I'm seeing the damage but no beetles on some plants, too. I wonder if the beetles have gotten stealthy.

    My experiment may be a bust. The key was to get the buckets of dead beetles out first thing to deter the first beetles and prevent them from attracting more of their ilk. I was on vacation. Beetles flourished. Argh!

    Helpful hint: I have jewelweed growing unasked-for in my rose garden. I leave it there because the beetles eat that first, sparing the roses for a while. Don't know if it would work with raspberries, but I should give it a try. They are all over the raspberries, my plum tree, and even the rhubarb! I can't spray the plum tree since it is in the middle of a flower bed the bees are working.
     
  5. cow pollinater

    cow pollinater New Member

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    One of the few nice things about my soil is that it's to dang hard for the beetles to get into. They do, however breed in my flower beds and the improved portion of the garden. If you turn all of the soft soil in fall and again in spring you can kill alot of them as grubs. Beneficial nemetodes will also do a number on them. If you compost just dump the nemetodes on your compost and then they will reproduce and spread every time you spread compost.
     
  6. Guba

    Guba New Member

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    Buckets of dead beetles won't do anything but stink up the place! The Japanese beetle is my nemesis! The best thing I've tried was to collect the beetles (as many as possible) in the morning or late in the evening (I feed them to my tropical fish :mrgreen: ) and then hose down the host plants to get rid of their feces. Plants can go for a few days before they are discovered again and get attacked en mass. As you can see this method uses no insecticides. I have tree frogs in my area and like to continue hearing their calls! :thumbsup:
     
  7. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Have you tried it? The idea was that the stink would deter the first beetles from feeding on the plants, thereby not attracting future beetles. The key was to get the stinky buckets out there early.

    Not only do I not have a fish tank, but I suspect the quantity of beetles I collect daily would exceed the hunger of most fish except pirhanas.

    On another note, a friend of mine had 2 trees that the beeltles feasted on. He had beetle and yellow jacket issues. He hung a beetle trap near one tree, and a yellow jacket trap near the other. The result: Lots of beetles on the tree near the beetle trap, and very few on the other.

    Possible conclusions:
    1. Beetle traps attract beetles, and the trap was too close to the tree.
    2. Wasp traps repel beetles.

    The latter is unproven, but could be worth an experiment!
     
  8. Guba

    Guba New Member

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    I was getting so many jap beetles that the bag would fill up in an afternoon. So I took a 5 gallon bucket and a long funnel and made a better beetle trap. It takes all summer for it to fill, but during that time the dead beetles start to rot and really stink. As much as it stinks, the beetles are still attracted to it.
     
  9. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    Oh Hobie...... I would take some of the jewel weed seeds and/or root cuttings off your hands if you want!!! That is one fantastic herb to have on hand and we have none of it anywhere near us. :wave:
     
  10. beekeeperhelper

    beekeeperhelper New Member

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    This is certainly not a quick fix for Japanese beetles, but milky spore applied to flower beds, lawn, and vegetable gardens will kill the grubs. It is a natural spore, non-toxic and not harmful to anything but Japanese beetles, and is relatively inexpensive. It is applied to the area and lives in the soil, slowly building its population. It feeds on the grubs, causing them to die before they emerge as beetles. It becomes most effective after two years, and then you don't have to do anything else, as I understand it.
    Right now I can't lay my hands on the garden catalog that carries it, but I have seen milky spore at organic nurseries. I'll find my catalog and pass on the source if anyone is interested.
     
  11. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I tried nematodes 2 years ago. I have no way of knowing whether they had any effect at all. Seems like less beetles this year, but the numbers vary year to year anyway.

    Mama Beek... no jewelweed? How is that possible?

    Actually, it likes a shady (or part sun), continually moist area. The stalk must be mostly water. I will look to see if there are any seed pods still un-burst. It's a re-seeding annual, so I don't think cuttings will work.

    We have both yellow and the original orange. I prefer the orange, but the yellow seems to be dominant and is taking over. The yellow has larger flowers, which can accommodate large bumblebees. I've never watched to see if the honeybees had a preference.

    What do you do with jewelweed? (Herbally) I don't know how you would save it, as it is so wet.
     
  12. Guba

    Guba New Member

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    I have never seen jewelweed with yellow flowers, I didn't know there were varients. Jewelweed belongs in the same family as impatients.

    Hummingbirds love the stuff, but I haven't seen any honeybees on it.

    Uses? The only one that I'm aware of is to rub the broken stem on areas of the skin that have been exposed to poison ivy oils. It keeps the skin from having an alergic reaction, i.e. rash.
     
  13. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    Guba said it right. Jewelweed is nature's antidote to the oils in poison ivy, poison oak, and the like. Just grab a big handful and use it like you would a wash cloth to "scrub" the oils off of the skin. You can also dry it and make a poison ivy soap from it, salves, and poultices for other skin conditions like eczema.

    http://www.altnature.com/jewelweed.htm

    I don't know how it is that we don't have any here. The only thing I can figure is that it's often too hot and dry for it here so I thought about trying to plant some in a shady spot near the swampy part of the land we're on. :dontknow:

    Baby Beek and her Daddy both get poison ivy to the extreme. If I get any on my clothes and don't catch it before it ends up in the laundry with theirs they will need a trip to the doc for steroid shots. Several weeks ago we were in Missouri wandering around in the woods (cuz that's what we do there) and Baby got tangled up in one of the biggest poison ivy vines I've ever seen. So after we climbed back down the bluff we found some jewelweed and I told her to just grab several handfuls and scrub down with it. She ended up with only 2 or 3 dime sized spots that cleared up beautifully and no doctor visit was needed!

    sorry for the thread drift! As far as the Japanese Beetles go we've not had too much trouble with them since we stared turning all the garden dirt over in the fall and spring and letting the chickens dig and scratch for the grubs. I've heard great things about the milky spore that was mentioned but have never had the patience to wait 2 years to see it work.
     
  14. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I started paying more attention, and I have seen honeybees (and bumblebees and others) on the orange Jewelweed. They come out all covered in pollen! I have not seen any honeybees on the yellow (lots of bumbles), perhaps because the flowers are larger?

    I don't know, perhaps the yellow is a garden escape. It does seem to overrun the native orange, which doesn't thrill me, but I'm not sure how to stop it. 10 years ago I had 90% orange, now it's 90% yellow.

    MamaBeek, I'll gather some seeds. All the jewelweed here seems to be growing on the edge of woods, but not IN the woods. Like next to an open field, or next to a road, so they must like some sun. And always where it is wet or at least damp.
     
  15. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    Thanks for thinking of me with the seeds Hobie! :D As soon as I have jewelweed growing I'll make you some salve or soap.