"For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations." Isaiah 61:11

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Today in the spotlight: Japanese Beetles

"Popilla japonica" The Japanese Beetle

The to the left shows the damage that has recently been done to my new Cherry Tree by Japanese Beetles. In an effort to help my little Cherry Tree I did what I thought was best; I had my husband buy one of the plastic bag traps that you hang close by that contains pheromones. Well, after the fact I decided to do some research and discovered that I did the worst thing. The pheromone scent travels great distances and lures legions more beetles to your yard and plants than you would have had. So, when you see the trap with a hundred beetles in it and you're feeling pretty good, thinking they had all been living in your yard... they hadn't. You simply invited them. Japanese beetles like groups so the more the merrier.
Once you have them the best way to organically get rid of them is to simply pick them off the plant and drop them in soapy water. If you enjoy a more hostile approach you can step on them. You will decrease the population. They like to live in clusters. If you remove all from the plant that you see, half as many are likely to return.
I also learned that Japanese Beetles start out as grubs. In order to get rid of grubs and eliminate Japanese Beetles you can use biological controls such as beneficial nematodes and Milky Spore disease. Both of these will only attack and kill grubs. This will prevent infestation for many years. Beneficial nematodes can be bought at some garden centers and online. www.arbico-organics.com, www.YardLover.com/LiveNematodes The following link is a good resource for knowing what Nematode to get and when to apply: http://www.extremelygreen.com/nematodeguide.cfmAlso note that Japanese Beetles are most drawn to strawberry plants, egglplants and rotting plants. Be sure to harvest your ripe garden fruits and vegetables promptly!