On another forum, somebody posted that dish soap and powdered cayenne or habanero pepper makes an effective deterrent for JB's. I'm waiting for more specific instructions on that, as she mentioned using a hose-end sprayer.
Some people hand pick them and drop them into a bucket of water with a little soap (soap breaks the surface tension of the water so they drown rather than floating and flying away). For me, this may be personally satisfying as revenge, but it's not really effective when I have a lot of them out there.
In years when they're bad, I generally resort to some amount of pesticide spraying. I try to limit it to the most vulnerable plants (like young fruit trees that might not survive otherwise), and I also spray "trap crops," like pots of their favorite basil (obviously I don't harvest it once sprayed with poison). This way, I find mostly dead JBs by the sprayed plants and not lots of other dead critters.
Is there anything that will eat Japanese beetles? If I put a bird bath close to the garden, do you think that might encourage the birds hanging out there to grab a snack? Just wondering if they'll even eat them. Someone on here said they watched even a praying mantis reject a Japanese beetle.
Critter, could you please link to that discussion, if you get a chance? I've read about making a spray out of hot peppers and garlic to keep the deer out. If that works for Japanese beetles, that would be a good solution.
I went on a murder spree a few evenings ago and smooshed a bunch of them munching and mating on my sunflowers. I bet their family members are out there now, though, doing the same.
Japanese Beetles are driving me crazy!! In the past I have tried Sevin dust (detered them until it rained), soapy water (killed my plant) and now this year I am hand picking and murdering them. I never thought I would enjoy killing something as much as I do the beetles but when I see them chewing up my knockouts and my crepe myrtles my eyes gloss over and I am not a nice lady anymore. My friend in our garden club is trying to turn me into a no pesticide gardner so this year I am trying it her way. She claims that each year there will be fewer and fewer beetles I just have to be patient. I sure hope so since I am planting 12 more knockouts. Sooo every day I go out and fill up a quart jar full of those darling little things and send them on to beetle heaven.
Interesting information on the damage to grass since our lawn this year is in horrible shape and now we have moles. I think I will go back outside now and fill up a SECOND quart jar.
Quart jar. I like that idea. I bet it works better than a bucket.
I'm letting a food-processed habanero drain through a coffee filter right now. We'll see how that works out.
They're concentrated most on my pole beans, which I'm not that attached to.
My brother has a big problem with moles, which you'd think would thin the beetles. Maybe it does, but there are still way too many of them. He has four acres so unfortunately, it would cost about a thousand dollars to treat the whole area with nematodes.