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Upper Midwest Gardening: Japanese beetles

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LTilton
Glen Ellyn, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 1, 2008
3:08 AM

Post #5185749

They showed up here today, started to work on my plum trees.
enya_34
Madison, WI

July 1, 2008
8:03 PM

Post #5189057

I killed one on milkweed yesterday. I check on the grape leaves. Once they start eating hole through those - that's the end of dolma season for us :)

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 1, 2008
9:47 PM

Post #5189469

I will have to go out and take a peek. Since i've been gone about a 12 days ... my flower bed needs trimming anyways... i did see that a 4-O'Clock is ready to bloom ... so if they are around, hopefully they will go to the 4-O'C and not my roses.
mattsmom
Tomah, WI

July 6, 2008
12:11 AM

Post #5209560

We found a few today. I hate those little destructive buggers. Had to break out the Sevin spray.
motts1
south central, WI
(Zone 5a)

July 6, 2008
5:42 AM

Post #5210929

Have a few JP so far, many more iris borer in water iris etc. Don't know if it is the weather or bad luck on that.
Need to keep eye on JB-they really did a # on cherry bush last season, and it won't look good this year for the "Curb Appeal" of "Designed to Sell".. (maybe)
duck_toller
Middleton, WI
(Zone 4b)

July 6, 2008
3:16 PM

Post #5212032

I've got them here. Found them yesterday on the ninebark, so I started checking and sure enough they were in the hydrangea and hollyhocks too. The tent caterpillars were so horrid this year, I thought maybe I'd get a reprieve from the JB.
enya_34
Madison, WI

July 7, 2008
3:58 PM

Post #5217851

Saw tons on the grape vine next door - their absolute favorite around here. Went biking with my son yesterday and was amazed how many there are on some plants. They certainly pick and choose.
Meig
Far Northwest 'burbs, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 7, 2008
11:55 PM

Post #5220363

They're here, too. I've been finding them on my roses and on some of my clems, the little bas&^%@$ :) Why are such pretty bugs so destructive?

My favorite thing is to take a bucket of hot soapy water and handpick them. It's an exercise in futility but I love it, mwahahaha!
LTilton
Glen Ellyn, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 8, 2008
12:53 AM

Post #5220747

They're on the strawberries this year, don't recall they went for them before.
Meig
Far Northwest 'burbs, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 8, 2008
11:48 PM

Post #5226344

Nom nom nom! Eating my roses!

Thumbnail by Meig
Click the image for an enlarged view.

onegoodman1955
Normal, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 9, 2008
12:19 AM

Post #5226481

Over the weekend, the Japanese Beetles seem to have increased ten times here in Central Illinois. Neighbors who were never bothered by the presence of the JB before are spraying small trees, putting out traps, etc. I saw my largest convention of JBs on my marigolds...which I thought nothing would eat.

I've thrown my hands up and am not wasting time tending to the JBs...too many. Am using Sevin, after each of the rains, on roses though.

Feel free to drive by and toss Guinea Hens into my yard. Then feel free to drive by and pick up your Guinea Hens in two weeks...assuming the JBs are 2008 history.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 10, 2008
4:52 PM

Post #5235899

>>Feel free to drive by and toss Guinea Hens into my yard. Then feel free to drive by and pick up your Guinea Hens in two weeks...assuming the JBs are 2008 history.

ROFL!!

well, at home -- though i havent been there much -- i only saw one.

up here in the Dells ... they are eating the petunias ... we are mostly shaded, but out in the front flower box that i have been working on... they are in abundance.
jcoakley
Chicago, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 10, 2008
6:55 PM

Post #5236490

I saw a couple of those on my daylilies . . . didn't realize what they were though. I in fact thought they were quite pretty. (Yes, I am a newbie.) Grr! Glad I am aware now though.
jcoakley
Chicago, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 10, 2008
6:58 PM

Post #5236508

Is this Sevin you are talking about an insecticide? Is that the best way to get rid of them? I have very young children . . . how toxic is it?

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 10, 2008
7:14 PM

Post #5236589

I'm able to kill the JB's by using a soap and water in a spray bottle.

while i do have Seven in the garage... i honestly dont use it anymore.
LTilton
Glen Ellyn, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 10, 2008
7:26 PM

Post #5236672

The soap kills on contact.

The 7 kills when the insect ingests the plant, when you're not around.
jcoakley
Chicago, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 10, 2008
7:29 PM

Post #5236696

GTK . . . I've already got a spray bottle of soap/water at the ready. Thanks!
enya_34
Madison, WI

July 10, 2008
7:38 PM

Post #5236756

Tonight I will put a spray bottle out for my son to use during the day while I am at work :)

I need to know this: Any soap? How much soap?
jerseyridgearts
Prophetstown, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 10, 2008
10:06 PM

Post #5237414

They showed up here this week...hordes of them...They are gorging on my roses to the point that they can't move...then I snatch them up in a bucket and feed'em to my flock...doesn't stop'em but I FEEL better...and I'm saving on chicken feed, LOL
Meig
Far Northwest 'burbs, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 10, 2008
11:03 PM

Post #5237694

I bet the chickens LOVE it :)

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 10, 2008
11:36 PM

Post #5237863

enya -- how i do it is... i take a qt sized spray bottle... i fill it with water leaving about the top inch or so for soap... i squirt in a cheap dish soap [generic soap about 0.99 a bottle] and i put in enough just to make slight suds when sprayed.

we [DH & I ] first heard about this when we had a HUGE boxelder problem at our old house ... around 1990-92 time frame. We would use everything under the sun to try and kill those bugs and nothing worked except soap and water.
Meig
Far Northwest 'burbs, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 11, 2008
1:45 AM

Post #5238624

tcs, I'm going to try the soap. I know it kills them when they hit the soapy water but I never thought of spraying them with it. I'd much rather use that than Sevin, which I do have but I save that for other nasties.
motts1
south central, WI
(Zone 5a)

July 11, 2008
6:22 AM

Post #5239732

Have increased here, In the past years I have put traps across the road and into the soccer field. The city lets weeds and wild grapes grow----pulls them in like crazy.
I dispatched them by the gallons. I do not recommend doing this. It will bring them to your garden..I just happen to have an area far away. I used nematodes in the area..didn't notice anything except less $$ for flowers.
So far, just manually dispatching. Will try the soap for the ones I cannot reach.
Go chickens!!!!
enya_34
Madison, WI

July 14, 2008
2:25 PM

Post #5256868

I am with Marcia on traps. Thanks for the note on nematodes though, I was thinking about doing it this fall :)

tcs1366, thank you for the instructions. I know it sounds silly, but I never know just how to do it. Soap is my weapon for the season.!
SusieR
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

July 17, 2008
1:27 PM

Post #5273079

Thanks for the idea...I'm going to use the soap after I deadhead. They are SO bad here. I went to a local water park with a friend and her kids last week and there were so many of the stupid things that we couldn't sit in a lounge chair for five minutes without being hit by one or two! A friend told me she knocked off a hundred or so and then stepped on them for her own form of "payback." She said she felt better afterward, LOL.

Dumb question...what are nematodes? I thought that JB's didn't have any natural predators...
LTilton
Glen Ellyn, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 17, 2008
2:36 PM

Post #5273351

The most common brand is Milky Spore
jerseyridgearts
Prophetstown, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 17, 2008
3:27 PM

Post #5273602

I'm about ready to prune my roses all the way back...the JBs are awful this year...can't pick'em off fast enough... every new rosebud is a ball of black bugs. Ewwwww.

Hey Susie - I grew up in Springfield...Jefferson Park...Springfield High School...'course it was a thousand years ago, lol

Catherine
LTilton
Glen Ellyn, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 17, 2008
3:50 PM

Post #5273737

Mine are all on my cherry and plum trees, trying to utterly defoliate them.
motts1
south central, WI
(Zone 5a)

July 18, 2008
3:55 AM

Post #5277644

SusieR..I can SO understand your friends' satisfaction!

dragonfly62

dragonfly62
Nilwood, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 18, 2008
5:48 PM

Post #5280390

The JBs have been here for about 4 weeks already. They are eating evertything. My Elm tree is bare. My Henry clematis, budlias, bamboo, walnut trees apples greenbeans you name it. The nieghbor sprayed his and my yard twice and getting ready to again. The cropdusters are trying to save the corn. One town 8mile from here even cropdusted the whole town. I check my 250 hostas 6 times a day. I will be glad when they leave but the more that make it the more next year!!!! BEV
LTilton
Glen Ellyn, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 18, 2008
6:18 PM

Post #5280605

I worry about all that spray killing the bees.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 18, 2008
10:52 PM

Post #5281897

LTilton -- that is one reason i spray with the "soap". It's a 'contact' thing, and you have to keep up at it... but it kills them... I too do not want to kill off any "good" insects.
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

July 19, 2008
2:30 AM

Post #5282960

Little buggers are in my garden, too. I squished a couple today. And I've discovered little tiny grasshoppers chowing my salvia, too. There's nothing left of the leaves right now. I'm going to give the insecticidal soap a shot. I have so many bees, too, and I don't want to kill them.
onegoodman1955
Normal, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 21, 2008
12:27 AM

Post #5292858

I tried spraying with soapy water but that didn't make a dent on the jbs on my roses. So I've been using Sevin. I get so disgusted looking at the damaged roses and no satisfaction from seeing an 1 inch thick pile of jbs at the base of the plants. Usually the jbs congregate at the hollyhocks and mostly ignore everything else...that worked for me.

While dusting roses with Sevin this afternoon a thought occurred to me...there has to be something good about the jbs, I wonder what they taste like :)

will someone please be a taste tester and share their findings ??

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 21, 2008
12:35 AM

Post #5292896

I just found ONE inside of one of my rose bloom... squirt squirt of the soap... toast in about 20 seconds.

I guess mine are not as bad, as i'm really not finding many. [granted, i have not been home much to look for them]
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

July 21, 2008
12:59 AM

Post #5293011

For me the stupid grasshoppers are way worse than the Japanese beetles. I may have to resort to more extreme measures than soap, because I tried it and they just came back. They look like babies, so I can only assume they're hatching from...somewhere.
jerseyridgearts
Prophetstown, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 21, 2008
1:20 AM

Post #5293111

There are now HORDES of jbs here...the roses are done...my gardens sound like a helicopter landing zone...the tops of the trees in the orchard are brown from their damage.

turned the hens loose in the gardens today but the *censored* jbs are flying over their heads. I think I'm going to spray cooking oil on everything in the morning and then dust them with flour...they'll stick and hopefully suffocate...if not, they're gonna get deep fried...

onegoodman, I'll let you know how they taste *wink*
motts1
south central, WI
(Zone 5a)

July 21, 2008
2:59 AM

Post #5293634

If you have that many , I don't know that you would increase the problem with putting up the hanging bags with phernome tags. I have 4 of them--haven't gotten them out yet,,JB just starting here. The folks in the know suggest skipping this unless you can set up 50 yard etc from your place, as they do attract...wouldn't seem to be issue.-they already have your place picked out- OUCH.
Anyway, I have the ones that the "jug" is accordian type yellow plastic. I just set them up (I use tomato cages instead of branches (I am short) and then just step back and let them fall in. When it is full, unhitch from the top that holds the scent and empty into plastic bag (that has no holes!!) and tuck in an empty, large coffee can and put plastic lid on, takes care of the problem very soon in the heat of the sun.
The directions talk about boiling water, but I have a problem with being klutzy and have bruises etc to prove it..which is why I came up with the closed can that sits on the blacktop drive-way. Gross, but necessary unless you can come up with a Really good recipe!!!!
dividedsky
Indianapolis, IN
(Zone 5b)

July 21, 2008
6:51 PM

Post #5296969

I saw a bunch yesterday. Put some water and soap in a bucket, picked them off the plants and threw them in the bucket. Had to poke at a couple of the stronger ones trying to get out until they drowned.
Meig
Far Northwest 'burbs, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 23, 2008
1:50 AM

Post #5304703

I used a jerry jug yesterday filled with a very concentrated dishwashing liquid (Dawn) and water mixture and sprayed the crap out of them. It really did kill quite a few of them. It has to be a very soapy mixture though. They were plopping off and hitting the ground, quite dead. Thanks for this tip.

There are several trees on my block (all young lindens, I think) that are completely brown and skeletal from these bastards.
motts1
south central, WI
(Zone 5a)

July 23, 2008
4:38 AM

Post #5305609

I may have been too quick to put down the Nematodes idea. I did the area that the city lets go last year, along with my bushes. It doesn't look as heavy this year...(afraid to say it out loud). I cannot see the grape etc area as the weeds and grasses are too high. If they finish there and come across the road-traps going up.
Maybe we can make up a recipe, deep fry and sell !!
jerseyridgearts
Prophetstown, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 23, 2008
11:51 AM

Post #5306238

I'm cuttin all my roses to the ground today...voracious monsters...and the tops of the apple trees in the orchard are skelatonized...big sigh...

Catherine
SusieR
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

July 23, 2008
1:53 PM

Post #5306634

Catherine,
So sorry you have to cut the roses back! I HATE JB's! I deadheaded roses earlier this week and one of those evil things flew down my shirt! You don't want to know what I said to it! :)

Has anyone used the flies that lay eggs on the sternum of the female JB and the maggots eat it from the inside out? I think I might try to get some of those. I find it a fitting death for the JB's!!!! I think I'm going to get those and some Nematodes as well. For now, it's the shake and plunk in the soapy water method!
LTilton
Glen Ellyn, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 23, 2008
3:10 PM

Post #5307093

They don't touch my apples or roses - too busy defoliating the plums and cherries.

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

July 24, 2008
6:23 PM

Post #5313029

I found some on my hardy hibiscus over the weekend past. Started checking other plants so far so good for my roses but hollyhock leaves are getting munched too. Woes me I so don't like them bugs.
medinac
Bensenville, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 25, 2008
4:16 AM

Post #5316201

We've got Jap Beetles but I think this year we have the June bugs (beetles) much worse! They are in the grass at night and fly up as you walk in it. The dogs make a game of it, catching them. I did apply nematodes in late May and we got alot of rain which is supposed to be good to get them deep in the soil to eat the grubs. I got them from buglogical.com - the Hb kind. They are supposed to work on several different grubs, weevils etc. We had grubs last year and the racoons tore up our yard nightly feeding on them. This year I see no signs of them in our backyard in the lawn but may have them in the front. Or... it may be the lawn service is cutting the lawn too short and it's going dormant, hard to tell.

Also, the Milky Spore is different from the nematodes but work to kill them too. The spores infect the grubs and they die but the nematodes feed on them and then multiply after feeding to seek out more to eat. I think you need to do several applications of the Milky Spore in consecutive years to build it up in the soil but then it's good for something like 10 years. The nematodes will overwinter but severe winters may kill many off. I plan on keep spraying them every spring and maybe in fall as well.

The problem lies when your neighbors don't do anything to keep theirs under control, they'll fly and come on your property anyhow and it's then just a vicious cycle. My neighbor has an acre and she's in a nursing home and no one does anything but cut the grass there. So, I'm sure I get alot from her house. :((
SusieR
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

July 28, 2008
1:14 PM

Post #5331532

Question about Sevin...does it kill bees? Is it when they get the nectar, ingest it, and then die? The bee population is too important to hurt it by using Sevin if that's the case. Just curious...
LTilton
Glen Ellyn, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 28, 2008
1:58 PM

Post #5331754

Yes, it does
jerseyridgearts
Prophetstown, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 28, 2008
5:15 PM

Post #5332828

I'm wondering if my orchard trees will recover from the damage...someone please say *yes*...
mattsmom
Tomah, WI

July 28, 2008
7:53 PM

Post #5333575

Aren't those little beasts about done for this year? I thought their life cycle was 3 weeks?
motts1
south central, WI
(Zone 5a)

July 29, 2008
2:34 AM

Post #5335936

J, unless your trees are completely denuded, they should come back next season. I would give them a bit of pampering (extra water if you are dry) I have something called Watch us Grow-organic fertilizer. I am going to give my stressed plants a VERY weak solution to bolster their strength. With the flooding, there has been leaching of the food--that they seldom get anyway...but. I would Definitely not do a major feed, they need to sturdy up, not put on new growth.
The JB are getting a bit heavier in my garden, and I am seeing lots of laced river birch leaves. I am hestitant to put out the traps, as not quite as able this year to tend them. Saw that someone down the road has one out. I hope you saw my "take back my comments on nematodes"-they might have done some good as they aren't as bad this year as the last 2 years...but as I am feeling a bit cross, I may just put one out !!!!
medinac
Bensenville, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 29, 2008
4:03 AM

Post #5336370

I posted above that the June bugs seemed to be worse. I had the Jap Beetles all over the roses about a week before last and then didn't see many last week but now they are back again. The ones I have now seem to be immature little ones, I think, because they are small and just shiney bronze colored, no blueish green on them. I plucked about 40 or so off this weekend into soapy water. Can't wait til they're gone!

SusieR - Are those wasps or flies you're talking about in your above post about the maggots? It seems I read something about Wasps that will lay eggs and then hatch into maggots that feed but can't remember what that was about. Can you tell me what those are? thanks!
SusieR
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

July 31, 2008
12:56 PM

Post #5347872

Here's information on the fly I was talking about:


Istocheta aldrichi--This solitary fly is an internal parasite of the adult Japanese beetle. The female flies are capable of depositing up to 100 eggs during a period of about 2 weeks. The eggs are usually laid on the thorax of the female beetles. Upon hatching, the maggot bores directly into the beetle's body cavity, killing the beetle.
Because it does not take this fly long to kill the beetle, I. aldrichi can suppress Japanese beetle populations before beetles can reproduce.
Food sources: I. aldrichi is commonly seen feeding on aphid nectar deposited on Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), a persistent perennial weed native to Japan.


Here's the link for the above info:

http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/housing/japanese-beetle/jbeetle.html

medinac
Bensenville, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 31, 2008
4:00 PM

Post #5348710

SusieR - That's very interesting and I will have to check into that. It certainly is a fittng desmise for those horrible beetles. Thanks for the link. Funny that the Japanese Knotweed is a good food source. I've been trying to irradicate that stuff for about 3 years now. I just again pulled some out yesterday. Talk about persistent, that **** is just about impossible to get rid of!
LTilton
Glen Ellyn, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 31, 2008
4:07 PM

Post #5348738

So we need to cultivate a weed to eradicate a pest?

Oh, but my poor little cherry tree is half-defoliated. Next year, I wrap it up.
dividedsky
Indianapolis, IN
(Zone 5b)

July 31, 2008
5:09 PM

Post #5349002

Interesting info on that site about the Japanese beetle's life stages. So "grub worms" are the larva of Japanese beetles and similar insects. Interesting. I guess I never really thought about what grub worms turn into.
PinkysPlants
Thomasboro, IL
(Zone 5b)

September 26, 2008
9:31 PM

Post #5603275

Did anyone post this site yet? It's full of info on getting rid of Jap. Beetles

http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/housing/japanese-beetle/jbeetle.html
medinac
Bensenville, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 27, 2008
12:12 AM

Post #5603783

Pinkys - thanks for posting that link. It was interesting and informative. I couldn't believe that I found yet another one yesterday on my roses. He was promptly smashed to smithereens!

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

September 27, 2008
12:22 AM

Post #5603817

medinac -- do you still have a lot of them?

I maybe see 1 or two a week now.

at least some of my roses had time to 'perk back up' again.
Some were devastated, while others didnt look like they were touched. Odd.
LTilton
Glen Ellyn, IL
(Zone 5b)

September 27, 2008
12:48 AM

Post #5603929

I've never seen them hang on as late as they have this year.
medinac
Bensenville, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 27, 2008
12:56 AM

Post #5603973

tcs - no, I hadn't seen any in a long time so I was surprised to see one. I've been moving stuff and still finding tiny grubs in the soil which I smash too. I didn't get any nematodes for fall but still might do the milky spore yet...have to see if there's temperature restrictions for them since we'll be getting cool whether next week. I'll for sure get the nematodes again in the spring and my neighbor and I will share them. Hope you fared okay with the flooding, we were fine. Have you been taking advantage of any of the sales at Home Depot? They've been having $5.99 and $3.99 sales. I've been picking up some great varieties of Heuchera and got some phlox and Rozanne geraniums today.
medinac
Bensenville, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 27, 2008
12:59 AM

Post #5603984

You're right, I don't remember them ever hanging on this long either. Maybe the mild weather we've had?

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

September 27, 2008
1:58 AM

Post #5604234

>>Have you been taking advantage of any of the sales at Home Depot? They've been having $5.99 and $3.99 sales. I've been picking up some great varieties of Heuchera and got some phlox and Rozanne geraniums today.

Yanno -- I have been meaning to get over there. I just got home on Monday, and over the weekend, we went to the HD in Lake Delton, and they did not have much on sale, if anything.

I was talking to my neighbor here [she's originally from Bensenville] and we were talking about heading over to HD. Hopefully i can grab a few minutes and get over there tomorrow. She's always telling me about sales. [she picked us up concrete bird baths for $10 at WalMart ... she's my bargain shopper. LOL. Always letting me know where the big sales are.

as for flooding... our house was OK, but most of our local roads were under. Our water run-off sewer system just can't handle that much water ... 3-4" and we are going under, so that 8" really did us in.
mattsmom
Tomah, WI

September 27, 2008
11:37 AM

Post #5605114

I have been picking the darn things off my hibiscus every day. Not a lot of them but enough to destroy every bloom. I gave up yesterday and cut all of my hibiscus down. I am starting fall garded cleanup anyway but don't usually cut down
anything that is still blooming. I couldn't believe the beetles are hanging on as cool as it has been getting at night.(Low 40's). I don't remember ever having them this late in the season. Thought their life cycle was something like 6 weeks.
We have had them since the very end of June.

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 27, 2008
2:14 PM

Post #5605527

I am now picking them off the Dahlias. They destroyed every bloom of my hibiscus, the leaves on my hollyhocks and cannas. Still going strong here as well. Almost October for gosh sakes! I found a few on the roses yesterday They pretty well left my roses alone this year. Usually those are the first to get attacked. They liked the hibiscus better I guess.

Bought some Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub protector on sale at Steins a couple weeks ago. When I cut back the bed with the hollyhocks and the bed with the hibiscus will sprinkle that in and water it in. It a systemic insecticide and fertilizer that was recommended by Melinda Meyers. She said she's heard great reports from other gardeners on it. It lasts 12 months and she said now was a good time to put it down. Heck I'll try anything. Got it on sale for 24.99. Got home dh said good thing is was on sale, the original price is 49.99 and if I had to put it down every six weeks the plants would just have to deal with the JB's. Meanie.

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