Japanese Beetle Solution

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Japanese beetles are in their prime now here in southern Indiana making lacy skeletons of my grape, blackberry, and apple leaves and my wife's roses (both wild and deomesticated). Ive tried sprays, diatomacious earth and deodorant soaps with non-floral smells but nothing much works. Remembering my youth, I started picking them off like my dad had me do potato beetles and drop them in a can of kerosene. That works but is time consuming and as I made my way after making one swath of the grapes I found several more beetles where I had just cleaned them out. In frustration, I grabbed a beetle and tossed it down with more than a little force into the nearby pond. It hit the water, followed by a splash and no more beetle. Thinking it was a fluke, I grabbed a couple more and did the same thing with the same results. Eureka! Bluegill like to dine on Japanese beetles! But it would be too time consuming to pick and toss every beetle. I had one of those beetle traps: the kind that has a floral and sex pherome to attract the beetles where they fall into a plastic bag, die and then stink to high heaven. I drove a small diameter pipe at about a 20-30 degree angle into the ponds edge, slipped a 10-foot piece of PVC water pipe over that, tied on the beetle trap out near the end and cut the plastic bag off just where it narrows. It takes a little trial & error to get the business end of the apparatus about 3-4 inches off the waters surface (too high & the beetles fly away before going for a swim). Now I sit back and enjoy the show as my bluegills get fat and I have fewer Japanese beetles eating my plants. I was catching some fish for supper the other evening and as I removed the hook and what was left of the cricket there was a partially devoured Japanese beetle. Thought Id pass along a solution that seems to work for me.

-- Southern Hoosier CURT (ctimes@hsonline.net), July 03, 2000


What a neat idea!!! Now, that's using your head. I was out today, picking the beetles off of my grape vines. Yuck. Sure wish I had a pond.

-- Annie (mistletoe@earthlink.net), July 03, 2000.

We also pick them off and feed them to the chickens. And now we'll be feeding the fish! But I'd like to add that I moved some tanzy from the perrenial garden to the raspberry patch and it seems to deter them . The tanzy has spread quite a bit in the past year so we'll see if it works even better this year!

-- Bob Ambrozaitis (rambrozaitis@snet.net), July 03, 2000.

I do something similar to feeding the bluegills! Except they are chickens. I buy several of those traps with the pheremones on them (you know the yellow things with the attached bag) and hang them up near the most damage from the bugs. When it's full I take down the bag carefully and carry it over to the chicken yard. (I rinse the bag out because I have been told the beetles will not come around if they smell dead fellow travelers... and hang it up again. I have a pan partially full of water that I dump them into (the water "stuns" them temporarily and keeps them, mostly, from flying off immediately). The chickens learn very quickly to run for the pan to eat them. The chickens and other birds don't seem to like the grubs of Japanese beetles but LOVE the adult beetle! I also have hung just the yellow attractant on a low branch (my birds are fenced into the orchard) and watch the chickens jump, like alligators for a dead chicken, for the bugs as they come to the attractant. Cheep (yeah, I know) feed and less handling of bugs! Good luck!

-- Gailann Schrader (Gtschrader@aol.com), July 05, 2000.

Here in southeastern Indiana I don't have a pond, but I do have molasses in a jar. I read on another thread to put molasses in a jar to catch grasshoppers, I haven't caught a grasshopper but I have caught a bunch of Japanese beetles. I also pick them off and put them in a can of water, then feed them to the chickens. They can't get enough of them.

-- Cindy (atilrthehony_1@yahoo.com), July 05, 2000.

Just yesterday I noticed all the japanese beetles on some weeds. I got a 5 gallon bucket, put a 1/2 of water in it and started collecting. Yes, some did fly away before landing in the water, but maybe I'll get them tonight. Anyhow, after I was done collecting, I laid the bucket on it's side and let the chickens feast! They just LOVE them! Wonderful idea for feeding fish!

-- Michael W. Smith (kirklbb@penn.com), July 09, 2000.

Check your zinnias, I found about 100 on about 7 zinnias that haven't bloomed yet.

-- Cindy (atilrthehony_1@yahoo.com), July 09, 2000.

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