Japanese beetle control

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Japanese beetles are destroying my fruit trees. I've tried collecting them into a can of soapy water, but about half escape, and I can't reach the high ones. Those scented traps just seem to attract more. Yesterday there were big clusters of them on some high leaves, so I duct-taped a propane torch to a PVC pole, and it worked great!! They succumb almost instantly to the heat, and there were virtually no escapees. Much faster and more thorough than hand-picking.

-- Brad (Rodent@worldpath.net), August 07, 2000


A friend of mine uses those plastic bag traps for the beetles. When the original green bag got full, she replaced it with a small plastic white trash bag, and that worked as well as the bag that came with the trap originally.

-- Shannon (Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary) (gratacres@aol.com), August 07, 2000.

Try using liquid seven in a sprayer, it kills them on contact, it is what works best for me

-- Jason Priest (jeremy37@indy.net), August 07, 2000.

suck them up with a shop vac [ easyer on leaves].

-- kathy h (saddlebronc@msn.com), August 07, 2000.

I'm with Jason. It's not organic, but it's the only thing I have found for those suckers on my grapes, plums, roses, apples, etc. We have been inundated this year. If you use traps, be sure to place them some distance from anything you want to protect. Better yet, buy them as gifts for your neighbors! GL!

-- Brad (Homefixer@SacoRiver.net), August 10, 2000.

We've had a bumper crop of japanese beetles here in Indiana, too. Coincidentally, this is the year the farm ground around us was planted in soybeans (two years in corn and then one year in soybeans is the rotation the farmer seems to follow). The last two years, our beetle population was down (it was also very dry, so that might have been the reason). This year the population is very high. The soybean fields all around here are absolutely infested! There's no way a smallholder such as myself can ever hope to keep ahead of the beetles when there are literally millions lurking in the soybean plants that surround us. According to a farmer friend, a chemical is being developed for farmers to spray that will have a much longer residual effect than Sevin (carbaryl). Not sure when it will hit the market, but apparently the beetle population is large enough and destructive enough to lower soybean yields. I'm not a fan of chemicals, but without a natural enemy, these beetles seem to be taking over. They are such voracious eaters, they can kill full-size trees in a matter of a week or two. I've seen it happen. It's heartbreaking when the tree is a full-size MacIntosh apple tree.

-- Sandy (tripletreefarm@hotmail.com), August 11, 2000.

At least they make great chicken food. I like to go around to the plants that have japanese beetles on them and let them fall into a bucket with some water in the bottom. Once I get them collected, just take the bucket over to the chickens and lay it on it's side. The chickens go crazy over them and I get the satisfaction that after eating my plants, those beetles are getting what they deserve!!

-- Michael W. Smith (kirklbb@penn.com), August 12, 2000.

My new issue of Organic Gardening has an article on page 10 about this exact topic.

The spring tiphia wasp is a natural predator of the japanese beetle. The best tiphia attractors are peonies, forsythias and firethorns.

"For more information about this wonderful beneficial insect, visit www.organicgardening.com/Q&A/jbeetle."

-- Laura (gsend@hotmail.com), August 13, 2000.

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