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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Japanese Beetle Battle

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Scorpio Rising
ddemeo
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lyndeeloo
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Post  lyndeeloo 7/9/2013, 7:45 am

We are battling the Beetle big time! We have huge June bugs, Japanese beetles and Grape Vine beetles. They are eating the leaves off of EVERYTHING, even things they aren't supposed to like. If you stand still long enough they will even land on you.

I've bought nematodes to release for the inevitable grubs and what ever else they will help with. We got an inch and a half of rain last night, so I think tonight will be a good time to release them, after I water a bit more. I am researching Milky Spore as a long term solution and am in the process of building a beetle trap with a 5 gal. bucket, a funnel and some lure from the hardware store. My neighbor said I could put the trap in his yard since he has nothing for them to eat there. Saw how to make it online.

What else can I do? Any thoughts, or advice for the battle?
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Post  quiltbea 7/9/2013, 10:54 am

I tried Milky Spore the first year I put in my beautiful lavender roses along the front of the farmer's porch.  Spread it in the ground.  Very costly.  It doesn't work on the adult beetles, just the larvae that hatch in the ground.  The Milky S didn't do a thing for my roses even the next year.  They were all chomped to their stems and I lost them all.  I guess we had too much lawn area which harbors their eggs.

Now I just go outdoors a couple or 3 times a day with my jar of soapy water and hold it beneath a leaf where there's some J beetles and tap one.  They drop down before they fly off, and right into the soapy water.  That's been the only way I can keep ahead of them.
When I see a few of them congregating on the lawn, I'm out there killing them by stepping on them and grinding them in the ground so they can't lay more eggs.  They will hover in a group where they plan to lay eggs.

Sorry I can't be more helpful.  I notice they also love my dwarf cherry tree and the peas in the veggie garden.  For me its a battle from mid-July til the end of September.
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Post  lyndeeloo 7/9/2013, 4:51 pm

Thanks QB, I'm sorry to hear about your rose bushes, it's so sad to lose a beautiful plant like that. I also use the jar of water method with a little veggie oil on top of the water, my Italian grandpa taught me that. I'm just so sick of chasing the little monsters, I'm hoping for a less "hands on" approach. I guess I'm figuring if I try a little bit of everything something has got to work eventually. I even read where this guy recommends grinding the beetles up in a blender and adding water and soap and spraying the plants with it. Ugh, I'd never be able to do that. It makes me queasy just thinking about it. I was just wondering if anyone is having any luck getting rid of them.
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Post  ddemeo 7/10/2013, 2:08 pm

I'm giving Neem Oil a try. Everyone is sold out locally, which I'm hoping means it's effective. My Amazon order should arrive today. I'll let you know if it helps! It's supposed to be safe to the honeybee population, so hooray!!
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Post  Scorpio Rising 7/19/2018, 10:36 pm

So.  I have converted my backyard next door neighbors to SFG, and they have experienced the pain of the Japanese Beetle invasion...prompting my Nayb to go full blown KILL ‘EM ALL.  He hung up a JB trap and within a week, it was full.  YUK!!!

But, I was noticing there was a lesser load near my boxes...thanks Nayb!

Sooo, my other neighbor hung one, my beetle volume dropped dramatically.  I thought, I hate these things...

Hung a JB trap a week ago Sunday.  Yesterday, Wednesday, 4 days, this thing was full. I can’t do killing.  I know Nurse thing.  My son smashed the living things in there and killed them...stinky.  Lordy!  I offered to run over them with the car...that is my usual method of death.  He is a guy!  The stench.   But we are collectively making a dent in these invasive creatures.
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Post  sanderson 7/20/2018, 3:03 am

ddemeo wrote:I'm giving Neem Oil a try. Everyone is sold out locally, which I'm hoping means it's effective. My Amazon order should arrive today. I'll let you know if it helps! It's supposed to be safe to the honeybee population, so hooray!!
I don't know how I missed your post. Neem oil is dangerous to bees unless it is dried. So, hopefully, you sprayed at dusk so it was dry by morning.

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 7/22/2018, 8:33 pm

I also have a hard time killing bugs, especially beetles... I drown mine in soapy water. Once the season starts I go out with the bucket almost daily. I have a lot fewer than I used to. A few years ago I would get over a hundred when they were going strong, but now it's down to about a dozen a day. The local house sparrows have learned to eat them, and the spiders get a few, too. At the farm conference I went to, I learned there is also a wasp helping out: http://www.urbanwildlifeguide.net/2011/08/japanese-beetle-and-blue-winged-wasp.html
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Post  Scorpio Rising 7/22/2018, 10:32 pm

BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:I also have a hard time killing bugs, especially beetles... I drown mine in soapy water. Once the season starts I go out with the bucket almost daily. I have a lot fewer than I used to. A few years ago I would get over a hundred when they were going strong, but now it's down to about a dozen a day. The local house sparrows have learned to eat them, and the spiders get a few, too. At the farm conference I went to, I learned there is also a wasp helping out: http://www.urbanwildlifeguide.net/2011/08/japanese-beetle-and-blue-winged-wasp.html
There are just so many!  It is kinda weird to be completely honest.  I hate them...I also hate killing stuff.  I fish them out of my pool and step on them...why do I do that?
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Post  No_Such_Reality 7/23/2018, 2:01 pm

They ate my grapes last year.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 7/23/2018, 5:57 pm

No_Such_Reality wrote:They ate my grapes last year.
Having just planted 3 Concord grape vines.  Not. Cool. With. That.  Evil or Very Mad
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Post  AtlantaMarie 7/25/2018, 6:14 am

The secret is to purchase traps & give them to your neighbors.  Then the bugs are drawn to THEM, lol!  And the traps DO work...
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Post  Scorpio Rising 7/25/2018, 7:07 pm

AtlantaMarie wrote:The secret is to purchase traps & give them to your neighbors.  Then the bugs are drawn to THEM, lol!  And the traps DO work...
They really do!  Strange and mildly disturbing.  My 3 closest neighbors have traps up, and we are really making a dent in the adult population.  Hopefully, in a couple years, we will have an overall reduction in reproduction too!
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Post  sanderson 7/27/2018, 3:17 am

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