Japanese Beetles

I think the insect I hate the most in the garden is the Japanese beetle. A few days of not being able to shake them off my plants into soapy water has led them to swarming numbers this morning when I went outside. They have taken a special liking to the new plum trees, so when I shake one branch, the motion of the tree sends more down. Blech! I have managed to get rid of a good number, I'll just have to be extra viligant and will have to break down and buy the milky spore disease this year and hope an application of that helps.

That's the problem with Japanese beetles. There really isn't any effective sprays that kills them. I opt not to use insecticides in my garden and try to make everything as organic as possible. In the past I've tried the bags and lures but they didn't have much impact. Two falls ago I applied beneficial nematodes to the lawn, but it didn't make too much difference in the number of grubs out there (this can either be attributed to me not having proper equipment to apply the nematodes or just not enough applications). While more of the lawn disappears with each growing season, I still find them in my garden beds, where I promptly cut the grubs in half with whatever tool I have on hand.

The main problem is that my garden might be the number one flowery oasis for these little buggers. Where else can they visit a food court offering roses, plum trees and daisies, not to mention strawberries, blueberries, grapes and raspberries that they (luckily) have not come across yet?

I suppose it's officially summer now that they have arrived.


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