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Many parts of the USA have been invaded by the Japanese beetle. While they don't normally kill a tree, they do put it under a lot of stress, prevent fruit trees from bearing fruit, and they make the trees appear ugly.
They eat the fleshy part of the tree leaf, the part that grows between the veins, which leaves the leaf looking like brown lace.
To spray all your trees, is very expensive, and the sprays often have to be reapplied after each rain. The estimate to spray our farm was over a thousand dollars. I talked to our local extension office, a professor at a local university, and to a bug specialist at a local hardware store. All told me the same thing, to get a trap and hang it away from the infected trees, so that the beetles leave the tree and go to the trap. The traps contain various chemicals, but the one I chose contains a hormone that attracts them, then a secondary chemical that kills them. I chose to hang mine on a damaged tree that we were already planning to cut down in a few weeks. It was located about 30 feet from the infected trees.
The traps attract the beetle, which goes inside and can't get out. Once it is full, you unzip the bottom and the dead beetles come out. Then zip it back up and it is ready to fill up again.
We have had great luck--I highly recommend this type of trap if you have this problem. It doesn't necessary have to be the brand that is pictured.
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It's once again Japanese beetle season in SW Michigan. I used to use the traps and now have been told the traps attract the beetles as well as trap them. We were also told there is no insect repellent that will kill them. What do I do to rid our outside plants and trees of these little killers before my outdoor plants are destroyed?
By Mary from Zeeland, MI
Mary, I have been using a spray bottle with water and liquid dish soap. Start with just a few drops of soap and apply once a day until your plants get used to it. Then gradually increase the soap if you need to get more aggressive. The bees will work around it but the beetles and other bugs hate it. The soap is also good for the soil. Make sure to wash your fruits and veggies before eating them! :)
Rick in East GR
We have been 'bugged' with these critters every year. We use the traps for the last 3 years, by golly this year seems to be less of them. We've also used Raid Flying Insect spray and they drop dead right away.
My mom used to swear by spraying the plants with diluted jalapeno pepper sauce or tabasco.
Check your yard for grubs. They are white thick worms and they eat the roots of your grass. A few in your yard will not hurt but if you have a lot, they will decimate the grass. This is where Japanese beetles come from. They lay their eggs and then hatch. The first year I was at my place, I had them in droves. I put in a flower bed and every time I saw a grub I I drowned it. You can also use Neem oil. But you will always have a problem if you don't get rid of the grubs.
How do I get rid of Japanese Beetles/Asian Beetles. They are swarming us in the bathroom and kitchen windows. There are dead carcasses all over the counters. I was hoping someone could help!
Mary Ann from Center Junction, IA
Here's some information from University of Kentucky Entomology:
Not real encouraging but they atleast have some information.
In recent years commercial or homemade traps have become a popular means of trying to reduce beetle numbers. Commercially available traps attract the beetles with two types of baits. One mimics the scent of virgin female beetles and is highly attractive to males. The other bait is a sweet-smelling food-type lure that attracts both males and females. This combination is such a powerful and effective attractant that traps can draw in thousands of beetles in a day. Only a portion of the beetles attracted to traps are caught in them. Small number of traps in a home landscape can actually increase Japanese beetle problems rather than reduce them. Other control measures such as insecticide sprays and dusts may be needed to protect plants that are particularly attractive to the beetles.
Traps may be effective in reducing Japanese beetle problems if used throughout a neighborhood or in open areas well away from valuable plantings or vulnerable crops. In most home landscape situations, using 1 or 2 traps probably will do more harm than good.
Careful selection of plant species when replacing or adding to your landscape is the key to avoiding an annual battle with Japanese beetles. Certain common landscape plants are inevitably attacked and may be poor choices where this insect is abundant (Table 1)."
well i have lived in my condo since 2001. every spring i get lady bugs also known as a sort of beetle. i usually can kill about 5 a day and then see that there are maybe 10 to 15 around the house that have died that day. now this winter i keep getting them. i hear something between the blinds and the window and i think it is raining but lo and behold it is a ladybug. i have searched and tried all kinds of stuff. the one that was funniest but best. mix dish detergent and water in sprayer. spray all the windows on the outside. they supposedly dont like it. well i got very clean and so did the windows. i guess i got 2 or 3 less of beatles. but then you have to reapply this messy stuff. pluss i live upstairs so i cant get to all my windows.
Take a milk jug (narrow neck and big body) and half fill with water. Add a squirt of dish detergent, a tablespoon or so of vinegar and the same of sugar. The beetles will go for the sweet smell, get trapped in the soapy water and die inside the bottle, and you can pour it out and start over. Cheap and easy.
Cantate in Japan (where we don't have Japanese beetles; my mom has done this for years.)
The beetles are here and they are eating my flowers. How do I get rid of them?
By Joan C
I would like to know how to kill Japanese beetles.
My new, young Japanese maple tree (dissectum variety) did not produce any leaves, but I thought I had noticed a few tiny buds early in the spring, but nothing grew. Is it dead or will it survive and produce leaves next year?
The tree was wrapped for protection during winter months, but I was careful not to harm any of the branches
Can anyone tell me how to get rid of the Japanese beetles that are eating my roses? I don't know where they are coming from. I remove many every day and the next day there are just as many back again. They eat the roses and some of the leaves.
By Bev D
How do you keep Japanese beetles off of basil plants? They are eating holes in mine.