How can I rid my rose plants of Japanese beetles?
Hardiness Zone: 5a
By Ken from Midwest
A one to two percent concentration of soap in water is an appropriate dilution for insecticide soap. This mixture will kill insects without risking burning the plant. This equates to approximately five tablespoons of soap per one gallon of water. Most recipes recommend using two teaspoons of dish detergent per quart of water, while those who use castile soap should add one or two tablespoons per quart of water. Blend the ingredients in a large pot or bucket, and then transfer them to a spray bottle as needed. The mixture will keep indefinitely.
You may also wish to add some herbs known to repel, if not kill, many common garden pests. Try a handful of any of the following: horseradish, cayenne pepper, garlic, or onions. Make a diffusion by pouring hot water over the plant of your choice, sealing it in a container overnight, and straining it. Add the spice-infused water to a basic soap insecticide for its extra repellent properties. Again, make sure that you test a small area of the plant before you douse it with the spray, as some plants are very sensitive to these spices.
The beetles come from grubs that are under the ground in your yard. We were plagued with them for a while until I contacted our county agent for his advice on getting rid of them.
Ridding your yard of them will be a years project. You need to purchase a product called "Milky Spore" at a garden store. Then follow the directions for application. It is fairly easy to do. This will take care of the grubs, so they don't hatch out into the beetles.
Have you noticed many skunks in the area? Or placed in your yard that look like they have been dug up? Skunks love to dig up those grubs and eat them. So they tend to congregate where there are plenty of grubs to snack on. Our neighborhood was becoming a hangout for skunks. This meant dogs getting sprayed when they went out at night, and just a general nuisance. The county agent explained about the skunks, too.
With several of us using the Milky Spore, we aren't bothered by the beetles, or by the skunks! Lots of luck to you. (04/23/2010)
By Barb in TN
Get a spray bottle of Sevin. Do not use traps! Beetles have a penchant for Rose of Sharon. Sevin will not hurt flowers or bushes. I would not use it on veggies. (04/25/2010)
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