Tis The Season For Japanese Beetles....

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by White Gardens, May 27, 2008.

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Do you have problems with Japanese Beetles ??

Poll closed Jul 6, 2008.
  1. Yes, we have them bad.

    71.4%
  2. No, none to speak of.

    28.6%
  1. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    So it's now becoming my favorite time of year, Japanese Beetle season. I seen my first June bug the other night and I know the JB will not be far behind.

    My question is, how many of you guys have to deal with them. Nothing like watching a swarm de-foliate 60 foot linden trees, fruit trees, roses, cannas, ect. On top of it, they love my pole-beans and like to chew on the silks of my sweet corn.
     
  2. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    They are about 250 miles away from me as far as known spread.
     
  3. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    They start crawling out of the ground around the first of July here. They munch on the roses bad. A few years back they were so bad they started eating my blueberry bushes! I find it very hard to treat for them as well. You can apply chemicals to the lawn but unless you to the lawn next door and the one next to that and the one next to that...it doesn't really do much good. My advise to my customers is to buy a bunch of Japanese beetle traps and give them as presents to the neighbors!
     
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Last year they weren't quite as bad, and I wonder if it's because of the farmers starting to spray for them. I still want to see someone make a ginormous 3 story trap and put it in a field outside of town. That would be crazy, but cool.

    Roses, anything fruit related, including crab apple trees, lindens, birch trees. Absolutly amazing what they can eat.

    I was going to be an organic Landscaping service until the infestations became to overwhelming. Now I use liquid seven. It stays on the leaves so one application works until it rains. Merit works well too. You get some damage, but as soon as they bite, they die.

    I don't like using these chemicals though, as they will kill off pollinators.

    I did have one interesting result last year. I grow castor beans, and I had one plant that was short and blue. The leaves were smaller and cuped. Low and behold as soon as a beetle would eat on it, it started going nuts and died. It didn't kill a whole lot of them, but did kill them.
     
  5. Watwood

    Watwood LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    I have them EVERYWHERE. I have been working on my car in the garage for the past couple of nights, with the garage door open and lights on, I bet I have over a thousand in my garage now, no lie. I had them crawling up my pants leg. Getting ridiculous.

    Walked out in my yard last night and it sounded like a Cessna idling on a runway. All I heard were their wings going buzzzzzz, all in my Bermuda. They got to two of my trees in the yard, so I sprayed them with Sevin last night. We'll see what that will do. Does Lesco have anything that will get rid of them for a homeowner? My turf guy said he could spray for them, but it would just kill the ones in the yard at that time, so he essentially said, no point in doin it.
     
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    I've started using the advanced tree and shrub control from bear (SP?). It has an ingrediant called Merit. Lesco might carry it now, I know one of our chemical suppliers around here carries it.

    Merit is a systemic insecticide that is absorbed by the plant. It is supposed to work for 1 year. The beatle takes a bite and then either dies or is detered from working on the treated plant. You still get a little damage, but not a devastating defoiliation.

    I like it because you don't have to spray multiple times, and doesn't wash off like seven does. Seven also kills everything, even your good pollinators.

    I don't know if Merit will kill pollinators on blooming plants, I'm still trying to get answers on that one.

    !!!! Do not use traps !!!!! You only end up inviting thousands more into an area and you won't get them all.
     
  7. 1993lx172

    1993lx172 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,305

    I haven't seen any yet this year but we'll have to see.
     
  8. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    It's more a regional problem in the midwest right now.... but I know a farmer in Wisconsin that had JB's devouring her rasberry crop. She put out about 40 ferimone baited traps about 100 yards away from the crops. Emptied the bags twice a day for 2 weeks.

    Spraying had proven ineffective, but after 2 years with the bait traps, she can get a good harvest. Every beetle caught in a trap won't lay eggs. My guess is that this helped reduce the local adult female egg laying population to the point that they are now somewhat controlled.

    Infestations like this should be handled by local governments, I think. Milky spore still kills JB larva, although it takes a good two years to to get the population back down to tolerable levels.... back in the late 60's, here on LI, there was a HUGE infestation. Virtually EVERY homeowner used milky spore, and two years later, only a few JB's could be scouted in a year, and (knock wood) they haven't been a problem since. Local govt should give milky spore to all residents for free.

    It's cheap, safe, and easy to apply. It doesn't affect beneficials at all.... and even the organical maniacs can't complain about using milky spore. Thing is, it's use must be widespread and it takes time.... like 2 years.
     
  9. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Quote from Whitey

    Spraying had proven ineffective, but after 2 years with the bait traps, she can get a good harvest. Every beetle caught in a trap won't lay eggs. My guess is that this helped reduce the local adult female egg laying population to the point that they are now somewhat controlled.



    It's cheap, safe, and easy to apply. It doesn't affect beneficials at all.... and even the organical maniacs can't complain about using milky spore. Thing is, it's use must be widespread and it takes time.... like 2 years.[/QUOTE]


    I don't know if you talk to this lady, but all she is doing is congregating the beetle to her area. Even though the traps are 100 yards away, they migrate up to 1-2 miles. All she probably is doing is sustaining an enviroment for them to come back every year, and repopulating themselves in the same area. I've seen people do the traps, with bad results. Once they got rid of them they had a better time controling them.

    I haven't heard anything about milky spore actually working. As far as I know it doesn't on the JB beetle. I'll have to check into it and see if anyone has had any results with it around here.
     
  10. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    So, I'm fighting them off now for about the last 2 weeks. They have just about destroyed my Hollyhocks. Now they're moving on to my Cannas, pole beans, and hanging out in my Sweet Corn. I think I'm going to take some pics today before I bust out the Liquid Seven.

    I don't like using it. I know it's one of the most inert insecticides (My grandma used to use it on the dog on the farm) but I don't like killing off pollinators considering how the bee population has been struggling the last couple of years.

    I think I'm going to stay away from the hollyhocks, as I've seen plenty of honey bees on them. I might hit some of the vegetable crops with it as they eat the silks on the corn stalks.

    Luckily I don't have fruit trees or birch trees, I've seen a few Crabapples that have been de-foliated this year.
     

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