Control your Japanese Beetle
To get to the root of Japanese beetle control, let's first learn a
bit of history about the ruthless critters. The Japanese Beetle was believed to be introduced into the United
States in 1917, originally found in a plant nursery in the state of
New Jersey. The Japanese Beetle originated in Japan and while
there are many predators of the beetle in Japan, there are very few
here in the United States, thus the widespread outbreak. The climate and
conditions across most of our nation makes for an ideal
breeding ground for this bothersome pest. During the Japanese
feeding season, the female mates, then returns to the soil and lays
her eggs and then returns several times to awaiting males and breeds
over and over again in just one season. By the end of the season,
the female can lay upwards of 40 eggs.
There are several
Japanese Beetle Control methods available on the market.
Whether you intend to blast the beetles with chemicals or go the
organic route, you can get control of the dreaded Japanese Beetle.
There are several recommended chemicals for the control of Japanese
Beetles. Chemical controls for adults are: Carbaryl (Sevin),
Malathion, Permethrin, Bifenthrin, Rotenone, and Methoxychlor.
Chemical control for grubs include: Imidacloprid (Merit),
Chlorpyrifos, Isofenphos, and Diazinon. June through August is
probably the best application time for most Japanese Beetle grub
control chemicals as this is when the younger grubs are hatching and
feeding. An excellent Japanese Beetle life cycle chart can be seen
Organic treatment for Japanese Beetle control can take some time to work or can be a lot of work, depending
on the density of your Japanese Beetle population. The simplest organic
method is just picking the Japanese Beetles off of your plants as
you walk through your garden and pitching them in a bucket of soapy
water. Some people like to collect them in a can and feed them to
their chickens, should this be an option for you. One note I would
like to make here. Japanese Beetles are like little flying solar
panels. When they are in the sun, they are very quick to fly away
and move from you quickly as you are picking them. Catch them on a
cloudy day and they are very slow moving, almost sluggish. Japanese
Rose of Sharon, especially ones planted in full sun.
But if you plant yours where they don't get much sun, then the
Japanese Beetles will pretty much not even touch them. Trapping
Japanese Beetles is another option, but seems to draw more and more.
This can really be a smelly job when you have buckets and buckets of
dead beetles piling up, but it works for some people. You may also
choose to plant plants that are not attractive to the Japanese
Beetle. A form of control for the Japanese Beetle Grub is Milky
Spore. It can take several years for this disease to build up and effectively control the
feeding beetle grubs,
but it does seem to work for a lot of people. Parasitic Nematodes
are a new control option available to the home gardener. Some of
these products go by the names: Biosafe, Biovector, Exhibit and
Scanmask. You'll want to water before and after
application of the nematodes.
An important fact to remember is that if
you live in an area with heavy infestation of Japanese Beetles,
you'll want to try to work with your neighbors in developing a
Japanese Beetle control program. This should give you better control of the Japanese
Beetle population in your local area.