MaineDesigner
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"There seems to be 2 schools of thought.. Use Chemicals...Don't Use Chemicals.. the two points of view will never meet. "

This is a false dichotomy. The people who have followed my posts on the forum or who know me should have gathered that I favor integrated pest management as opposed to a pure organic or "no spray" approach. The argument I'm making is to choose between informed, responsible and irresponsible pesticide use.

Ivy
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Don't think I'm being irresponsible by just spraying the few plants that are being destroyed by JB's.I have plenty of other plants and flowers that I never spray with anything.
The Accidental Gardener

TheLorax
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Those bee and butterflies that have "gone in for the night" are likely to be back tomorrow and imidacloprid will be just as effective at killing them the next day or even a week later. The fact that you don't see them die and that other bees and butterflies return does not mean that you are using pesticides responsibly. If you are applying pesticides when plants are in flower you are simply not being responsible. Your desire to stock up on pesticides that might be banned also hardy suggests responsible usage patterns.
Agreed. And I'm an IPM proponent myself who is shamelessly opposed to spraying any chemical. Imidacloprid is a neurotoxin. Bayer Advanced Dual Action Rose & Flower Insect Killer contains permethrin and no one here has even touched upon the surfactants used in this garbage quick fix product.
Think Thalidomide, DDT, Asbestos. All of those were considered safe until they weren't.
Is it really worth poisoning yourself or anything else just to kill a beetle?
Agreed. More than enough information available online regarding how non-discriminatory this product really is and it is highly toxic to aquatic invertebrates, fish, and BEES.

Personally, I'd like to see imidacloprid banned as of yesterday.
https://www.fs.fed.us/foresthealth/pesticide/pdfs/122805_Imidacloprid.pdf

The pheromone traps work quite well for me particularly when neighbors joined in and began using them also. I'm told the aggregate traps (pheromone and floral lures) work better. Haven't tried them yet but have every intention of doing so.

cynthia_h
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Finally put two brain cells together :wink: and looked up "Japanese Beetles" in my (checked out from the library copy of) The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control (ed. by Barbara W. Ellis and Fern Marshall Bradley, 1992/1997):

(Some people have already recommended a couple of the methods suggested in this book, BTW.)

"Japanese Beetle (Popillia japonica).

"Control: In early morning, shake beetles from plants onto dropcloths, then drown them in soapy water; cover plants with floating row cover; apply milky disease spores or parasitic nematodes to sod to kill larvae; attract native species of parasitic wasps and flies; organize a community-wide trapping program to reduce adult beetle population; spray plants attacked by beetles with rotenone." (pp. 298, 299)

N.B. Rotenone, under conditions of extreme dosage and enhanced absorption, induced Parkinson-like symptoms in rats in a 2000 experiment. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotenone for info. Rotenone is still approved by the USDA for use on organic certified crops.

Also of interest for purposes of preventing Japanese Beetles from attacking one's garden:

"Life Cycle: Overwintering larvae deep in the soil move toward the surface in spring to feed on roots, pupating in early summer. Adults emerge, feed on plants, and lay eggs in late summer; eggs hatch into larvae that overwinter in soil. One generation occurs every 1-2 years." (Ibid., p. 299.)

So far, this book has answered every question I've asked it over the past three weeks. I may have to purchase a copy of it myself....it's due back at the library on Thursday, and I can only renew it if there are no Holds (= Reservations) placed on it.

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

MaineDesigner
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A quick note about the pheromone traps. I think they can help IF they are used properly but I frequently see them used improperly. If you can't get the traps at least fifty feet away from the plants you are trying to protect I wouldn't bother with them. They seem to work best downwind from the garden in the prevailing wind direction so the scent trail draws them to the trap without bringing them across the garden to get there.
The common mistake I see is people placing them in or next to the garden where I think they only add to the problem.

I first saw imidacloprid available as a restricted use chemical for conifer issues like hemlock woolly adelgid. Bayer has been incredibly irresponsible with what can be a useful chemical in competent hands. Roetenone is great example of where "organic" shouldn't be confused with benign - nasty stuff.

wolfie
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Hey Ya'll,

I read this on another thread somewhere and it makes great sense, but what do my trusty friends say?

Hi everyone. I just starting using the beetle traps and I am trapping hundreds of those nasty critters. I have a great way to dispose of the beetles and re-use the bags over and over again. At night when the beetle activity level subsides, I take the bag off the trap. Then I tie a twist tie around the top of the bag. I put the filled bag into another plastic bag and tie that one. I put a fresh, empty bag onto the trap for the next day. I then put the filled bag into the freezer overnight to kill the little suckers. The next day, I sprinkle the dead beetles on the ground around the trees and shrubs that have the most damage for the birds and other bugs to feed on. I read that beetles will tend to avoid feeding from areas that have the smell of dead beetles and this does seem to work. Plus you are disposing of the dead beetles in an eco friendly way and you save money by not having to purchase more and more bags. Hope this info helps out there. Happy Beetle trappings to all!!
Shan -
Who is learning to garden and loving every minute of it!

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hendi_alex
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Ivy, I think that there are many right answers to our approach to life. IMO you are as right as are the folks who refuse to use pesticide. As you say "moderation." My first line of defense is to use intense planting methods such that pests have to hunt to find a target plant and infestations don't automatically spill over on the adjacent plant. Next I constrol by hand picking and crushing. If that doesn't work then it is time to consider some narrowly targeted pesticide application, focusing as much as possible only on the plant/critter in question. Sometimes rather than poison I'll simply sacrifice that plant, or pull it up, but if there is hope for the plant, and it is time for poison then the plant gets a treatment. Sure there is some collateral damage, but it is mostly limited to the animals visiting the specific plant that is treated. 99% of the yard remains virtually pesticide free. So far this year I've used zero pesticide in the garden. Have to regularly spray the orchids in the greenhouse, and have used a couple of quick sprays to eliminate hard to get to black widows in the yard. Limited spraying of pesticides IMO gives no permanent damage to the environment or to the species found there. Indiscriminate mass spraying, is another issue, especially when done repeatedly.

There is another misconception stated by previous poster. None of the current pesticides "accumulate" in the environment. They all break down into mostly harless salts in ten days or less if approved for food crops. Home bug sprays last no longer than a few months if they migrate outside. The days of chlorodane and DDT are behind us in this country. So issues of biological magnification and chemical buildup of pesticides in the fatty tissues of animals is at most a very minor issue. Some of the residuals may persist but the pesticides do not.

It does bother me that the leading edge of agriculture is so sold on chemicals: herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, etc. Here in SC we have an extensive Clemson extension service that is tied in with the university and its agriculture background and current reasearch/innovation. The Clemson extention agents generally toss out various chemical treatments as the first line of defense. They of course promote the chemicals as "approved" and totally safe. I would hope that everyone knows that is an absolutely nonsensical claim. I appreciate the work of these folks. But it seems upside down to me. First work on sustainable, less intrusive farming practices, and then develope a chemical arsenal as a last line of defense.

Ivy, I am glad to see you assert yourself on this. It is really easy for the organic practicers to move their beliefs into the realm of religion, where it often gets that radical fundamentalist taint. IMO pure organic gardening should be the ideal, however common sense approaches emphasizing balance and moderation should be the practice. From your posts, it is clear to me that is where you are in this life long experiment called gardening.

wolfie
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I found 2 other kind of beetles yesterday and since i had my pruners in hand, I cut them in half lol
Shan -
Who is learning to garden and loving every minute of it!

purduevet
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Hey, I am feeling the pain of the japanese beetles too. I decided that I would be a "picker". I have literally picked hundreds of these guys in just the last week. We have put in three new apple trees, and the :evil: evil things are literally killing them, so I gave in and bought a spray for the trees since they're so little and in need of protection. I have not sprayed any on the garden, and even though they're killing my beans, and giving the corn a work-over, I decided that since the garden is a one-year investment, I will try to get over it if I lose crop. I just can't bear to lose the entire trees, though, so feel I have to do more for them. If anyone out there has a non-chemical solution that actually works to save the trees, please let me know. I am very worried about our environment, and toxins, etc, but just don't know what else to do....

MaineDesigner
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purduevet, since the bloom season for apples is well past I don't think you're likely to be doing too much harm by limited spraying.
I haven't kept up on the lit on this nor do I have enough personal experience to know what the best solution might be but...
Neem/AZA may suppress feeding to a limited degree
properly placed traps may help (see my post above)
reducing the amount of lawn area in your neighborhood may help (uphill battle here)
Milky spore or nematodes may help in the long run but it takes years to see significant results and it really helps if this is a neighborhood wide project.
I think the jury is still out on Spinosad but it doesn't look like any kind of magic bullet for Japanese beetles.

The conventional sprays carbaryl/Sevin, cyfulthrin/Tempo, imidcloprid, etc. are all fairly nasty and I would avoid going there if at all possible. I really dislike the use of imidcloprid on turf for the grubs - wildly irresponsible IMO.

Japanese beetles here in Maine are primarily going after roses with some damage to peaches and grapes. They have ignored my apple and pear trees so far.

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JennyC
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Anybody have thoughts on a major infestation? We have 120 acres of pastureland and I estimate hundred of thousands of beetles per acre. Pesticides are not an option, not that I could afford them, as 1) it's not my horses on the pasture, and I won't poison horses regardless of who owns them, and 2) I can buy food this winter if I have to, but I won't be able to buy land without poisons, which is essentially what we have here -- this has all been fallow and/or abandoned pasture for over ten years.

So. Traps? Other options? Any ideas on cost? How long do the things live (how long until it's over?) Will they find my peaches as they ripen? They're working on the leaves of a very established apple tree -- can they kill it? They don't target nut trees, do they?

I'm new to all this, and for the longest time I thought I was looking at June bugs -- they emerged about the same time as the June bugs, and both like blackberries. What do I know? :oops:

[Editing to add I could also use longer-term advice for next year, etc.)
Jenny C

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hendi_alex
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Ivy, I agree with you. IMO chemicals should be a last resort and if used should be used as sparringly as possible and targeting the trouble area as carefully as possible. It seems Japanese beetles are cyclic with a really bad year about every three or four years. For some reason they are rarely all that bad at my yard. I am usually able to hand pick the critters for the two or three weeks that they are most active. This past week I have seen some of them. Was pretty interesting, the biggest infestation was on my zinnias, and there the beetles did absolutely no damage, sat and ate nectar or something from the central part of the flower. I have hand picked a dozen or two from egg plant but other than that no problem.

My neighbor on the other hand often has a serious problem. The beetles will denude his Japanese maple in one day. Which is kind of funny, as I've never seen them eat my Japanese maple foilage nor have I seen any other significant damage on any other tree or shrub. But if it gets down to this, lose a 20 year old tree or break out the spray, I know what is going to win out, at least with me and our yard. My preference is strongly in the non pesticide camp, consequently have done very little spraying in the yard over the past three decades. But the spray is a tool in the arsenal, and will be pulled out if nothing else works.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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hendi_alex
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Jenny C, in your case I would consider using pheromone traps. Place them away from the areas that you want cleared. Hopefully the pheromone traps will attract the beetle away from your tree and other important growth.

wolfie
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Jenny, I agree with Alex. If you get about 15-20 traps, and put them at the outer edges of your property drawing the beetles away from where you want them, that should work.

As for the answers to your other questions, I have no idea the life span other then i have read they go for about 3-5 years. If you can kill off the adults before they lay their eggs in the grass, you will help with that. Milky Spore is the natural way to kill off the grubs from what I have read.
Shan -
Who is learning to garden and loving every minute of it!

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hendi_alex
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I'm not sure if this was the question or not, but Japanese beetles in this area seem to have a very active period of only two or three weeks as they emerge from the soil in mass. After that we only see an occasional beetle.

Newt
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wolfie wrote:I found 2 other kind of beetles yesterday and since i had my pruners in hand, I cut them in half lol
Wolfie, do you know just which beetles they were? Some are good bugs in the garden. Click on 'Predatory beetles' as this site for beneficial insects.
https://www.drmcbug.com/beneficials.htm

Click on 'Beetles, Bugs, and Insects without Obvious Wings' and 'Wasps, Bees, Flies and Insects with Obvious Wings' at this site.
https://www.extension.umn.edu/projects/yardandgarden/EntWeb/Galleries/outdoor/beneficial/winged.html

Here's an interesting read about Japanese beetle control.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_beetle
Control

During the larval stage, the Japanese beetle lives in lawns and other grasslands, where it eats the roots of grass. During that stage, it is susceptible to a fatal disease called milky spore disease, caused by a bacterium called milky spore, Paenibacillus (formerly Bacillus) popilliae. The USDA developed this biological control and it is commercially available in powder form for application to lawn areas. Standard applications (low density across a broad area) take from one to five years to establish maximal protection against larval survival (depending on climate), expanding through the soil through repeated rounds of infection, in-host multiplication, release from killed host, and infection. Typically proper application can lead to a 15-20 year period of protection.[2]

Soil-bound larvae are also susceptible to certain members of the nematode families Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae. As with milky spore, commercial preparations of these nematode varieties are available.

The primary natural predator found in Japan is the winsome fly (Istocheta (or Hyperecteina) aldrichi), a parasitic fly. Attempts at establishing this predator in the United States have met with limited success, primarily in New England. Alternative predators have shown some potential at serving as biological controls, such as the Tiphiid wasps Tiphia vernalis and Tiphia popilliavora from China and Korea. Also, certain birds (such as the meadowlark and cardinal) and small mammals are significant predators on the adult form.

On field crops such as squash, floating row covers can be used to exclude the beetles, however this may necessitate hand pollination of flowers. Kaolin sprays can also be used as barriers.

Research performed by many US extension service branches has shown that pheromone traps may attract more beetles than they catch, and so they have fallen out of favor.[3] Natural repellents include catnip, chives, garlic, and tansy[4], as well as the remains of dead beetles.
Newt

wolfie
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Thanks, will take a look asap. I like to squish them and leave the dead ones on the ground, hoping that keeps the live ones away. I don't have as many problems as most the others on the list, at least it doesn't seem so, perhaps I have 30 at most?
Shan -
Who is learning to garden and loving every minute of it!

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JennyC
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hendi_alex wrote:I'm not sure if this was the question or not, but Japanese beetles in this area seem to have a very active period of only two or three weeks as they emerge from the soil in mass. After that we only see an occasional beetle.
Thanks, Alex. That does answer my short-term question. I'd thought I was seeing less of them, I probably am. That means I can think long-term, and it should mean they won't kill my apple tree. Might even be few enough of them that the won't be a major problem by the time the peaches ripen.

So. What's the long-term strategy on a large area? Sneak traps onto the neighbor's property? :wink:
Jenny C

Ivy
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hendi_alex wrote:Ivy, I agree with you. IMO chemicals should be a last resort and if used should be used as sparringly as possible and targeting the trouble area as carefully as possible. It seems Japanese beetles are cyclic with a really bad year about every three or four years. For some reason they are rarely all that bad at my yard. I am usually able to hand pick the critters for the two or three weeks that they are most active. This past week I have seen some of them. Was pretty interesting, the biggest infestation was on my zinnias, and there the beetles did absolutely no damage, sat and ate nectar or something from the central part of the flower. I have hand picked a dozen or two from egg plant but other than that no problem.

My neighbor on the other hand often has a serious problem. The beetles will denude his Japanese maple in one day. Which is kind of funny, as I've never seen them eat my Japanese maple foilage nor have I seen any other significant damage on any other tree or shrub. But if it gets down to this, lose a 20 year old tree or break out the spray, I know what is going to win out, at least with me and our yard. My preference is strongly in the non pesticide camp, consequently have done very little spraying in the yard over the past three decades. But the spray is a tool in the arsenal, and will be pulled out if nothing else works.

Hendi...Thanks for this post and your previous one...Thanks for not considering me a total "Murderer"!!!
I am still battling the JB's...Although I have made a major decision...
I have about 50 roses...I got a "Knockout" rose for the first time this year.Not only does it NOT have Black Spot.. the JB's are not interested in it at all!!! I really can't keep up weekly spraying of Fungicide...I have many other roses that don't seem to get BS ...So instead of replacing the ones that don't make it through the winter with more Teas etc. I am going to buy Knockouts...I've read so many good things about them.. and now that I see how beautiful they are I'm sold!!! Thanks!!
The Accidental Gardener

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