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Boomslang
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How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles

I have finally planted some grape vines which is something I have been wanting to do for years. I built a couple trellises out of 16 ft. cattle panels that worked great. The vines just about covered the whole thing by mid summer and were looking wonderful. One day, I went out and noticed several Japanese Beetles chewing holes in the leaves. I crushed the ones I could get to. The next day there were around a hundred all over my white grape vines. It looked like someone took a shot gun and blasted away with bird shot all over them. I sprayed two different Japanese Beetle insecticides which seemed to drive them off but it seemed they would come back in a couple of days. What makes it even worse was the "perverse acts" they were performing on each other all the while eating away at my beautiful grapes. A couple of times I believe I could hear them laughing at me. I was so mad, I wanted to just pull the last hair out of my head!
So.....................sorry. I'm trying to calm down. So, anyways, I was reading online about these floating row covers that are used on various plants to keep these @$#% bugs from devouring them. I haven' t found any information on anyone using floating row covers on grape vines. Plus, I was wondering how the bees get to the flowers to pollinate them with these covers on.
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rainbowgardener
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Very difficult! Grape vines are their favorite thing! I use wild grape vine as a trap crop to lure them away from my vegetables, which works very well.

And no, row cover is meant for covering something like a row of lettuce plants or even broccoli plants. It would be very difficult to use on grape vine.

You can try Neem oil against them. Neem is not a poison and does not kill on contact. The beetles ingest it and then over a period of a days it messes their systems up so they can't continue to eat or breed. So you will not get instant results, but that does not mean it isn't working. It would need to be reapplied every few weeks.

It also helps to treat your lawn with milky spore. It is a disease that infects the grubs (Japanese beetle larvae) that overwinter in your lawn. But since the adult beetles fly, it helps more if you can get your neighbors to also treat their lawns.

Here's an article about organic control of JB's:

https://www.ghorganics.com/JapaneseBeetle.html
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john gault
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I planted one also a couple months ago. I'm using my chainlink fence as a trellis.

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soil
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put chickens under your trellis, and shake the plant daily. this triggers the japanese beetles safety response. which is to freeze solid and drop. which makes them good chicken food at that point, while reducing populations
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applestar
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If you don't have chickens ( :wink: ) my favorite method if I have heavy infestation is the "Japanese Beetle Bag Dance."

-- take a large plastic bag you got from oh, I dunno, clothing store or toy store or something (you saved them to reuse right?) If you can, quickly put the bag over the infested part of the plant, hold bag closed and shake vigorously. Same principle applies -- they drop and play dead or try to fly off, hit the slippery side of the bag and fall.

Now remove the bag, tie it closed and stomp on it to the tune of Mexican Hat Dance. :twisted:

if the plant is not easy to put a bag over try (1) an umbrella (2) helper holding the bag open or shaking the plant while you hold the bag open.

if you don't care to amuse your neighbors by doing the dance, a bucket or wide basin (I've used shallow underbed storage bin too) of soapy water to drop the JB's in works well.

I second Milky Spore. Also as we get into the cooler fall season (50's), an application of beneficial nematodes before frost would be a good idea.

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Boomslang
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Thanks guys! I will try those techniques this spring. :D
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rainbowgardener
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As long as the soil is still warm (65 degrees), early fall is a good time to apply the milky spore. I have read that for some reason the milky spore applied to cool soil doesn't affect the grubs (possibly because they are in some kind of dormant state and not taking it up? that's a total guess).
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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applestar
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These are living biological treatments and will have chance to proliferate/spread over the fall-winter-spring season as well. I agree you want to apply the soil applications -- milky spore or nematodes this fall since you want to infect the grubs that will be spending the winter underground. In the mean time, the Japanese beetle larvae are going to eat (roots) and grow.



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