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Japanese beetle 2013

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:46 am
by lily51
For reasons I don't know, Japanese beetles made a very brief and uneventful appearance in my gardens this year. No going out in morning and finding plants covered with them, or leaves looking like lace. No having to swat them away. No wondering how on earth to get them under control.

I'm not complaining at all! I did not miss these creatures one bit.
But I would like a year like this every year as far as they are concerned.

Should I assume it was the wet and cool growing season we had until September? There was only one week in all of summer that hit 90 for a few days. Have their populations declined permanently? Was it the result of last years fall or winter?

Re: Japanese beetle 2013

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:24 am
by rainbowgardener
I did notice that too. Last year my wild grape vine had bunches of them, this year I looked and looked and never saw any. It is apparently the result of last summer's drought:

"Overall numbers of adults are likely to be lower this year due to last summer's drought. Eggs are laid by the adult females burrowing into the soil after mating. They tends to select areas of green grass and moist soil. Egg-laying apparently occurs primarily during the first two weeks of July in central Illinois, with first instar larvae hatching from them by early August. This timing is slightly earlier for southern Illinois and slightly later for northern Illinois.

The eggs take in water from the soil and expand after being laid. In dry soils, this does not occur completely, and many eggs do not hatch. In addition, the larvae (grubs) require eleven inches of rainfall or irrigation through the late summer into the fall to mature to the third larval instar and survive the winter."

I'm sure they are not gone permanently and this suggests their numbers will be rising again, since this July it was still pretty wet around here. It does suggest that if you want to reduce your JB population, don't water your lawn from say the beginning of August on. The lawn is where the grubs live. Of course it would help if you could convince your neighbors to quit watering their lawns too.

Re: Japanese beetle 2013

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:30 pm
by rainbowgardener
PS. The above explains why Japanese beetles are not found west of the Rockies -- too dry.

Re: Japanese beetle 2013

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:44 pm
by lily51
Thanks rainbow. So there will probably more next year.
When I mentioned this observation to my husband, he said they weren't in my gardens because they were all in his soybeans! Maybe all the fields around our house can be planted to beans every year (never would happen)

Anyway, I'll enjoy their lack this year.

Re: Japanese beetle 2013

Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:54 pm
by imafan26
As long as you keep them on your side. I have enough problems with the Chinese rose beetle that causes similar damage. But, come to think of it, there haven't been many of those this year either.

I only had a couple of flower beetles chewing the corn leaves and I have been taking the papaya before they get too ripe. The really go after over ripe fruit.

Since I have reduced the pesticide sprays to practically nothing, I have a healthier garden. Some of my plants show almost no damage until they start to sinese and I get good cucumbers and I don't cover them. I do lose some zucchini to fruit flies, but I have bait out and I could cover them to get more.

Unfortunately the problems I do have snail, slugs, thrips, spittle bugs, and papaya mealy bugs still cause some issues. The thrips are probably getting some control from predators but it does not help my orchid flowers much. Papaya mealy bugs are immune to everything, so now I have resorted to using water and a brush, spittle bugs are more of a nuisance than anything else, but no matter how much slug bait I put out, there always seems to be an army of snails and slugs waiting in reserve. Unfortunately slug bait is not as efficient as a chicken or toad (neither of which I have).

Re: Japanese beetle 2013

Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:44 pm
by lily51
Infan..since you are in beautiful Hawaii (visited there for two weeks, didn't want to ll'll leave!) I imagine some of the pests you get outside are what we get more in greenhouses.
Still, I'd put up with your pests if I could be on your islands. :D
Such blue,blue water.