[nafex] Re: Japanese Beetles-Any Solution?

Christopher Mauchline mauch1 at aol.com
Tue Jun 27 10:21:08 EDT 2000


Doc,
    Japanese beetles love grapes (I think more than they love roses), 
heres what I did to get them under control for my acre of vines.  I 
placed milky spore down the center of the rows (in the grassy 
strip).  During the summer I would place traps surrounding the 
vineyard (trying to lure the beetles that were flying into the area)  
and in the evening my father would walk the vineyard rows with the 
bottom of a milk jug filled w/ ~1" of gasoline.  He would brush the 
beetles into the gas, which would kill the beetles.  In cooler 
(evening) weather, when disturbed the beetles tend to drop while when 
it's hot they'll fly off instead.  The beetles don't directly bother 
the grape berries but go after the leaves.  So in my case I just need 
to reduce the damage to the point where the beetles don't overly 
impact photosynthesis.

I don't know whether the milky spore has done the job or whether the 
beetles have hit a low cycle in the reproduction (I believe most 
species that don't have natural controls tend to have a boom/bust 
cycle in their population) but the beetle population has been much 
reduced lately.  I don't bother with the traps any more, but I would 
use them on a new planting, if I had just places milky spore (which 
seems more difficult to find than it used to be).

Question:  If the Sevin is sprayed when the beetles are there (long 
after blooming), why are you concerned for the bees?  Bees (from my 
observation) don't usually go near plants that aren't blooming, so 
the only dangers would be spray drift or if the hives are inamongst 
your trees (Unless I'm mistaken?)

Chris Mauchline
SE PA, zone 6

--- In nafex at egroups.com, LONGDISTSHTR <longdistshtr at s...> wrote:
> I had a chance to ask a local radio program horticulturist for a
> solution to the Japanese Beetle problem and he just shook his head 
and
> told me that the traps that people put out don't do much but waste 
the
> gardeners' money. The oil in the can bit seems to get more of them 
but
> doesn't decrease them decernibly.
> I've finally got a good crop of plum and apples in SC but am losing 
them
> due to these critters. I hate to use Sevin 'cause of my honey bees.
> Anyone tried milky spore disease? I know it doesn't work on the 
adults
> but I'll try it this fall if it will reduce them. I have a bumper 
crop
> of figs and muscadines and I'm sure not looking forward to the June 
Bug
> hatch coming up soon.
> The Japanese Beetles raise cane with my asparagus but at least the 
crop
> season is over by the time they hatch. It still must damage and 
weaken
> the plants though.
> Any ideas about non-toxic repellents or biologicals? I'm being 
forced to
> take up golf and give up on this fruit production. Getting tired of
> feeding these beetles, fire ants (got two hives of my bees) and June
> Bugs (ruin all my late figs, [LSUs,Sals,Almas,Brown Turkeys and
> Celeste]) Thanks for any info! Doc Lisenby, Zone 8/7


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