[nafex] Re: Japanese beetles

Donna Sue Edwards-LaPeer gardenerdsel at mindspring.com
Sat Jul 21 13:39:42 EDT 2001

 Kieran or Donna,

I live in NE Illinois and have been gardening this same good earth for nine
years.  2001 is THE  peak for the Japanese Beetle populatio.  Roses,
raspberries, apples, grapes, all suffer their appetites.  The Virginia
Creeper vanishes from their attentions, now I fear for the pole beans.

Control:  a leisurely walk-about in the late afternoon/early evening with a
bucket of soapy water and a short stick to knock them off their leafy
perches into the suds is a most satisfying and somewhat effective control.
Lathargy seems to visit them as it does me late in the day.  Resembling
swiss army knives they flash their fancy legs about, I suspect emitting mate
attracting pherenomes.  What do they smell like?  I will try sniffing them
out on the next patrol.  Each mating pair that splashes into the suds
eliminates a potential swarming generation but their numbers seem replaced
by morning.

Yesterday the initial grasshoppers joined the fray...but the mosquitoes have
not been as annoying as in the past (early warm spring temps/rains followed
by a freeze desimated the first generation is my guess).

Each year the mowed area on the acre lot decreases and the lightening bug
population increases.  A healthy insect population with many unfamiliar (to
me) newcomers increases each year as well.  Soldier bugs and wasps
frequently hunt Asparagus Beetle larva in the asparagus bed.  The soldier
bugs empale the larva, walking about sipping as I might with an iced tea.

Asparagus Beetles are another challenge.  A Remay (landscape fabric)
tailored (on the sewing machine) tent was an early investment of time and
resources this spring.   Whipping about in the slightest breeze, its ghostly
specter should have freightened them away if they had not been safely
protected inside, seems the first generation was present in the soil.  Ups!
Another lesson learned.

Bumblebees and others bed down on the velvety orange (Mexican Sunflowers)
Tithonia flowers, now planted for their comfort as well as my delight.

I am off to join them all in the garden.


> >
> > We have had the most devasting attack of Japanese beetles we have seen
> > the early 80's over in the TN Valley.  It is to the point that we can
> > them, > >


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