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Thread: Controlling Japanese beetles without pesticides

  1. #1

    Default Controlling Japanese beetles without pesticides

    Hello, we just bought an acre this year. I want to turn into into a self-sustaining(as much as possible) permaculture food forest type garden but right now we have lots of grass mixed with clover a few trees along the edge of the property and a patch of perviously tilled garden plot of over used unhealthy soil. It needs work. Also we have lots of Japanese beetles. They seems to be leaves most of our plants alone but I haven't weeded at all and they seem to prefer a couple of the weeds. The biggest problem area is back by the natural pond and woods. They did tear up one raspberry plant that wasn't hidden back in the woods. We are thinking about getting chickens which would help by the house but what plants could I toss in by the pond to maybe curb their numbers a bit for when we grow more food? I know they don't like garlic and onion type plants. What flowers could be good?
    I also did some pulling of the beetles off our garden plants then tossing dead bodies into the garden because supposedly the beetles don't like the smell of other dead beetles but it didn't seem to do much. There aren't many out there now so I think their season is coming to a close. What could I get to eat/kill the eggs before they hatch next year or the grubs before they become beetles and surface?

    Jenavieve


  2. #2
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    The chickens will help as will diatomaceous earth. I also happen to think name calling works but that's just me. I don't know of anything you can plant that will control them. The stupid things will eat anything. If you plant it, they will come.

  3. #3

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    if you have the money to spare, you can try treating your grassy areas with predator nematodes.
    These things work great in my yard. Haven't had many beetles on the grape vines for a few years now.
    I put em down in the spring using a pump up pressurized pesticide sprayer with a wide spraying nozzel (dedicated to this purpose only, don't use one that has had pesticide in it.) You don't want a fine mist sprayer. My old pump sprayer, I had to take the nozzle tip off to use it.

    Kind of a leap of faith because what you get is a sponge. The nematodes are microscopic.
    I use rain water from the catch barrel out back as I don't want to take a chance the chlorinated tap water will kill them.

    You know they're working if you find brown grub bodies on a test dig in an area you know contains grubs. You also know they are working if you don't have any beetle hatchings.

    Doesn't stop the ones coming from the neighbor's yard but if you have a grub infestation already, getting rid of the local source helps a lot.

    These guys are out of stock. You might find them cheaper elsewhere. Just be sure they are reputable. Cuz like I said, someone could just sell you a wet sponge.
    http://www.territorialseed.com/produ...tory_Nematodes

    You could also try planting a trap crop. Something they love that has no use to you. Hedge roses come to mind. Plant it well away from the areas where you plan to plant your garden. The same goes for those traps sold in hardware stores. Don't put it in the garden. That'll only draw the beetles directly where you don't want them. Put it way over on the opposite side of the yard.

    You don't so much want to be crushing them and leaving the crushed bodies laying around. That's more apt to attract more beetles if you happen to crush those that are actively releasing mating pheremones. I always used a can filled with soapy water. Just scrape them in and they die almost instantly. Still using that to scrape off the darned red beetle larva that lay waste to my trumpet lilies every other year.
    Last edited by LowKey; 07-23-2017 at 03:31 PM.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I put one of those traps out one year. They use a sex pheromone to attract the beetles. There must have been 6 trillion beetles show up. I had way more the year I had the trap than I have had any other year. And don't kill one either. All their family show up for the funeral.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    I put one of those traps out one year. They use a sex pheromone to attract the beetles. There must have been 6 trillion beetles show up. I had way more the year I had the trap than I have had any other year. And don't kill one either. All their family show up for the funeral.
    Psssst........ put it in you neighbor's yard....they will go there.
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  6. #6

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    I had heard that about traps so didnt intend to use them. I had been knocking them off the plants into a dish of soapy water so they drown then tossing out whole bodies without squashing them. There numbers have been lessening dramatically by the garden though there are still a few and not so much out back where it only matters because they ate the raspberry bushes too.

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    My sister lives in Pennsylvania in an area that has a heavy infestation of Japanese Beetles. She has had good results with the pheromone traps. Thankfully, I do not see any up here on Lake superior.
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