Thread: overrun by japanese beetles

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2006
    North Central PA

    overrun by japanese beetles

    Hello,my yard has been overrun by japanese beetles. I have a row of hemlocks and a row of norway spruce that are covered in beetles,someone please give me some tips before they eat them down to the stems? The hemlocks are two years old and except for frost damage that killed alot of the new growth this year there doing relatively good. The spruce I planted this year in the spring. I sprayed them all with SEVIN,but they came right back. I'm afraid of using traps cuz i figure ill just attract all the beetles in the neighborhood. HELP PLEASE....THANX!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    St. Louis zone 6

    RE: overrun by japanese beetles

    I get this stuff from the big box stores. I'm out now so I can't reference the bottle but its something like Triacidize. Its a spray, comes in a grey bottle with some green on the stickers and warning lables.

    Each year my crepe myrtle and purple leaf plum start to get eaten first. Then I spray this stuff on them come June and probably again later in the summer. Even with a mask it sends me sneezing, maybe I'm just allergic, but read the warning labels. Far as conifers go, I spray my Dawn Redwood, and Golden Hinoki Cypress with no obvious ill effects. I think I even sprayed a leyland cypress last year.
    Zone 6, St. Louis, MO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Eastern PA

    RE: overrun by japanese beetles

    You need to treat not only the trees that they eat, but the lawns where they live.

    There are several different ways to treat them in the ground - aereating the lawn gets some (spikes them, literally there's milky spore as a traditional treatment, and beneficial nematodes which go after them. The problem with ground controls is that they only work on the beetle grubs in your own lawn. If they fly in from down the street (where a neighbor used to use those traps, and attract thousands that got caught, and at least that same number that didn't...) then they will still keep coming.

    For the trees, you can use something to take them down such as Pyola, a corn-based broad-spectrum insectiside that is approved for organic use. You should also apply something *before* they start munching (bit late for that this year!) such as Surround. Keeps them from settling on a plant, which keeps them from releasing pheremones, which keeps the massive flocks of them from settling on that same plant and skelotonizing it.

    When all else fails, I send the kids out with two flat rocks each, and they remove what they can. Assassin bugs - aka wheel bugs - will feast on the beetles, but there's not enough of the predators to control the swarms. Haven't tried it yet, but during conversation Sunday, a friend mentioned that she and her brother used to snap them with clothespins, which sounds a bit easier - and more fun to certain age groups - than grinding with rocks. Probably does less additional damage to the leaves, too.

    Green Man Enviroscaping LLC

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    RE: overrun by japanese beetles

    It shouldn't be long now before they say "sayonara".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Eastern PA

    RE: overrun by japanese beetles

    That's what I'm doing this year - waiting them out. =)

    They took a long time to arrive, about a month later than I had anticipated, so I decided not to get anything to attempt to control them (after an initial spray of nematodes, which were probably taken out by the late frost...)

    Green Man Enviroscaping LLC

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    RE: overrun by japanese beetles

    This year hasn't been that bad for me beetle-wise. If I go outside for 5 minutes, I'd usually have a dozen of them clinging to my shirt. Not this year. They seem to like some of my trees and others they leave alone.

  7. #7

    RE: overrun by japanese beetles

    Get Bag-A-Bug the trap is effective over a 5,000 square foot area around it that ia a area about 70 feet by 70 feet:
    They attract them by useing a hormone attractant and they came and fall in the bag by the hundreds and fill it up! We had one before and it is neat. I know Most Walmarts at least have them in the south and some farmers coop stores.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2006
    North Central PA

    RE: overrun by japanese beetles

    Thanx for the tips....they seem to be about gone but not without eating some hemlocks down to twigs! Will the hemlocks come back next spring or did they manage to kill them?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    RE: overrun by japanese beetles

    Well that could be something entirely different....
    read the following

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Ocala, FL

    RE: overrun by japanese beetles

    Nah - hemlock wooly adelgid are sucking insects - they suck on the plant juices rather than eating needles. They can cause needles to drop, but I wouldn't expect that to happen so quickly.

    DawgFather, time will tell with your hemlocks, but I wouldn't write them off yet. They might even put on a new flush of growth this year.

    I'm out of Japanese beetle range now, but when I lived in New York, those Bag-a-Bug things were the only thing I ever observed to make much of a difference. And it's kind of satisfying, to see them fill up with beetles that have been removed from the ecosystem.

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