Protection against Stink bugs and Japanese Beetles

drscottr(7)January 10, 2014

I am looking for a way to protect my corn against stink bugs and my beans against japanese beetles. Has anyone tried covering the taller plants with a garden fabric using PVC pipes as a frame? I would assume that corn would still pollinate but what about the Beans?

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HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)

Since Japanese beetles live their nymph stages in the ground, I'm not sure this would help. Wouldn't they just come up into the plants from underground as they matured?

I'm also looking at ways to keep stink bugs and Japanese beetles out of my strawberries and apples. I have been looking into companion plants. Apparently certain plants (chives, garlic, onions, etc.) tend to repel at least some of the beetles. Not enough to eliminate them, but enough to at least reduce the problem somewhat.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 11:07AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

In the 1980's there was a Japanese trap available at the garden centers. It had a scent thingey in it to attract the males. It worked really well. We had to dump the dead beetles once a week. It really stunk, but it kept them off of the roses. This was in Pa.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 6:20PM
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HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)

Every source I've ever seen has warned against using pheromone or other types of traps to attract and trap the Japanese beetles. The problem is that they attract a bunch of the beetles, but only trap some of them. The rest leave you with an even worse problem than you would have had without the trap.

Here is a link that might be useful: Japanese Beetle Traps -- Do Japanese Beetle Traps Work?

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 10:30PM
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unconventional but works for me on jap beetles. I have a roundup ready invasive vine that I spend hours clearing from fence lines, fruit trees, and lilacs. last year I noticed that the ones I missed were covered with beetles and the roses and fruit 10' away had virtualy none. I made a note where they were and sprayed with 7. This year I left a few in easy places to spray and did not have to spray my fruit.(for beetles). The vine is small, about 1/4" the leaves are the same size and color as apple.A different shape but not so you see them on a quick drive by. It is raining hard today I will try to find on line. I have never seen it in the woods so I don't think it is native.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 9:30AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I didn't know it attracted more and only killed a few. Mmmm. It worked well for us. Maybe they got immune to it over the 30+ years since I used it?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 11:46AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Most effective control for both I have found - Surround. It is kaloin clay, organic, and quite effective when used per label directions.

Doesn't look great on the garden as it gives a gray cast to everything but I sure would rather have the benefits it provides than a showplace garden.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 2:59PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Dave: I have heard from some on GW that it's hard to wash the clay off when using Surround. I discovered toward the end of the season last summer that a lot of my peppers and tomatoes had been attacked by stink bugs. I didn't realize it until September because a family emergency kept me from paying adequate attention to my garden for about six weeks. My plants had impressive yields, but the tomatoes had spots and the peppers were corky at the stem end. All were edible, but kept growing smaller fruits than normal as the season progressed. This winter, we have found quite a few stink bugs in my house. So I realize they are here waiting for next season.

I don't want to have to peel tomatoes and peppers before eating. If you used it, did you have a problem washing the kaolin off?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 8:32PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

have a problem washing the kaolin off?

Not at all. Takes a few minutes soaking before rinsing. In other words, more than just a quick dash under the faucet but then that isn't really enough for anything.

A simple vegetable brush gets any in the crevices but you core the tomatoes and peppers anyway so that is no problem.

And since kaolin is already used in many products we use daily (like toothpaste and medications) you already do ingest some of it with no problems. Not that I am advocating eating it. :)


    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 10:41AM
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hementia8(8 MS)

For Stink Bugs,I use a mixture of stong coffee,veg.oil and dish washing liquid
It killed them on contact
You have to sneak up on them as they scatter with the slightess motion
I have also used boiled tobbaco with great sucess

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 11:44AM
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sweetquietplace(6 WNC Mtn.)

I haven't tried it yet, but check out AzaGuard. It's supposed to work on stink bugs.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 2:01PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

The active ingredient in AzaGard is azadirachtin which comes from Neem Oil. There have been mixed reports about its effectiveness against stink bugs. It appears to be most effective against them in the nymph stage, but it needs to come into direct contact with them to kill. How many stink bug nymphs did you see in your garden? I didn't even see the bugs themselves, but I did see extensive damage on my tomatoes and peppers at harvest. If you can't find them, you can't kill them.

An organic insecticide that is supposed to be a little more effective against them is pyrethrin. There are also traps that work like Japanese beetle traps, but if you look at the reviews they get on, you can see that most people didn't think they were effective.

The problem is that contact insecticides are not effective because of the bugs have hard coats, and they feed by piercing the skin of the fruit or vegetable, so they avoid most of the insecticide on the surface. They feed on so many different kinds of plants that you would need to treat everything in your garden to begin to make a dent. It sounds like the most effective control for home gardeners is growing trap crops (like okra or amaranth), using row covers and, from what Dave says, using a kaolin clay product like Surround.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 6:05PM
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Thanks for all the input.

Dave, thanks for the Kaolin advice. I have a ton of the stuff and I've used it on cukes to stop the cucumber beetles. Will try it elsewhere and see what happens. Any idea of whether it inhibits corn pollination?

Last year I spent every evening killing 1000's of the two types of beetles.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 4:43PM
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