Japanese Beetles, bizarrely small crop this year so far...

stlgal(south z5)July 2, 2012

I was picking off beetles for about 10 days, maybe 2-4 dozen a day each evening and then it stopped about a week ago and I now see hardly any, maybe one a day.

I can't figure out whether that was an early hatch and more are to come or whether the drought the neighbors are suffering may be interfering with the hatches I usually get from their lawns. We grub treated our lawn for enough years that they don't have a toe-hold here anymore but they're still usually drawn from outside to my fragrant roses.

How are yours this year, worse, the same or lighter than usual?

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seil zone 6b MI

I haven't had many either but I don't get a lot usually anyway. But my friend up in Standish, MI usually has tons of them for weeks and she said they're all but gone already. Maybe this weird weather was good for something!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 8:53PM
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TNY78(7a-East TN)

Hmm...I think maybe you all pushed them to Tennessee! I think I've seen more this year than other years, or maybe as my roses mature, they are just more attracted to my yard. I was just outside a few minutes ago and saw 5 or 6 chewing on one poor defenseless Hansa bloom :(


    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 9:03PM
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Terry Crawford

Stlgal, all your JBs are all up here in Peoria at my place. It's the worst plague I've ever seen in years. While driving about today, I saw linden trees totally decimated and JBs were hitting the windshield like crazy. I hope they go away soon so the roses can get some relief. They're even eating the daylilies and coneflowers, the rotten buggers.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 10:06PM
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stlgal(south z5)

Uggh, I feel your pain. I keep suspecting I'll still be out there as I was a few years ago, laying a trap as far away from the roses as possible on the lot, collecting bags of them, grubiciding the lawn and picking beetles morning and evening. I am still expecting the plague to descend as a second wave but maybe the change in weather has upset either their timing or reproduction here. Last year was pretty light too, but I think that was true for everyone.

We're keeping the lawn and gardens watered (and will probably cringe at the bill) but nearly all of the neighbors have given up so I suspect any grubs there will make a late entrance if they arrive at all.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 11:55PM
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They all are in my yard. I have heavier than ever infestation. Several of my roses are completely skeletonozed by now, not a single leaf (Belle Hermoine, The Bishop, Quadra, Rose de la Maitre-Ecole, Earth Song and several others. Not only leaves are gone, they are snacking on young shoots now. I collected a 2 qt container full yesterday night and than stoped, it was too hot and no end to JBs anyway. I could collect much more.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 7:28AM
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flaurabunda(6a, Central IL)

I contemplated signing up for another account here before answering, because I didn't want the demonic JB's to read my post and rain down negative Karma all over me but....

Really not that bad this year. I've had a bigger problem with them flying into my head and getting stuck in my hairspray that I've had with damage to blooms. I have a few leaves that have been decimated, but nothing comparing to years past. I know that at the end of last summer, we had significantly less rainfall in August & September than the northern half of the state; perhaps that extra little bit is what's making them worse up by Terry.

I'm having bigger problems with yellow jackets this year than JB's, and that's just ODD. The yellow jacket traps I put out a few weeks ago are totally full of carcasses. I'll tolerate wasps, but not yellow jackets.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 9:47AM
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Terry Crawford

The only positive thing I can say about this dreadful drought this year is that the ground is so hard that the JBs should have a difficult time penetrating it when it's time to lay their eggs. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that next year they will be small in number. And there's been no yellow jackets here...only wasps which have been great in number.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 9:58AM
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grandmothers_rose(z6b VA)

Very few this year, only 2 dozen - total, so far, which is strange, especially since Olga has the standard infestation. After the freakishly localized 6" of rain and the record breaking wind storm I'm glad for a break from the plague. Maybe my penitence is paying off.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 10:46AM
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Grandmothers rose, I don't have it standard. I have more than usual:)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 2:18PM
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stlgal(south z5)

that's very interesting...sounds like even some of us in the same general geographic area are having very different numbers this year--so now I don't know whether to credit the vigilant beetle and grub annihilation I've tried for the last 5 years or some weird thing about the weather. 4-5 years ago I would fill bags with them in two traps at the property line and we grubicided every inch of ground on our property to within an inch of its life to keep them from breeding there., picked the adults off of the plants. I think we may have served as a sink for many of the neighbor's beetles so that they came here and weren't very successful in breeding so that now there are lower numbers. The last two years we just grubicided and hand-picked adults and the numbers keep going down, so I hope it's not just a glitch of the weather.

florabunda, your post cracked me up--we won't let them on the forum, I promise. The grubs on the other hand....maybe we should be whispering...

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 10:53PM
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I've seen total of one and it was on my Hakuro Nishiki. It flew away as soon as it saw me. For me, its those pain in the ass cucumber beetles and 2 1/2 weeks of 95+ heat. Even the mosquito population is down.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 2:44AM
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2 dozen??!!
I pick that many from my roses in about 30 minutes!
There are an unusualy large amount of them here in CT; its defeating somedays but I keep picking them off and drowning them in what my husband has happily named, "Betelguese!"
(a mix of warm water and dish soap)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 3:17PM
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LOL, Dublinah. Everything is relative. 2 dozen in 30 min is very low for me. I would be very happy with this level of infestation. I can collect two dozen from one bud :(.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 5:00PM
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Olga, I am with you and I am in pain. My roses are also in pain. I rally the troops (my poor husband) to go with me on our nightly beetle hunts and we collect hundreds each while they're sleeping. But the next day, more are back. When will this tyranny end? Serenity NOW!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 5:35PM
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My approach is, if you can count them, it means you are OK. When you start measuring them in quarts, gallons, buckets, pounds or trap bags/day, this means you have serious infestation :)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 8:44PM
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stlgal(south z5)

Well, they're still not here in any numbers. Some days I find none, yesterday a half dozen but they were tiny little things, maybe a third of the normal size. So I think the drought and heat must be messing up their season here in a big way. I hope they just decide to give us a pass this year. As mori mentioned, our mosquito population is also way down here, and the dry conditions have to be part of that.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 5:50PM
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I'm from Northwest Arkansas, and we've been plagued by Japanese beetle for I guess about the last 10 years, steadily getting worse, to the point that hardly any roses or grapes would grow. We had an extremely mild winter and I was sure we'd get over run with the pests. I carefully watched from about the end of May (which is when they usually show up around here), but as of now, I haven't even seen one of them. Anybody have any ideas about this happening. Do those things run in long term cycles or something. I know that no one in the area treats their yards for grubs, so this is really strange. Anyone, especially from around this area have any ideas?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 4:19PM
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Was last summer/fall drier that usual?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 4:27PM
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That's all I've seen/picked off.

But, I'm sure there are others since I do see something has been chewing on my Gertrude Jekyll. But not badly.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 5:35PM
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There is a very bad infestation in Coventry CT right now. But, in my garden of 200+ roses, the infestation is basically over--I found just one JB last night--at its peak I was picking off perhaps 2 dozen/day. But, our JBs started early, in the 3rd week of June. They were around for less than a month.

A combination of dual action grub killer (which also controls the rose midge) combined with hand picking seems to work much better than using Milky Spore.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 9:09AM
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I wonder if something else you were spraying was killing the milky spore.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 12:05PM
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We didn't use insecticides while trying to get Milky Spore to work--but we did use fungicides like Immunox and Daconil to control Black Spot.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 3:08PM
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dan_keil_cr Keil(Illinois z5)

I had an email from a gal in Wisconsin and she has them bad.Has a 5 acre spread. I tried to help her the best I could.

I have had only about 15 total beetles in the yard. I told the beetles to go to Peoria and Pekin Il and see terryjean!!!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 3:42PM
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Was the lawn treated with anything during the Milky Spore test?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 4:23PM
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No lawn treatments during the test--which ran roughly 4 years--I read that it takes some time for it to take effect. My guess was that our climate may not be suitable for Milky Spore--in which case I'm not going to work that hard.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 8:25PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Milky Spore does not work everywhere & beetles can still fly in from neighbors yards, etc.
And your yard must have JB grubs to activate the Milky Spore.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 8:33PM
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There was a batch of bad (dead) Milky Spore. Unfortunately, I do not remenber the time period.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 10:24PM
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This article does not have a date.

"Several natural predators eat Japanese beetles. Among birds, only starlings eat the beetles, but several others
eat the larvae in the spring. Several beneficial insects including Assassin bugs and Tiphia wasps attack
Japanese beetle larvae."

"Alternatives to pesticides for lawn grubs include: (1) Milky spore disease. However, it is not very effective in
New York State except on Long Island, since our cold winter temperatures kill off the spores in winter and
successful treatment depends upon a build-up of the disease. (2) Although research is not yet totally conclusive, a better choice to try is the parasitic nematode, in the Steinernema species, which seem to provide some control. Watch for information on beneficial nematodes becoming available for Japanese beetle control,
as future research progresses."
H. Kuska comment: In northern Ohio I use both Milky Spore and beneficial nematodes. I get some beetles but not enough to be concerned about.

Here is a link that might be useful: link for above

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:59AM
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I first experienced JBs (in clouds!) last year in Minneapolis, although they must have been around before then and I didn't notice them. Here they seem to be fussy about what they eat, gorging on paper birches and littleleaf lindens to the point of complete defoliation, and then some flowers like morning glories and coneflowers. River birch and American lindens don't seem to be affected.

For some reason my dozen roses right in the middle of the action go unmunched and my roses have been in the ground since 2000 and never been sprayed.

I want to say that last August I put down Milky Spore (so did my neighbors, although no one else here seems to know what it is) and would say my JB numbers are down 50%. Although it could be a fluke.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:30AM
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mark_roeder(4B IA)

I have not had a rose in my home garden bloom fully in a month. They have consumed the roses that bloom and are working on the leaves. It is the most horrible JB season ever.

We tried Bayer Advanced from a hose end sprayer. They are still consuming blooms, but fewer are on foliage. In the spring I put down milky spore and I used a grub pesticide on the yard.

We have a Linden (tree) in the front yard and it is transcluscent; no leaves that are full. Most leaves have fallen down to JBs. The few peaches I had after the freeze struck the flowers this spring -- consumed by JBs.

What controls are effective?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 1:05AM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

I use Sevin on my trees (20 trees from 2 ft tall to 5 ft tall) and it kills the JB instantly, plus the powder stays on after that for about a week.

I hate the thought of using it, but it's only for a short period of time that I have to, and frankly it works.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 8:28AM
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mzstitch(Zone 7b South Carolina)

Out of the five years I've had roses, this was the worst year. They are finally slowing down, and I have some pretty blooms out there, but for a good month I was constantly plucking, so much so that I gave up and sprayed. Only after spraying have they been managable, and I can enjoy blooms again. (York, S.C.)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 8:40AM
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The following was stated: "In the spring I put down milky spore and I used a grub pesticide on the yard."

H. Kuska question: wouldn't the grub pesticide negate the use of Milky Spore?

We have 3 bird feeders along our roses. I asked my wife (the bird lover) if starlings frequent them, and she said, oh yes. From the New York report, it seems that I should be building/buying starling bird houses.

Here is a link that might be useful: info about starlings

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 10:09AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

You need JB grubs in the yard to spread the Milky Spore for it to be effective so a grub pesticide should NOT be used at the same time...

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 9:54PM
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I have had a total of 4,
which is more than I've ever had before.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 10:07PM
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mark_roeder(4B IA)

henry_kuska: You are correct. But in my defense both applications of grubicide and Milky Spore were in the spring. Milky spore takes time to establish itself, and is not very effective for emerging JBs. My hope with the pesticide was to eliminate JBs as they emerged.

C'est la vie. My 2012 efforts were wholly unsuccessful, and I had the worst infestation ever all rose blooms consumed before they bloomed from late June through end of August.

What a difference a year makes. Day 1 of the 2013 infestation I had about 200 JBs in a day two weeks ago, but with spraying Eight, some hand removal, and spot spraying Malathion on blooming roses, when they came back, and an earlier application of Milky Spore in the Spring 2013, a 2013 spring application of a Bayer systemic to address JBs, have combined to allow me to have roses in July 2013!!! I think I hand picked about 6-8 JBs today from approximately 40 roses.

I thought after last year I might have to give up roses. The dang things stripped a full grown linden tree (I cut it down), ate all my peaches, and ate all my roses for two months.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 12:30AM
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