They are the scourge of gardeners and hated at every stage of their development. Whether it's the grubs in your lawn, or the shiny green and brown beetles eating your flowers, no one likes when these visitors are around.
Japanese Beetles are active in huge numbers between June 15th and August 15, eating the most between July 15th and August 15th. So they are out there NOW, keep watch!
What can a gardener do at this time of year?
1. Hand Pick. Go out in the evening with a container of soapy water. Evening works best because the little jerks are kind of sluggish at that point. Tap them into the water and they'll drown. They usually tuck their legs in and fall pretty easily. (They do NOT bite or sting, so no worries on that front). And if you'd like, get your kids involved! They enjoy knocking them into the water--maybe a penny or a nickel per bug would work in your house?
2. Organic Sprays. We recommend End-All, a ready-to-use spray, or Bioneem, a concentrate that will need to be mixed. Both can be sprayed every 3-7 days as needed. As with most sprays, use when the weather cooperates--under 85 degrees and no rain within 24 hours. (I know, I know, that's been almost impossible this year.)
Try to space your spray schedule to kill as many beetles as possible, using the least amount of spray you can. Remember, insecticides kill the good insects, too. If you can manage the biggest amount within a 7-10 day schedule, you should be able to hand pick the rest.
Systemics can be used, but need to be applied earlier in the year for best results.
We do not recommend traps. They attract 40%-70% more beetles to the area, and not all of them will find their way to the trap!
We wish you the best of luck in dealing with these little devils. Be sure to visit the store if you have questions about ANY insects in your garden. We'll remind you in the spring when it's time to put down other products that will help reduce the Japanese Beetles in your garden.