Japanese Beetles Are Eating Maine Gardens, Here’s How To Kill Them
Those pesky beetles are out and about eating up Mainers' gardens right now.
Don't let them drive you insane. Here's how to get rid of them, according to people that are much smarter than those like me who play Aerosmith music on the radio for a living.
First off, like many other insects that now drive us crazy, the Japanese beetle is an invasive species and didn't originate here on this continent. Thus the reason why they're called "Japanese beetles." The reality is though that they're here, and we have to deal with them, or else no tomatoes for you.
Our friends at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension tell us that the beetles come out during June looking for food sources and to mate, just like many college kids would on summer break. Unlike the college kids who'll have to wait 9 months later, the female beetles will then lay their eggs sometime in mid to late July, with those eggs then hatching around the middle of August, and the little ones will then begin to feed on the roots of your lawn.
Japanese beetles look like they're wearing a green helmet and their wings are a brownish copper color. They have 5 white stripes of hair on their sides and two on their behind. They can grow up to a half-inch in length.
Their eggs or grubs, which are called larva, are C-shaped, white, and kind of gross looking, unless you're a crow, which would find them appetizing. They reside in the ground and the crows will dig for them, which is why you'll see certain sections of lawns that have looked like they've been dug up or turned over.
So here's a couple of things to do while hordes of beetles are chewing up your Begonias.
Fill up a large cup or a bucket with water and dishwashing detergent, and then brush those nasty munchers into it, where they will die.
Or, like our friend in the video below suggests, find a portable hand-held, battery-operated vacuum and suck those suckers off of the leaves. When the vacuum is near full then dump it into the bucket of water and detergent.
Some people will run right out and buy brightly yellow-colored Japanese beetle traps. Beetles are attracted to the yellow color but unfortunately fly very clumsily and will miss the target, thus ending up on the plants themselves. It's suggested if you'd like to use a beetle trap then place it at least 50 feet away from the vegetation.
Now when the eggs hatch and the grubs begin to feed on the roots of your lawn, you can either use the same water/dishwashing detergent concoction that you'd use for the beetles on the leaves or head out to your local hardware store for a bag of Scott's GrubEX or something like it and spread it all over.
That is what we now know, thanks to those that are much smarter than us, who play Aerosmith for a living.