J is for Japanese Beetles

Eww. That’s right, I said eww.
I know, not a highly descriptive word, but you have no question in mind what I’m thinking, right?
Japanese Beetles are not my friend.  Sure their green iridescent shells might be pretty, but I h-word them. I always hesitate to use the word hate. It’s such a harsh word, but in this case, the word hate and Japanese Beetles are becoming synonymous.
Right now the Japanese Beetle grubs are under our sod and soil munching on our plant and grass roots.  Eww. Then, when the time is right, they’ll emerge, crawling onto our plants to munch away on the leaves and leave us with nothing but the skeleton of a leaf. Grrrr…. But, while they’re at it, they’ll emit a pheromone (Eww) calling all of their metallic backed friends to join them so they can mate, lay eggs in the soil and do it all over again. Again, eww.
Now, unless you really like your plants to look lacy, you could knock these buggers into a bucket of soapy water and end their life cycle in about 30 seconds.
You can also put chemicals into the soil to kill the grubs, but guess what? It impacts more than just the Japanese Beetles, it hurts the beneficial insects too, including bees. So you might want to skip that one.
Maybe you’ve heard of the pheromone traps? Go ahead and hang them up.  That is if you really, really like Japanese Beetles, because they’ll be calling their friends from a 5 mile radius to come and par-tay.
So what can we do? Not a lot. A bucket of soapy water is about the best non-toxic remedy at this point, because remember the chemicals will work… In your yard. But is your neighbor killing them? How about their neighbor? How about the people living 5 miles away whose beetles came for the pheromone party? Then it’s best to skip the chemicals and the long-term damage they can cause, do what you can without making yourself crazy and learn to live with them, because unfortunately, they’re here for the long haul.
So if you can’t beat them, don a green metallic shell grab yourself a,leaf and munch away. Ew. Never mind. Just live with them.

Kate

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