Answer: Japanese beetle larvae spend the winter below the frost line in the soil, so if you remove the leaves early in the season, you won't tansfer them to other places. But simply removing the mulch won't deter the beetles. Raspberries are among their favorite foods, and adults fly in from quite a distance to feast. If you cover your canes well with a lightweight garden fabric, the beetles won't be able to reach them. For long-term control of Japanese beetles, whole communities must get involved to apply milky spore disease (affects only white grubs, such as June beetles and Japanese beetles) to lawns and meadows. If you need more information about such a project, contact your county agricultural extension office (ph# 616/456-6988). Best of luck!
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