The Q&A Archives: Beetles and aphids

Question: Howdo I get rid of beetles? They are thick on my crape myrtle trees. This is the second year,I've had this problem.I have the things you hang with the bags attached and I also spray the trees with a spray.
Thanks, Greta

Answer: Japanese beetles are difficult to control, in part because they fly long distances. It is especially difficult on trees. You can try to repel them using a spray containing neem, or you can spray with spinosad, or with carbaryl (the active ingredient in Sevin) but this is a contact insecticide with no residual action.

You can also use beneficial nematodes or milky spore disease to kill them at the grub stage -- although this must be done over a wide area to be effective. Be sure to read and carefully follow all of the label directions on any product you use.

The pheromone traps are not recommended because they seem to attract more than they catch.

Most gardeners find they have to tolerate a certain amount of damage, and some years are more severe than others, it seems in dry years they migrate to areas where turf is being watered. I'm sorry you are having so much trouble with them.

The aphids can be knocked down with a spray of water from the garden hose, or you can spray with commercially formulaed insecticidal soap. Aphids tend to attack plants that have been oversupplied with nitrogen, so be sure you are not overfertilizing. Always read the label on any product you use.

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