The Q&A Archives: My Raspberry leaves are being eaten

Question: Hi. I have raspberry plants that I bought last year. This year they're starting to grow lots of new shoot but the leaves keep getting skeletonized. I've been seeing brown beetles that appear at night and have tried dusting with Sevin but every day it looses more leaves (it only has about 5 left of 50 that have not been eaten). What do I need to do to save it and the rest? The beetles are also starting to eat my dahlias as well... Thanks so much!

Answer: Japanese beetles are a difficult pest to control. Your best bet is a two-prong approach: one to deal with the larvae, one to deal with the adults. Japanese beetle grubs are best controlled by spraying beneficial nematodes on the lawn and garden area. These microscopic worm-like creatures attack only the grubs in the soil and not plants, animals or humans. Spray them in spring when the temperatures are above 55F. You can buy the beneficial nematodes from Gardeners Supply, 128 Intervale Rd., Burlington, VT 05401 800-863-1700 For adult beetles, I'd try a new product called whole neem oil. This is different than standard Bioneem in that it is a stronger concentration of this organic spray. It's available from Greenlight Co., Box 17985, San Antonio, TX 78217, 210-494-3481.

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