Ask a Question forum: I overlooked the biggest problem....

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Southern Indiana (Zone 6a)
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CrazedHoosier
May 22, 2018 7:59 PM CST
I got my head too far in the flower bed, and forgot to prepare for possible issues. Japanese beetles. I have dahlias, zinnias, and basil on the deck, and coneflower, rose, and azalea in the yard. I've basically set a feast up for these ugly, invasive bugs. I can't figure out what the best way to repel/kill them is, though. I don't want to use a method that is extremely harsh to the environment, toxic to dogs, or toxic to any beneficial insects. I've heard Bayer All-In-One works well, but I've also heard it doesn't. Even if it did work well, my deck plants are potted, and the Bayer wouldn't work with them. Also, do marigolds repel them or not? I saw some Japanese beetles on mine last year, but they seemed to be almost dying when I flicked them off. What are your methods of Japanese beetle control? Should I go for the Bayer? How about milky spore?
Maybe we should get a second opinion...
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
May 22, 2018 8:03 PM CST
Milky spore, from what I've read and heard, does well on JBs. The old squish method works too.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
May 23, 2018 4:55 AM CST
Handpick diligently?
Milky spore works but will take time to become effective.
I don't quite see why Bayer won't work on potted deck plants, however, I don't use it on anything flowering and I don't think it fits your goal of avoiding toxics. And DON"T use it on your basil.
Beetles seemed to be found best in the morning on our corn last year. Aside from corn, and roses, I also found them liking wild biennial common evening primrose- check those and handpick.
I don't think I have ever seen them on azalea.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
May 23, 2018 5:10 AM CST
From a talk I attended by an entomologist, beneficial nematodes are now thought more effective than milky spore for Japanese beetles (at least in some areas where milky spore is turning out not to be as effective as once thought).

The problem is that the beetles can fly in from outside your own garden so even if you treat the grubs in the lawn, your neighbours aren't necessarily doing so.

Knocking the beetles off the plants into a bucket of soapy water when they are dozy with the cooler temperatures first thing in the morning is one option.

The Bayer will only kill them once they have fed on the plants and, as Sally said, if you treat flowering plants with it then it will potentially have a negative effect on bees (assuming it's the Bayer product that contains imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid). You would also be applying other pesticide ingredients along with the imidacloprid that you may not actually need.
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
May 23, 2018 7:39 AM CST
In like the knock them off into soapy water better than squishing them. Especially if there is a lot of them. Have you seen any yet?
Southern Indiana (Zone 6a)
I'll quit while I'm ahead...
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CrazedHoosier
May 23, 2018 7:46 AM CST
I suppose milky spore wouldn't work effectively anyway considering I live in dense woods that connects to many places throughout suburban Indiana. The beetles could still easily fly in. The problems I see with taking no measure against them other than hand-flicking or picking, is that the JB problem is bad here. They stripped 4/5 of my basil plants last year. Also, the flowers I need to watch out for are in very different places on my property, and I work in the morning.
Maybe we should get a second opinion...
Southern Indiana (Zone 6a)
I'll quit while I'm ahead...
Annuals Container Gardener Cactus and Succulents Frogs and Toads Growing under artificial light Dog Lover
Houseplants Garden Procrastinator Aroids Tomato Heads Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers
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CrazedHoosier
May 23, 2018 7:48 AM CST
Zencat said:In like the knock them off into soapy water better than squishing them. Especially if there is a lot of them. Have you seen any yet?


I think I've seen 1 or 2, which is worrisome since it isn't time for them to emerge yet here.
Maybe we should get a second opinion...
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
May 23, 2018 9:25 AM CST
For your basil, if they're lined out or grouped, and anything else you aren't growing for ornamental value, you can cover them with row cloth like Remay.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 23, 2018 10:25 AM CST
When I lived in Connecticut we had Japanese Beetles. I kept a pail filled with soapy water and flicked the beetles into the water. It was a sort of relaxing activity. I also kept a few of the beetle traps around - yes, I know the traps attract the beetles from neighboring yards but at least I was reducing the population.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Southern Indiana (Zone 6a)
I'll quit while I'm ahead...
Annuals Container Gardener Cactus and Succulents Frogs and Toads Growing under artificial light Dog Lover
Houseplants Garden Procrastinator Aroids Tomato Heads Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers
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CrazedHoosier
May 25, 2018 2:56 PM CST
Well, I got a new rose - The Miracle On The Hudson Rose. I love it. It's stunning and fragrant. On the down side, it will be eaten by JB. Has Bayer All-In-One been documented to affect bees or dogs negatively? I may have to resort to using it to save the roses.
Maybe we should get a second opinion...
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
May 25, 2018 3:55 PM CST
If it is the Bayer product that contains imidacloprid, then it is of concern for bees. Do a Google search using the keywords bees neonicotinoids (sometimes shortened to neonics) for more information.

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