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Beating Japanese Beetles
Bug Juice, Clay Spray, 'The HooverHover' and Seven Other Ways toBeat Japanese Beetles

Question. Mike: I am being overrun; Iused Sevin; they laughed at it. I mixed it stronger; they laughedlouder. I have dogs and am not comfortable spraying insecticides allthe time.  
            -----Lillie inChrisman, IL

I have a horrendous invasion on my crepe myrtle, birches, apple andcherry trees. Do you have any long-term solutions?  The birdscould have a FEAST if only they ate them!
            ---Cathy inSeaford, Delaware

Could you please share any info on those nasty bugs?  I'm sure myneighbors get a big laugh every time they see me try to put a new'bag-a-bug' bag on the stand.
            ---Kim inAshburn, VA (right outside Washington, DC)

Several years ago they suddenly appeared, destroying a cherry and peachtree and decimating my apples. The next year I lost my entire crop.This year I notice that some are a little bigger and have a red sheen;are these mutants? Do you have a solution short of a nuclear blast?
            ---Ed inPortland, TN

We just planted a Crepe Myrtle bush; immediately Japanese beetles wereall over it. We spray and they just come back. Is there a good naturalway to control these pests? Thanks.
            ---Margaret inCanton, Georgia

Answer.    I cast anespecially wide geographic net for this week's questioners so that youfolks leaning in real close right now would know you weren't the onlyones being defoliated by these pests.

Now—long-term solutions? Yes & no. FemaleJapanese beetles only lay their eggs in turf, and you can cut thenumbers of the resulting grub babies that reside in YOUR lawnsubstantially; check out our grub Q & A from April (xarticle.asp?ai=555)for details. Like it says there, don't scalp your lawn or water itduring dry spells this summer; those females will soon be egg laying,and they greatly prefer moist, low-cut turf. (Don't worry if rain isscarce; the lawn will just go dormant and green up again when wet timesreturn, but those females will have long since flown to homes wherethey have a fast hand with the hose.)

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You Bet Your Garden   Question of the Week  ©2005Mike McGrath