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

Question. Mike: I am being overrun; I used Sevin; they laughed at it. I mixed it stronger; they laughed louder. I have dogs and am not comfortable spraying insecticides all the time.  
            -----Lillie in Chrisman, IL

I have a horrendous invasion on my crepe myrtle, birches, apple and cherry trees. Do you have any long-term solutions?  The birds could have a FEAST if only they ate them!
            ---Cathy in Seaford, Delaware

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

Several years ago they suddenly appeared, destroying a cherry and peach tree 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 in Portland, TN

We just planted a Crepe Myrtle bush; immediately Japanese beetles were all over it. We spray and they just come back. Is there a good natural way to control these pests? Thanks.
            ---Margaret in Canton, Georgia

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

Now—long-term solutions? Yes & no. Female Japanese beetles only lay their eggs in turf, and you can cut the numbers of the resulting grub babies that reside in YOUR lawn substantially; 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 it during dry spells this summer; those females will soon be egg laying,and they greatly prefer moist, low-cut turf. (Don't worry if rain is scarce; the lawn will just go dormant and green up again when wet times return, but those females will have long since flown to homes where they have a fast hand with the hose.)

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