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Japanese beetles

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Pretty soon we'll have grapes, but the Japanese beetles are enjoying them, too! They're all over the place!

This has been a very good year for Japanese beetles. All of those grubs that were in the soil survived because of the wet conditions, and now they've emerged as all of the adults that are everywhere!

What are you going to do? Of course, you can hand pick them. Go out early in the morning, grab and squish them because they are very sluggish then. Or you can just drop them into a pail of soapy water, and that will kill them pretty quickly.

Or you can trap them. You may have thought that if you hang one of those traps, it will actually attracted them into your yard. That's true if you don't do it the right way. The first thing you want to do is put the trap about 30 feet away from any of your desirable plants, like the grapes and the roses. If you can get your neighbor to trap too, that's going to help. And also put the trap only about 5" off the ground, because Japanese beetles are low fliers. When they come into your yard, they're going to hit the trap first and they're not going to end up on your roses, plum trees or your cherry trees. If you do that, you'll catch a lot of beetles and you'll reduce the population.

Now also you can spray them, you can use bioneem or pyrethrum. However, pyrethrum although it's organic, it does kill bees so you want to spray it on plants that are not blooming, so the bees aren't around, like in the evening when the bees are not as active.

At the end of August or early September, you can spread beneficial nematodes on the lawn areas, that will kill the grubs, so you have less beetles next year.

By Charlie Nardozzi

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