Hungry Holler is lousy with Japanese beetle romance. The yin/yang of life is writ small but multitudinous in Japanese beetles. They’re dang pretty: metallic bronze-green, shiney. They’re affectionate to one another. They thoughtfully devour leaves on my roses, wild grapevine, the new jewel weed WFH gifted me recently and that were thriving until Japanese beetles turned them into the insect equivalent of hot mattress joints–so you can get up close to their amorous encounters. Son Judd, many years ago, breathlessly exclaimed that bugs were “giving rides” on mama’s plants. They make music. I can hear them rattle and jingle among the evermore skeletal leaves in my garden.
The Yin? See above!
Long ago I got over being squeamish in the garden. I can lethally pinch bodies with my bare fingers. I do try to taco them in a leaf if possible, then pinch. It’s harder and harder to find leaf tortillas and in my fury, I pinch like a mad woman.
What the hell good are they? And ticks. What the hell good are they? I know in the big picture there must be some reason, but my riddled plants trump whatever it is.
Some Japanese beetle trivia:
- Japanese beetles originated in Japan! They’re thought to have made their way to a New Jersey nursery in 1917.
- All that Japanese beetle lovin’ drives the female to lay 40 eggs or more a season in soil. The hussy returns to leaves for more more more!
- Those yucky white grubs with brown heads you find in your turf are Japanese beetles to come. Brown spots in your yard? That’s probably them.
Pinch them, spray them. I hate spraying stuff in my garden. It’s so indiscriminate. I find more ‘friendly’ remedies largely ineffective. It pains me to say that, but it’s true in my experience. You can put out buckets of pheromone stuff but attracting the suckers seems counterproductive even if some get caught in the bucket. Milky spore can be applied to the ground to get them at grub stage but it takes several years for noticeable improvement.
Loathsome things. They take the fun out of gardening.