Dr. Z: Japanese Beetles

It's that time of the season, around the Fourth of July, when the Japanese Beetle grub emerges from the soil and becomes the full fledged beetle.  Now it will start eating flowers and leaves instead of roots!
A little info on these hungry insects:
1.They are more active in sunny, hot weather.
2.They are most active from 10:00AM to 2:00PM.
3.They favor certain plants, but will eat anything.  They seem to like plants with "hard" leaves like roses, zinnias, dahlias, rhododendron, birch trees, etc.
4.As the years go by, their numbers seem to be declining in our part of the country.
There are two methods that can be employed to rid the garden of Japanese Beetles.  One is the lure type trap, the other is spraying an insecticide.  The traps do work and should only be used when there is a severe infestation since they will attract beetles into the area.  If the insect count is low, then it's best to use a spray.  Good organic sprays are neem oil or pyrethrin.  After neem oil has been used for a couple of sprays, it seems to have a repellent property to it.  So it's a good idea to start spraying roses with neem oil in early June.  The chemical spray option is called Sevin.
As the summer progresses, the beetle will lay eggs and go back into the soil to develop into new little grubs.  This usually occurs anytime from mid August on, depending on the weather.
Give us a call or stop in for help with your particular gardening question!

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