terra, not terror

sharing ideas about a simpler way to live

Japanese Beetles August 8, 2007

Filed under: environment, garden — terra @ 12:07 am

Many of us have the Japanese beetle plague. They’re attracted to roses, and go on to consume our flowers and trees. So, how do we get rid of these nasty creatures? I’ve searched for some natural remedies, and this is what I came up with:

  • They arrived here by boat. In Japan, they aren’t a problem because they have natural predators that don’t exist here.
  • They’re here to stay. We can’t kill them all, so we have to find a way to avoid them.
  • Japanese beetles are originally grubs. So, you could start by getting rid of grubs.
  • “Beneficial nematodes, insect-eating nematodes, microscopic parasitic roundworms, seek out grubs in the soil.” Milky spores also target grubs. – source

Some solutions:

  • Plant greenery that Japanese beetles don’t like (list here)
  • Don’t plant things they do like (roses, Japanese Maples, etc)
  • Plant a lot of garlic – Mother Earth News
    (Garlic will ward off many predators, and is also great for cooking)
  • Make a spray out of garlic and water. Let the garlic soak, and then spray the bugs. If you need it a little stronger, add cayenne pepper
  • White-flowering geraniums and zinnias are also good. Yarrow also repels bugs, and can help other plants grow
  • Consider an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. “IPM uses biological, cultural, mechanical, and chemical controls to keep pest populations below levels that cause economic damage.”
  • Use traps (the bags they sell at Lowe’s, etc). They attract more beetles, but most will end up in the trap. Change it frequently because they start to smell bad.
  • Plant catnip near roses to repel Japanese beetles (this is my plan for next year – lots of catnip and garlic)
  • More ideas and list of plants here.

Good luck!


5 Responses to “Japanese Beetles”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    My back yard is completely overrun with Japanese beetles. I can’t remember seeing a single one last year.

    We have a small pail of water, and every time we see a beetle, we grab it and toss it in the pail. I’m not sure what my wife is spraying on the plants as a preventative, but the garlic idea sounds like a good one.

  2. terra Says:

    We’re going to get bags today, which are actually mentioned in the IPM. We’ve used the spray, which is very effective, but I don’t like it. It impacts other plants, and I’m sure the birds aren’t crazy about it. The bags are better because they don’t affect anything else in the yard.

    I can’t wait to plant garlic around the yard (well, wherever we have full sun), and catnip among the roses. Catnip is in the mint family, and it looks nice too. My cats will love it!

  3. terra Says:

    Catnip is in the mint family, and all the websites specifically said to plant catnip.

    I have a patch of mint and I love it! We put it in our lemonade.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I am so glad you posted this one! I was just noticing my beautiful roses are full of the bugs and they are splotchy black all over. I want to use garlic, catnip and what about the mint? Is it the herb mint plant you are talking about. I thought of you when I saw my roses and knew you would have something up your sleeve on how to cure this nasty pest. Thanks Terra. mom

  5. [...] with natural, spray-free remedies this spring and summer, and see how it goes. Here’s the post about Japanese beetles from last summer. Since you can’t put nematodes in your neighbor’s yard (to prevent [...]

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