Posted on July 8, 2011 by
This year, we’ve seen some mean green beetles around the yard (and making a meal of my beautiful apple trees!). Popillia japonica, otherwise known as the Japanese Beetle is non-indiginous to the U.S. and found along the east coast. These little buggers are frustrating, chewing big holes in leaves and fruit of plants in the garden. But there’s an easy way to reduce their numbers and protect your plants: Dish soap and a little manual labor.
I’ve been using a chemical sprayer filled attached to my hose. I fill it with a mix of dish soap and water and spray it on the affected plants. I also pick off any beetles I find and dispose of them. If you’re squeamish about touching the beetles (I didn’t think I would be, but I am), wear garden gloves and dispose of them in a plastic baggie. Make sure to seal the bag tightly and dispose of them so they cannot come back.
According to DK Mommy Spot, you can also add powdered garlic, cayenne pepper, and vegetable oil to the mix. Supposedly the garlic and pepper are deterrents, and the vegetable oil will coat and smother the beetles.
If you have smaller areas to cover, you can put the mixture in a spray bottle instead of a hose sprayer. Japanese Beetles are a real problem in the north east, and anything you can do to decrease their numbers is a help to everyone.
The good news is, when I went out this morning to take a beetle photo for you, I couldn’t find a single beetle!