The Japanese beetles are out in full force this week… and it’s bad. Last year I told you about one way to control Japanese beetles without using pesticides.
Pesticides are effective against Japanese beetles, but I don’t recommend using them; they kill other bugs in the garden, including bees and beneficial insects.
|Japanese beetles destroying my roses|
The infestation seems to be worse already this year than last year. They are out much earlier and I’m already getting over 100 in my bucket each time I go out and hand pick them. I have a bad feeling that July could be a devastating time in the gardens.
I heard about Japanese beetle traps last year, but I heard both pros and cons to using the traps. The biggest con I heard was that the traps will attract Japanese beetles from all over the neighborhood to your yard.
|Japanese beetles destroying my canna lily leaves|
This was the main reason I didn’t try them last year. But I have some of the biggest gardens in my neighborhood, so I’m pretty sure that I already have one of the largest populations of beetles in my yard. Plus, I figure that if I’m killing an extra few hundred beetles in these traps, well that’s less beetles that can reproduce in the neighborhood. So, I decided to give the traps a try.
|Japanese beetle trap|
The key to using these traps is to put them in an area of the yard away from their favorite plants. If you put them right in the garden, more beetles will be attracted to the plants they love, and more damage may occur.
I decided to put the traps on the corner of our porch, which is on the other side of the yard from the infested plants. Plus it’s in a spot where I can watch it from inside the house (morbid curiosity).
|Japanese beetle trap setup|
A word of advice before you setup one of these. I’ve used yellow jacket traps before and there’s a warning on the label that says to assemble and hang the trap before you open the attractant because it will start attracting them immediately. I decided to take this same advice with the Japanese beetle trap (which is funny, because opening the attractant is the first step in the instructions).
So, I setup and hung the trap, then I opened the attractant. Boy, am I glad I did this. As soon as I climbed down the ladder, there were Japanese beetles flying at the trap from all directions. The beetles don’t bite or sting, but having a bunch of them buzzing around and crawling on me while I tried assembling and hanging the trap would have been awful. Yuck!!
Seriously, within a few seconds there were already beetles in the trap and tons of them flying around towards the trap. Oh boy, I have a feeling I’m going to be disposing of these traps daily. Good thing the replacement bags are inexpensive.
|Japanese beetle trap at work, notice the beetles at the top near the gutter|
Trap is wide open on top, and I don’t know how the beetles won’t escape. Perhaps they can’t fly back through the small funnel opening in the middle, or they’re too dumb to figure it out. I don’t care, as long as this works.
Have you used these traps before? What did you think?
Update July 2nd @9:45 pm – just over 24 hours later and the bag was over 1/4 full!! There must be a few hundred beetles in there. Nasty! I twist tied the bag shut at the narrow center, then removed the bag, tossed it in the garbage and replaced it with a new bag (after dark when the beetles weren’t flying around of course!).