Thursday, June 19, 2014

Beetles, bugs, and bees

A good way to pick the Japanese beetles off plants is to go out in the morning (or late evening) when the beetles are not actively flying around.  It is simple to knock them off into a bucket of sudsy water.  (A little squirt of hand dishwashing liquid works.)  If you bump the plant the beetles are on, they usually fall down.  Just have the bucket underneath to catch them.  If you have chickens, you can skip the bucket.  Knock the beetles down to the ground and the chicken will be on them as quick as a... well, that's where they get the saying, huh ..."chicken on a June bug."
In addition to the oodles of Japanese beetles I drowned, I also picked off at least 40! stink bugs from my tomatoes.  Here you can see they met the same fate as the beetles.
A good reason not to spray poison is that the crepe myrtle that many of the beetles were in is literally humming with bees.  I don't know if they gather nectar or just pollen, but both honeybees and bumblebees are frenetically working the blossoms.  About 3/4 mile away as the crow flies, there is someone who keeps bees, and I don't know of any beekeepers closer than that.  It always amazes me how far the bees fly to get food.
The bees were moving too much for me to get a good shot, but you may be able to see one in the upper left side of the picture (and a beetle is the dark spot half hiding in the top middle part of the picture).  Click on the image to enlarge.
I keep telling myself that one day I'll get myself a hive.


  1. we've been drowning beetles the last few days... they love a good grape vine or apple tree!

  2. Good information for those who face the Beetle. Funny (not haha) that a few years ago we had no Japanese beedles....