Japanese Beetles AGAIN

Japanese Beetles on Dogwood

The naughties are back.  And moving on to new and different plants this year: the brand new willow hedge!  Apparently they like ‘nishiki’- must remind them of home or something.

To review- japanese beetles are nasty things about the size of a pinky nail, with metallic brown-purple bodies with white checking around the edges (but you have to get pretty close to see that).  They are not even close to “Asian Lady Beetles” aka- ladybugs.  They are voracious eaters and a real pest to both ornamentals and crops– as I’ve mentioned before, they are apparently eating corn tassels or silk (I can’t remember which) so that the plants won’t self-fertilize.  Lovely.

They can be killed with insecticides- but are best drowned in a bucket of soapy water as you individually fling them in there by hand.  If they are up in a tree over your head, you are basically out of luck, unless you spray the whole tree with insecticides.  I prefer not to do this because of the mourning doves.  I do not believe that milky spore powder works at all.

Mourning doves seem to be the best control that I’ve seen so far, particularly because the doves seem to sit on the ground and eat them as they fall to go burrow into the soil nastily.

In my ever expanding-quest to find more plants the little you-know-whats don’t like, I present the:

2010 list of plants Japanese Beetles love to eat (see lists here and here:

‘Nishiki’ Willow

Green Leaved Crabapple

Rose ‘Bonica’

Pelargoniums (aka geraniums- here, the frost-sensitive kind)


Purple-leaved crabapple


Sand Cherry


2010 new Plants they don’t seem to bother (see my previous lists here and here):

Flowering Stachys (not the fuzzy kind, although they don’t like that either)

Penstemons (which have done really well this year!)



Pumpkins and Squash (although I am surprised by this)

Geraniums- real geraniums, not pelargoniums (see above)


Silver Maple, Sugar Maple (although these both are infested with spider mites- lovely)

Arbor Vitae

Beets (another surprise)




Day Lilies (so far)


Sea Hollies (which actually kill all kinds of bugs- they are like little bug graveyards- I don’t know why).

Porcelain Berry Vine (variegated)





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2 Responses to Japanese Beetles AGAIN

  1. Pingback: Japanese Beetle Update: More Plants Japanese Beetles won’t eat | Gwendolyn’s Garden

  2. gwendolyngarden says:

    I have a great new discovery for killing beetles: My father brought back a portable bug zapper from China- it looks like a tennis racket, but works perfectly on beetles- since unlike flies, they don’t really fly away when you approach. It has to be a quicker death than drowning, at any rate.

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