My friend Peter who is the camera man for my Better Connecticut TV stories often teases me about being a plant nerd. I've thought this myself, but never more than tonight.
|Beetles emerge from the ground at night|
Something has been munching on my basil plants... for that matter my Coral Bells, Chrysanthemums, Dahlias and many others... but I never see ANY bugs around. Some bugs have vampire tendencies in that they only come out in the night time. Tonight I put on my L.L.Bean spot light hat and went out on a bug bust. Well, well, well look who I found! The Asiatic Garden Beetle. These devils look almost identical in form to a Japanese Beetle except for their coloring as they are all brown rather than green. They are also master defoliators, often just leaving the mid vein of a plant leaf. Most of my basil plants are mere skeletons! Gasp! Why did I wait so long?
|A basil plant chewed to almost nothing|
|The trouble maker|
|Leaves with signs of leaf chewing- can you spy the beetles?|
|Best hat for night bettle busting|
Upon my discovery, I quickly grabbed an empty bottle, squeezed in a teaspoon of dish soap, added some water and then headed to the garden adding a pair of gloves to my ensemble. I removed every beetle from each basil plant, adding each one to the bottle for a quick death in detergent. There was a lot of beetle hanky panky going on, so I was especially pleased to have interrupted baby beetle making. My husband came out to the garden wondering what the heck I was up to- he looked at me like I was nuts when I explained what I was doing and then added, "But I can't leave them here eating my plants! I have to do something!" So Peter, it's confirmed. I am a complete plant nerd and also a serial beetle murderer!
|My organic beetle control, hand picking|
|Many beetles met their fate in my detergent solution|
Wow Julie! Good sleuthing. I have heard that these beetles (a.k.a. grubs in the larvae stage) love well-watered gardens, which is probably why they are most commonly known to attack lawns. FRWA has a fact sheet on grubs for lawn control: http://frwa.org/publications/grubs.pdfReplyDelete
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These are killing my zinnias! And my sunflowers are literally skeletons of just veins of the leaf. Last week they seemed to let up a little but now they are back. I feel your pain.ReplyDelete