It’s been a great summer but not a good one at all for colonies Bee and Cee. What has been able to work well as a result of planning, management and nature has exceeded expectations. Going back to the strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and elderberries to name a few the successes have been many. In the midst of the struggling colonies (Hive D is still doing extraordinarily well) there was also great destruction going on with grape plants.
Popillia japonica or as is better known, the Japanese beetle was wrecking havoc on the leaves of my 9 first year grape plants. Each time I tried to counter their progress with Surround WP, neem oil and dish soap the rains came and came again and came again and washed all the defenses off. Too many times this happened. Yet, in the end it appears that none of the plants have died however 2 or 3 are struggling. My attention to the issue did seem to pay as I regularly began to take to carrying a bucket of soapy water and just picking the buggers off the plants. If these pests went unchecked then the grape experiment could have ended badly.
Granted it is now that time of year when the beetles burrow back into the ground to lay eggs which will sprout into the grubs of next year. However, there are less going in the ground than would have had I not intervened. Natural intervention or at least biological sound prevention. Follow along for the whole story and the resources below to learn how to protect your crops from the Japanese beetle.
- USDA Homeowner’s Guide to Managing the Japanese Beetle (PDF)
- USDA Japanese Beetle ID Card (PDF)
- Paul Wheaton’s Organic Lawn Care For the Cheap and Lazy
- Episode-207- Backyard Japanese Beetle Battle – Part 2 – The Grape Grapple
- Episode-205- Backyard Japanese Beetle Battle – Part 1 – The Great Grape Grapple Grind