Yup, it’s definitely summer. You knows it’s summer when you see these little critters out roaming.
Oh yes…those are indeed Japanese Beetles doing their thing on my Sugar Snap Peas. Umm..excuse me?!?! These little buggers can be the bane for many gardeners. They are one of the few insects out there that cause damage in both their adult and juvenile form. The adults are skeletonizers. They eat all the yummy green plant material and leave the veins. Makes for some really pretty lace work, but not so good for the plants. They absolutely adore Lindens and roses. I remember one year seeing a linden that looked completely brown in the middle of summer as the Japanese Beetles had eaten every green bit on the poor tree. Why is it I don’t have my camera around during perfect picture taking opportunities? The juvenile form is your wonderful kind and loving white grub that likes to feed on the roots of grass especially. Yup…they definitely now how to party.
Often, it is asked what is the best way to deal with these little buggers. First off..never use Japanese Beetle traps unless you really like the Japanese Beetles in your yard, your neighbor’s yard, your neighbor’s neighbor’s yard, and so on. The traps are pheromone based attractant traps and so you end up emptying the trap every day and still wonder why there are a ton in your yard. So definitely not a good idea.
Next idea is soapy water. A cup, water, and dish detergent. So there are a few options with this one. First, if you’rehaving a really frustrating day…go ahead and bang the stupid bugs into your cup of soapy water. Yup…been there done that. Ask your kids, grandkids, neighborhood kids, etc. to do it for you. Or, sucker your other half to do it.
To be honest, there aren’t a lot of good ways to keep with them. Even if you treat your lawn for grubs, if anyone around you doesn’t you still end up with them in your yard. There is some research out on the effects of Japanese Beetles feeding on geraniums where it puts them into a coma like state for a bit making them susceptible to predators. But then it wears off. So, until there is a magic cure…I can pretty much guarantee that every year around this time I’ll have the pleasure of saying….they live! again.
But on a much happier note…guess what I found on the backside of my fence along the alley?
Wild Raspberries! I love raspberries. If I could only eat one fruit ever again this would be it. So very yummy.
I’ve been able to harvest about a handful or more each day so far. I don’t even mind have to dance around the short thorns on the plants well worth it.
But on a sad tree note…woke up this morning to a huge limb that fell out of the neighbors white oak during the storm last night. I know trees pretty well, and it’s wasn’t the strongest join, but never would have expected the limb to fail like it did. Barely missed my car. Scary! But it did damage the neighbors roof and took out the red maple in front of the yard. The tree removal folks started around 10:00 am and it’s now 6 pm and they are almost finished. I’m just glad no one was hurt.
Here’s a picture after the tree removal folks had been at it a bit, give a bit of an idea of just how large the limb was that came down.
Since I took that picture, the remaining stump was cut back, but the wound tore into the trunk of the tree which will inhibit it’s ability to heal. We don’t recommend painting tree wounds or pruning cuts anymore like was done for years. The old fashioned black pruning paint actually prevents the tree from healing. As the paint starts to crack and pull away from the tree it creates a nice home for insects and keep moisture near the wound potentially encourage decay and rot.
So…to end this post on a happy note…
Raspberries!!! 🙂 Time to go harvest some.