Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Prepare Yourself

It all starts around this time. The Japanese Beetles emerge from a warmed soil and begin to hunt for food. It is not long before they mate and the female burrows into the soil and lays her eggs. Forty to sixty eggs in her lifetime! These developing beetles then spend the next 10 months in the soil as white grubs. These grubs feed on the roots of turfgrasses and vegetable seedlings, surviving in any soil in which plants can live. As these grubs chew off the roots, they reduce the ability of the grass to take up enough water to withstand the stresses of hot and dry weather, resulting in large, dead patches. As the grubs destroy your lawn, the mature beetles feed on over 300 species of plants, devouring leaves, flowers and overripe or wounded fruit. A tree that has been severely damaged by Japanese Beetles appears to have been scorched by fire.

One of the most devastating pests of urban landscapes in the United States, Japanese Beetles are a force to be reckoned with. Traveling and eating in groups, they do the most damage. The beetles are most active on warm, sunny days and prefer plants in direct sunlight. When laying eggs, the female beetle seeks out moist, grassy areas, as adequate moisture is needed to keep eggs and newly-hatched grubs from drying out. Excessive rainfall or heavy watering of lawns does not bother them. June is the month they descend upon us, as adults emerge from the soil and begin feeding on plants. It is most intense over a 4 to 6 week period beginning in late June, after which the terrorizing beetles gradually die off.

Now is the time to prepare yourself.  Though it has begun, we have time to stop them from destroying our gardens.  At Strange's, our mission is your gardening success and we mean it.  We want you to arm yourself, and not give up without a fight.  You've worked too hard on that pristine lawn and perfectly healthy garden to let the Japanese Beetle win.  Below we share a few products you can find at Strange's that will put the odds in your favor.

Sevin Ready-To-Use: This ready-to-use liquid bug killer is designed to kill over 100 insects, including Japanese Beetles.  It provides excellent control of leaf eating and sucking insects.  This spray does not require any mixing and is perfect for spot applications on your outdoor flowers, fruiting plants, and vegetable gardens.

Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew: This product contains Spinosad, a naturally occurring soil dwelling bacterium.  This makes Captain Jack's an organic pesticide and safe to use for indoor gardening.  It targets a multitude of insects, including the Japanese Beetle.  This product may be applied directly from the container.
Safer Brand Japanese Beetle Trap: This trap uses a food and sex attractant to lure insects into the trap and disrupt the mating cycle.  A controlled release system maximizes the life of the attractant and protects it from environmental degradation.  Place this natural pest control trap at least 10 feet away from plantings to prevent defoliation.