Understanding the Enemy

I am continuing waging a war on Japanese beetles. I spotted them on Saturday night, and thought I would just pick them off and drown them. It’s Tuesday evening, and I’ve drowned about 160 beetles. On Sunday, I found about 40 on my green beans. Here’s some damaged leaves.

Mountaineer Damage

I’ve been observing them and they like to be together, and that makes it easier for me to shake them off in my bucket. I have Dawn and warm water. Mike said to me “you know what is NOT very attractive? Someone who won’t walk through the yard without a bucket of water with dead beetles.” Sorry. I’m obsessed. We had company Sunday and he made me move my bucket. I keep it handy so I can just zip out, shake and drown.

Beetles Abuot 40

I’ve also learned that they prefer zinnias over my Mountaineer Half Runner green beans. Normally I have large rows of zinnias out beside the garden, but this year, they are very late (because I put them out late). BIG MISTAKE as I could have been killing them before they got on the beans. Here’s a few that are up and the beetles are trying to eat them as fast as I try to pick them off and kill them. Just a few beetles and so much damage.

Zinnia Damage

I’m hoping that my soil and plants are strong enough to withstand the damage–especially when it comes to my green beans. I spoke with my neighbor and they have not arrived at her house which is one mile up the river. Maybe I’m killing them all before they get there?

I go out 2-3 times per day to check the vines. It only takes a few minutes, and today there was a noticeable drop in the number of Japanese beetles. My friend, Linda Nunley, shared her recipe for discouraging them, and I may try it, but I so enjoy killing them that I’m waiting a few days.

For some reason, I thought they stayed only a couple of weeks but I read tonight that their life cycle is 60 days. This means I’ve got to be checking for beetles for several weeks. These guys are depending on me to take care of the beetles but to do so responsibly.  In a bee-friendly way.

Honeybee cartoon

I’ve never understood hunting until now. Since this started, I totally get it. Listen up, beetles, there’s a new sheriff in town.

On another subject, Mike kept reminding me that summer had started. Apparently, it was driving him crazy that I had not changed out my chalkboard window. It still looked like this…

Spring NoTalent Chalkboard Window

A quick change to satisfy him!

Summer 2


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