Small Victory, Big Reward

Photo credit: libcom.org

victory – noun

[vik-tuh-ree, vik-tree]

  1.   success in defeating an opponent or enemy
  2.   the act of defeating an opponent or enemy

sweltering – adjective

[swel-ter-ing]

  1.   very hot

 

Monsters come in all sizes. This species is shiny, looks like coppery bronze basking in the sunshine. Oh, see that glint of emerald shining bright right above the coppery wings? In the sweltering month of July, they usually make their first appearance. The hotter the weather, the more they thrive.

japanese beetles

Yes, these little monsters climbing over each other are Japanese beetles. Their goal in life is to mate and (eat)destroy every living plant they find desirable.

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The above photo is what is left of two of my hollyhock plants. The photo below shows what the hollyhock leaf looks like before the monsters start chomping away and after they have devoured one leaf to lace.

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Hollyhocks are not their only food of choice. Here two are scrambling over one of my monarda (bee balm flowers).

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The bees are weary of these bronze and green ghouls. I do know that ferns are adored by Japanese Beetles and not long after they find ferns, the ferns look like brown lace. Here, the beetle has just found the fern and I have been fighting with them ever since.

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Since I do not approve of pesticides which harm the good bugs and the earthworms and birds, I use a safe method of killing the Japanese beetles. Water, dish soap and garlic. I pour water into a plastic container and stir in enough dish soap to give the water color and stir in about a teaspoon of crushed garlic. The dish soap must not be mixed in where it turns to bubbles. The reason is because the soap coats the beetles wings and they cannot fly. It also suffocates them. The garlic is to ward off other beetles which I think actually helps to a small degree.

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I use a spoon, child medicine dropper or old turkey baster to drop the soap mixture onto them or I pick the monsters off the plant and drop them into the soap mixture. Either way is effective. However, like most monsters they bite and if they get in your hair, they rat it and bite your scalp. so the trick is to be sneaky. You can use a spray bottle as well but the garlic needs to be strained out as it plugs up the sprayer. This is a short term method to eradicate them.

The long term method is to apply nature’s own Milky Spore which is a Bacillus popillae, a bacterium that kills grubs by multiplying inside the grubs, causing them to die. The milky spore needs to be applied in spring and fall for maximum effect for up to three years which then guarantees to keep your lawn free from them for ten years or more. For more about this product check out this link: http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/milky-spore-powder-p-2948.html

milky spore

Can you guess who will be buying this Nature’s wonder product this fall? You’re right and if you have these little monsters in your home, I suggest going the long term route to rid your yard and gardens of them. Besides garden flowers and veggies, they also destroy yards creating brown spots by eating grass roots.

With the soap water, I have a short term victory bug hunting in sweltering heat is not my idea of fun. With the milky spore applied I have long term victory and since it is applied in the coolness of autumn and spring, the work to apply it is well worth it.

 

 

 

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