They're back.

June is usually such a nice month in the garden in St. Louis. Sunny, warm but not too hot, low humidity, breezy. (Except this year, when we're getting midsummer-like days mixed in.) All of the plants are really hitting their strides at this time too.


Unfortunately June also sees the return of a big pest: the Japanese beetles.

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Their preference is for rose petals, at least in my garden.


They're so attractive -- if they weren't such pests I'd love having them around.


Rose petals are not the only thing they eat, as my neighbor has a linden tree whose leaves the beetles just love to munch.

When I saw this mallow leaf, I thought that the beetles had found a new treat:


Since I just got this plant a couple of months ago I'm not sure what to expect from it. It could very well be high on the list of beetle favorites. A closer look revealed another answer though:


I'm not sure what type of caterpillar these are yet, but their damage is limited to a few leaves (and this is a large plant) so I'm going to leave them to it while I research what they will become -- might be a very cool butterfly or moth.


Besides, with so many beetles around a few more holes in some leaves isn't going to matter.


The answer for the Japanese beetles for me is a walk around the garden each morning with a bucket of soapy water:


Knocking them into the bucket is easy -- sometimes you just need to hold the bucket below them and move your hand over them, as their impulse when threatened is to fall to the ground.

Doing this in warm parts of the day is almost impossible, because they are much more active and fly away.

Good thing morning is my favorite time in the garden anyway!

(Read my previous posts about Japanese beetles here.)

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Linda/patchwork  – (June 18, 2012 at 9:32 AM)  

Ugh...they have made a mess. Hope you get them under control.

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