Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Oriental beetles, Japanese beetles and baited traps

The Japanese beetles have been as prolific as last year's benchmark plague proportion. Instead of hand picking them off of our poor crepe myrtle I decided to try the bag traps again despite our bad experience when we first tried them. I had placed the bag too close to the plants in our old townhome.

This time I read the instructions and placed 3 bags at least 30 feet away from the plants we wanted to protect which amounted to placing the bags at the upwind corners of our property and slightly beyond. This was much more satisfactory tho I'm daily picking off a few beetles from the crepe myrtle. They also love the ornamental cherries, Yoshino and Kwanzan but the trees are too tall for me to spray or hand pick so I just shake the trees and hope that the beetles then are attracted to the bait. They also love the blossoms of the golden rain tree. I just hope we're not attracting beetles from the whole neighborhood.

We dumped the bags after 3 days because we were expecting thundershowers and we had about 3-5 pounds of beetles . More than a flour sack full! Yuk. Must have been thousands.

The information printed on the bags stated that it would also attract Oriental beetles. I was not familiar with this beetle but these were the first to be attracted and caught. In fact as I was setting up the traps, I cut open the attractant bait sealed in small plastic bags and by the time I was finished assembling the traps about a half dozen brown beetles were on the bags! The photos are of these beetles. I'm assuming these are the Oriental beetles. I used to see one occasionally but they didn't seem to eat any of the ornamentals so I didn't think much of them. But at least 1/3 to 1/2 of the traps are filled with these beetles. I wonder what they eat?

Just googled it. Oriental beetle, Exomala orientalis are very bad. It is considered a scarab beetle. They eat turf grass roots and will kill large patches of grass. They also eat some ornamentals but are active at night so are not as evident as JBs. Here's an excellent website. And here's a good grub identification site. I didn't know there were so many different kinds of grubs! I thought all the grubs I saw when digging a hole for new planting were JBs. Apparently not. Oh well, I'm glad the traps are catching more than JBs...OBs are just as destructive.

Sorry about the crappy photo. I need a better macro camera.


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