Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures
For homeowners who have no objection, many commercially available chemicals work quite well on adult Japanese beetles, and quite honestly, we’ve relied on them a bit during peak infestation years, but only as a last resort, and then only before and after our flowers, fruits and vegetables are in bloom to protect bees and other helpful insects.
Even then, we have come to rely on the least toxic chemicals possible, such as Permethrin, which, when applied as directed, can be used on just about everything from vegetables to brambles to fruit trees. Another chemical we have used often are neem-based sprays. They have a low toxicity, can be used on various plants, even roses, and work well when adult beetles first appear, as well as during peak infestation. Additionally, neem sprays also help control a host of other undesirable pests in the orchard and flower and vegetable gardens. As always, they should be used and applied as directed, and generally are most effective in the late morning or afternoon when the adults are most active.
Of course, when in doubt, local extension services and gardensupply outlets can be informative sources on what chemicals are best in specific areas based on current infestation levels.
PHOTOS BY AL RAYCHARD