Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Don't Bug Me!

I thought the Japanese Beetles had made their appearance. I found two today, both on roses. But while they were of the same size and general shape of a Japanese Beetle, they didn't look like the ones we had last year. This is a photo I took of the second one I found today:

Trichiotinus assimilis

It's a Hairy Flower Scarab or Bee Mimic Beetle. They behave much like bees. They hide in roses much like Japanese Beetles, too, and I'm treating them as such.

I usually pick them off and take them in the house to put them down the garbage disposal. If I smash them in the garden, the resulting smell they give off will attract more. I could take a jar of soapy water with me to the gardens when I'm on Japanese Beetle Watch and put them in there to drown, too.

We only had a total of thirteen of the little buggers last summer, but something tells me we're going to have a lot more than that this year. I've only ever found them on my roses, but Wikipedia says they like these:

Strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, roses, plums, pears, peaches, raspberries, blackberries and these genera:

  • Abelmoschus
  • Acer
  • Aesculus
  • Alcea
  • Asparagus
  • Aster
  • Betula (Birch trees)
  • Buddleia
  • Calluna
  • Caladium
  • Canna
  • Chaenomoles
  • Cirsium
  • Cosmos
  • Dahlia
  • Daucus
  • Dendranthema
  • Digitalis
  • Dolichos
  • Echinacea
  • Hemerocallis
  • Heuchera
  • Hibiscus
  • Hydrangea
  • Ilex
  • Iris
  • Lagerstroemia
  • Liatris
  • Ligustrum
  • Malus
  • Malva
  • Myrica
  • Oenothera
  • Parthenocissus
  • Phaeseolus
  • Phlox
  • Physocarpus
  • Platanus
  • Polygonum
  • Prunus
  • Quercus
  • Rheum
  • Rhododendron
  • Rosa
  • Rubus
  • Salix
  • Sambucus
  • Sassafras
  • Solanum
  • Syringa
  • Tilia (Linden, lime, or basswood trees)
  • Toxicodendron
  • Ulmus
  • Vaccinium
  • Viburnum
  • Vitis
  • Weigelia
  • Wisteria
  • Zea
  • Zinnia

Oh brother. The whole freakin' garden.


Unknown said...

Kylee, get some neem oil--it may be sold as plant polish in the US, like it is here. It's effective against Japanese beetles AND scarlet lily beetles, but you have to get them in the right stage of their life cycle, I think larval for both--larval for scarlet lily beetles for sure. It's often referred to as an antifeedant because it prevents the larvae from feeding and they croak before they can develop further.

Now, i don't have EITHER beetle up here on the mountain, although they have both in Halifax, about an hour from here, so though I have neem oil on hand I haven't used it. It's organic, so it's less lethal but still it's best applied in early morning or evening when good bugs may be less active--and spot applied on problem plants. Here's some info from one of the For Dummies books:

• Neem comes from the tropical neem tree, Azadirachta indica. It kills young, feeding insects and deters adult insects, but it is harmless to people and most beneficials. Neem works slowly and is most effective against aphids and thrips, but it also repels Japanese beetles.

• This insecticide comes in two forms: neem oil and neem extract (check the product label). Experienced gardeners prefer neem oil because the oil is also effective against all three common rose diseases: black spot, powdery mildew, and rust. Neem oil gets thick at cooler temperatures, so you need to warm it up a bit before trying to mix it with water. Just let the whole container sit in warm water a while before mixing.

• Use either type of neem before you have a major pest problem. Neem is most effective when applied in early morning or late evening when humidity is highest. It can harm beneficials like lady beetles, so spray when they are not active. Reapply once a week or after rain.

Of course you can also handpick, if you have time and a strong stomach--many people I know hate dealing with insects, though, so they appreciate an organic alternative.

Kylee Baumle said...

Thanks for the info, Jodi. I have Neem Oil here and have used it for various things. As far as the Japanese Beetles go, it doesn't bother me to pick them off and I'll do that unless they become a huge problem. I just pick them off and carry them in the house. Yeah, they feel creepy in my hand, but they don't bite me, so I don't care. LOL.

Ki said...

Pretty cool looking beetle. We only have chafer beetle the light brown ones that are currently decimating what few rose plants we have and are awaiting the dreaded Japanese beetle. I'm glad we don't have to contend with yet another bug!

kate said...

I am like you and pick off beetles, etc. One of the things that it makes you do is look carefully at your plants. At the moment, tent caterpillars are having a terrific time feeding in the garden though I do a twice daily patrol and am constantly picking them off the fence.

Sisah said...

In Germany we have a similar beetle called Trichius zonatus, visiting roses, peonies in my garden, eating pollen there. I enjoy watching this beautiful little creature. So I`d like to put in a word for Trichiotinus assimilis, don´t kill it....just because it looks similar to the Japanese Beetle which might be a pest ;) Even the larvae of the bee-beetle are harmless for plants, they live of rotting wood.

blogger templates | Make Money Online