Monday, June 22, 2009

Don't Bug Me! (This Year, Either)

I was getting ready to write a blog post about the scarab beetle I found in one of the roses yesterday, which I was certain was an immature Japanese Beetle. I did some searching online for scarab beetles and came upon a blog post I'd made two years ago, nearly to the day. (Yes, I'd forgotten about it.) So instead of writing a completely different post about the Hairy Flower Scarab, I'm simply going to rerun my post from June 19, 2007. I could have written it word for word today.

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.


Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Man!! a nondicriminating eater in your garden! I have found after feeding the birds all winter and into the spring, then holding off feeding them as often, they eat many of my June bugs, Japanese beetles and other pain in the butt insects.

Sunita Mohan said...

Quick, reach for the neem oil and hit him before he knows it. (He cant smell more than the neem oil, can he?)

Cathy S. said...

Hi Kylee,

I have a real bad infestation of the Japanese Beetles, Mom told me to get the Milky spores (Natural Bacteria)
and spread it all over the grass. Grubs are the babies of the japanese beetles and the milky spores is a natural way of destroying them if applied once in the spring and once more in the fall and by next year they should be gone and it is safe for all animals and humans.

Victoria Williams said...

Interesting. I like Janet's idea of allowing the birds to do your destroying for you.

Gail said...

Oh my...the list is long! Until the birds notice them and the bt starts to work...we just have to pick them off! gail

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I will be on the lookout for this beetle. I don't think I have seen it around here before. Eeeyewww.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Oops! Not good when they like to gnaw on pretty much everything in the garden. What horrid little pests!

Unknown said...

Argh... as if the Japanese Beetles aren't already bad enough! :(

Thanks for the heads up, Kylee.

VW said...

Kylee, it's good to hear that your hardy agapanthus was hardy! My new blue one and white one arrived this spring, so I'll have to wait to see if they survive our winter. I clicked on this beetle post because I'm finding all of these little red beetles on my roses - I think they're red lily beetles, and I have lilies too ("the whole freakin garden" - yeah, ugh). My Japanese super-sharp, super-strong scissors are great for cutting them in half, or else I smash them in my ever-present kleenex in my pocket (allergies) and put them inside in the trash. I've done the garbage disposal, too. The feeling of them crunching between my fingers grosses me out!

Kylee Baumle said...

Janet ~ Well, the birds just aren't doing their job here! We've got plenty of insects for them to eat.
Although I have yet to see the first Japanese Beetle. Haven't found any more of the Hairy Flower Scarab either. :-)

Sunita ~ I've been using Neem Oil for whatever the meanie is that's been polka-dotting the foliage on so many of my plants. That's about all I use whenever I do use something like that, which is rarely.

Cathy ~ We don't see evidence of grubs in the lawn, but I do dig several of them up when I'm working in the garden in the spring. Needless to say, those are immediately history.
We have such a large yard, I'm not sure how expensive it would be to use the milky spore, but I have heard about that as a preventive.

Kim and Victoria ~ I like that idea, too, if they would do a good job of it! Sometimes things work in theory, but not so well in real life. So far, nothing is a huge problem. I hope it stays that way!

Gail ~ I actually don't mind picking them off. It's kind of fun when I "get 'em." LOL

Lisa ~ I must be weird, but I think these beetles are kind of attractive. I especially think the Japanese Beetle is beautiful. Too bad they aren't one of the good guys.

Yolanda Elizabet ~ So you don't have Japanese Beetles there? Lucky you! But you probably have your own garden nemeses, I'll bet.

Kim ~ I don't know if the Hairy Flower Scarab is detrimental or not, but they sure buried themselves down in the flowers like the Japanese Beetles do. I couldn't find anything definitive on them to know for sure if they're an okay beetle or not, so I'm erring on the side of caution.

VW ~ There are so many icky bugs out there, aren't there? I'm noticing baby grasshoppers now, too and I hate those with a passion. (The big brown ones.)
Oh I hope your hardy agapanthus do well! I just love them! Can't wait to see these bloom, because they had already bloomed when I bought them last year.

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