How to Control Japanese Beetles

How to Control Japanese Beetles

When and How to Stop Them From Invading Your Garden

  • B.A., Political Science, Rutgers University

Japanese beetles do twice the damage of ordinary insect pests. The larvae, called grubs, live in the soil and feed on the roots of grasses and other plants. The adult beetles feed on the leaves and flowers of over 300 trees, shrubs, and herbs. Japanese beetles are the bane of the rose garden and will devour prized hibiscus and hollyhocks, too.

Control of Japanese beetles requires an understanding of their life cycle and a two-pronged attack—one strategy for the grubs, and one for the beetles.

The Japanese Beetle Life Cycle

To control Japanese beetles effectively, it’s important to know when they’re active. Using a pest control product at the wrong time of the pest’s life cycle is a waste of time and money. So first, a quick primer on the Japanese beetle life cycle.

  • Spring: Mature beetle grubs become active, feeding on turfgrass roots and damaging lawns. They will continue feeding until early summer.
  • Summer: Adult beetles begin to emerge, usually in late June, and remain active throughout the summer. Japanese beetles will feed on garden plants, doing considerable damage when present in large numbers. During the summer, the beetles also mate. Females excavate soil cavities and deposit their eggs by late summer.
  • Fall: Young grubs hatch in late summer, and feed on grass roots through the fall. Mature grubs become inactive as cold weather approaches.
  • Winter: Mature grubs spend the winter months in the soil.

How to Control Japanese Beetle Grubs

Biological Control: Lawn areas can be treated with an application of milky disease spores, spores of the bacterium Paenibacillus popilliae (aka Bacillus popillae). The grubs ingest these bacterial spores, which germinate and reproduce within the grub’s body and ultimately kill it. Over several years time, the milky spore bacteria builds up in the soil and acts to suppress grub infestations. No chemical pesticides should be used on the lawn simultaneously, as this can affect the milky spore’s efficacy.

Another naturally-occurring bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis japonensis (BTJ) may also be used to control Japanese beetle grubs. BTJ is applied to the soil, and grubs ingest it. Btj destroys the grub’s digestive system and ultimately kills the larva.

A beneficial nematode, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, also works to control Japanese beetle grubs. Nematodes are microscopic parasitic roundworms that transport and feed on bacteria. When they find a grub, the nematodes penetrate the larva and inoculate it with bacteria, which quickly multiply within the grub’s body. The nematode then feeds on the bacteria.

Chemical Control: Some chemical pesticides are registered for control of Japanese beetle grubs. These pesticides should be applied in July or August when young grubs are feeding. Consult a pest control expert or your local agricultural extension office for specific information on selecting and using pesticides for grub control.

How to Control Japanese Beetle Adults

Physical Control: Where there is one Japanese beetle, there will soon be ten, so hand picking the earliest arrivals can help keep numbers down significantly. In the early morning, beetles are sluggish and can be shaken from branches into a bucket of soapy water.

If Japanese beetle populations are high in your area, beetle control may include making smart decisions about what to plant in your yard. Japanese beetles love roses, grapes, lindens, sassafras, Japanese maple, and purple-leaf plums, so these plants should be avoided if Japanese beetle damage is a concern.

Garden centers and hardware stores sell pheromone traps for Japanese beetles. Research shows these traps are generally ineffective for use in the home garden, and may actually attract more beetles to your plants.

Chemical Control: Some chemical pesticides are registered for control of Japanese beetle adults. These pesticides are applied to the foliage of susceptible plants. Consult a pest control expert or your local agricultural extension office for specific information on selecting and using pesticides for Japanese beetle adult control.

Prevention & Control

Steps can be taken to reduce the risk for babesiosis and other tickborne infections. The use of prevention measures is especially important for people at increased risk for severe babesiosis (for example, people who do not have a spleen). Avoiding exposure to tick habitats is the best defense.

Babesia microti is spread by Ixodes scapularis ticks, which are mostly found in wooded, brushy, or grassy areas, in certain regions and seasons. No vaccine is available to protect people against babesiosis. However, people who live, work, or travel in tick-infested areas can take simple steps to help protect themselves against tick bites and tickborne infections.

Apply repellents as a protective measure to reduce your risk for babesiosis. (CDC Photo: Mary Bartlett)

During outdoor activities in tick habitats, take precautions to keep ticks off the skin.

  • Walk on cleared trails and stay in the center of the trail, to minimize contact with leaf litter, brush, and overgrown grasses, where ticks are most likely to be found.
  • Minimize the amount of exposed skin, by wearing socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck the pant legs into the socks, so ticks cannot crawl up the inside of the pants. Wear light-colored clothing, to make it easier to see and remove ticks before they attach to skin.
  • Apply repellents to skin and clothing. Follow the instructions on the product label.
    • Products that contain DEET (N,N-diethylmetatoluamide) can be directly applied to exposed skin and to clothing, to help keep ticks away (by repelling them). The product label includes details about how and where to apply the repellent, how often to reapply it, and how to use it safely on children.
    • Permethrin products can be applied to clothing/boots (not to skin), actually kill ticks that come in contact with the treated clothing, and usually stay effective through several washings.

After outdoor activities, conduct daily tick checks and promptly remove any ticks that are found. Thorough, daily tick checks are very important. The I. scapularis nymphs that typically spread B. microti are so small (about the size of a poppy seed) that they are easily overlooked. But they usually must stay attached to a person for more than 36-48 hours to be able to transmit the parasite.

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A nymphal stage Ixodes scapularis tick (about the size of a poppy seed) is shown here on the back of a penny. Credit: G. Hickling, University of Tennessee.

  • Remove ticks from clothing and pets before going indoors.
  • Conduct a full-body exam for ticks. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of the body. Be sure to check behind the knees, between the legs (groin/thighs), between the toes, under the arms (armpits), around the waist, inside the belly button, the back of the neck, behind and in the ears, as well as in and around the scalp, hairline, and hair. Remember to check children and pets, too.

Remove ticks that are attached to the skin as soon as possible, preferably by using pointed (fine-tipped) tweezers. Grab the tick’s mouth parts close to the skin, and slowly pull the tick straight out (with steady outward pressure), until the tick lets go.

Grape vine treatments, most common diseases and pests

The grape vine is a creeper plant which is part of the Vitaceae family. This plant has been introduced as a common crop thousands of years ago. Since ancient times, the grapes have been used to produce wine. The grape vine is a creeper, its leaves are big and webbed, placed on both sides of the stems. The flowers have a racem form, the fruits are a botanically, a berry, of different shapes and colors, grouped in bunches. The grapes are the most planted fruits in the world as they are used for making wine. They have: Tiamina, Riboflavina, Niacina, vitamin B6, folic acid, B12 vitamin, C vitamin, K vitamin, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc. The greatest grape producers are: China, Italy, USA, Spain and France.

Main diseases

Grapevine fanleaf virus:

The plants have under-developed sprouts, with short inter-knots, placed in a zig-zag form. The plant also has a dense aspect due to the chaotic sprout growth. The leaves are under-developed, deformed and have a fan aspect. Sometimes, on the affected organs, greasy spots appear, which give the plant a mosaic aspect. If the attack is severe, the grapes remain small and don’t reach maturity. The virus is transmitted through grafting, through root contact and nematodes.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Using healthy planting material;
  • Preventing soil nematodes. Products to be used: Basamid, Nemasol;

Grapevine vein mosaic virus:

This disease’s characteristic symptoms are main veins turning yellow. Therefore, the leaf will have a mosaic aspect. The plant’s growth is not affected. This disease spreads only through grafting and layering.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Using healthy planting material;

Grapevein leaf roll virus:

The plants which have been attacked by this disease have their growing pace severely slowed down. The red grape species have red leaves and the white grape species have yellow leaves as a result of the disease. As the disease evolves, the leaves twist alongside the veins. As autumn approaches, the affected leaves intensify their specific colors (red or yellow). After the attack, the production decreases both in quantity and quality and the plants are sensitive to frost. The virus is transmitted through the European fruit lecanium and through the infected vegetal material.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Using healthy planting material;
  • Removing the affected plants from the crop;

Mycoplasma like organism:

The symptoms can be seen on a few sprouts. The leaves of the affected sprouts turn yellow, either partially or totally and have a specific metallic color. The attack is followed by a twist and fall off of the leaves. After the attack, the sprouts are sensitive to frost, the grapes no longer grow as they should and they have a low sugar quantity. This disease is transmitted through cicadas (Scaphoideus littoralis).

Prevention and control measures:

  • Burning the affected plants;
  • Applying pesticides to keep the cicadas population under control;

Crown Gall Disease, caused by Agrobacterium radiobacter pv. tumefaciens:

When attacking the grape vine, this disease affects the trunk and cordons of the plant and rarely, the roots. Big and specific tumors grow on the trunk, small and coral shaped little tumors grow on the cordons.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Using healthy planting material;
  • Avoid causing any wounds when performing maintenance works;
  • Bathing the cuttings’ roots in a mixture of Captan 0.2 % or Zeama bordeleza 1 % for 15-20 minutes;
  • Cutting off the affected parts and applying a cicatrizing mastic;
  • During early spring, applying a treatment using Zeama Bordeleza 2-3 % or copper based products. Products to be used: Champ, Copernico Hi-Bio, Funguran;

Downy Mildew of Grape, caused by Plasmopara viticola:

This disease affects all the plant’s organs. During spring, greasy spots with vague margins and varied sizes appear. As times passes, the spots turn brown and the leaves look burned. On the inferior side of the leaves, next to the spots, a white fluff appears. During autumn, the plants are more resilient to the attack of this disease. Therefore, small and pointy spots can be seen on the leaves, next to which, the tissues turn brown. During this period, the white fluff no longer appears on the inferior side of the leaves. On the sprouts, the fungus produces brown, elongated spots, next to which the bark dies. The grape bunches remain small, the fruit no longer mature as they should, they become wrinkled and easily fall off. The fungus spends the winter as resistance spores, which will germinate during spring and will cause infection spots. This gets into the plants through stomates and cause new infections.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Gathering and burning the leaves from the crop;
  • Destroying the crops;
  • Performing the needed maintenance works on time;
  • 3-4 treatments, using Folpan, Equation Pro, Curzate Manox, Polyram, Aliette;

Powdery Mildew of Grape, caused by Uncinula necator:

This fungus affects the leaves, young springs, bunches and fruit. On the leaves, the attack is visible as white to gray, felt looking like spots, which are either isolated or united, where a white and smooth powder appears. The sprouts are covered by a white to gray mycelium, which turns gray as it evolves. The fruit attack is frequent and damaging, similar to the attack on the leaves and sprouts. During a dry season, the fruit break open and the bunches are destroyed. During moist days, the affected fruit become covered by a gray mold. As autumn approaches, on the infected organs, black, small appear, which represent the fungus’ resistance fruition. This disease normally attacks during hot and dry period of times.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Planting resilient species;
  • Balanced fertilizing;
  • Performing the needed maintenance work (cutting, putting together, etc.)
  • Cutting off or burning the affected sprouts;
  • Chemical treatments, using Folicur Solo, Topas, Karathane, Shavit, Thiovit Jet;
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Anthracnose on grape, caused by Elsione ampelina:

This disease affects the plants during spring, before the downy mildew and it affects all the green orangs of the plant. Small, pointy spots appear on the leaves, next to which the tissues turn brown. As the disease evolves and the affected areas become torn apart, the leaves will look pierced. Big, brown spots, margined by a dark cherry red halo appear. After the attack, the sprouts no longer grow and they are fragile. The fungus spends the winter on the bark of sprouts. The attack of the fruit is really damaging. The fruits become dry and wrinkled during a dry period and during a wet period, they rot.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Only healthy cuttings need to be used;
  • During the vegetative break or during spring, treatments with Zeama Bordeleza 3 % need to be applied;
  • Chemical treatments to be applied during the vegetative period, using: Captan, Thiovit Jet, Funguran, Champ;

White Root Rot, caused by Rosellinia necatrix:

The affected plants no longer develop as they should, their leaves turn yellow, the sprouts don’t grow and are affected by the blizzards. In 2-3 years from the first symptoms, the plant dies. If you look at the root, a white mycelium can be seen. This makes its way into the marrow and destroys the bark of the roots. This disease is frequent on the clay and moist soils and it spends the winter as sclerotium inside the soil or on the affected roots.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Taking out the affected plants from the crop;
  • The roots of the cuttings need to be bathed before planting in a Zeama Bordeleza 2% mixture;

Dead Arm of Grape Vine, caused by Eutypa lata:

This disease affects all the organs from the plant’s shoot system. The affected plants grow slowly, have short sprouts or inter-knots, small and twisted leaves. The inflorescences no longer grow normally, the flowers abort. If the attack is severe, the stem will have deep cracks. The disease is transmitted through spores which get into the plant through different wounds resulted from maintenance works. This is not a dangerous disease. This disease is specific only to untidy crops, where no phytosanitary treatments were applied.

Rotbrenner (Red Fire), caused by Pseudopeziza tracheiphila:

The symptoms of this disease are visible on the leaves. The attack occurs during spring or at the beginning of the summer and it can be recognized as big, yellow or yellow-purple spots, located on the edges on the limb. The tissues burn brown, starting with the center of the spots, the leaves look burned. After the attack, the plant prematurely loses its leaves. The photosynthesis capacity is reduced, the bunches have small fruits which will never grow. The fungus spends the winter on the affected leaves from the surface of the soil.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Burning the leaves from the surface of the soil;
  • Balanced fertilizing and using complex composts;
  • Performing the needed maintenance works (binding, cutting, etc.)
  • Treatments used against the downy mildew can also be used to prevent and treat this disease;

Grey Mold Rot, caused by Botryotinia fuckeliana:

This fungus aggressively grows during rainy autumn seasons. The representative attack can be seen during autumn on the leaves, after the leaves have stored enough sugar. After the attack the skin turns brown and the berries break open. As the disease evolves, the fruits will get covered by a grey mold. If the weather is rainy, the fruit become dried and wrinkled.

Prevention and control measures:

  • The grapes need to be harvested later than usual if the plant is attacked by this fungus;
  • Cutting the leaves around the grape branches to increase the air circulation;
  • Chemical treatments, using Bravo 500 SC, Ortiva 250 SC, Rovral 500 SC, Teldor 500 SC, Switch 62.5 WG;

False Turkey Tail, caused by Stereum hirsutum:

The first symptoms can be seen once the first inflorescences appear. The base leaves turn yellow (for the white grape species) or red (for the red species). As the disease evolves, the affected tissues turn brown, become united and the plant foliage is destroyed. This disease is favored by high temperatures and drought. The affected trunks will be completely dried out within few hours. When the weather is moist, the fungus’ fruitions appear on the affected trunks, with a hat shaped fan. The fungus spends the winter as a mycelium in the bark of the old cordons and it makes its way into the plant using the wounds resulted from cuts.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Taking out the affected plants from the crop;
  • Applying a cooper based treatment during the vegetation period. Products to be used: Champ, Funguran, Melody Compact;
  • During the vegetation, treatments using Verita or Mikal Flash;

Honey Fungus, caused by Armillaria mellea:

The leaves of the affected plants are small, bleached and they fall off prematurely. The cordons become dried from the superior part towards the base and, if the roots are checked, you can see that it is brown and rotted. The roots have thick cordons which represent gatherings of the fungus’ filaments, of a white color and with a powerful inflorescence. As autumn approaches the fungus grows its fruitions in the form of a yellow hat with a thick stem. The affected trunks will become dry after 4 years of infection.

Prevention and control measures:

  • The crops need to be planted on well drained soils;
  • Taking out and burning the affected plants;
  • Bathing the cutting in a Zeama Bordeleza 3 % mixture;
  • Burning the leaves of the affected plants;

Phomopsis Cane and Leaf Spot, caused by Phomopsis viticola:

During the first days of spring, elliptical wounds can be seen on the young sprouts, wounds which are brown, united and solitary. The sprouts have their growth slowed down, they don’t grow flowers and fruits, and, if the attack is severe, they are destroyed. As the disease evolves, during summer the spots grow, turn brown-black and the affected tissues will have longitudinal cracks. During autumns, the affected cordons are white. The leaves can also be affected and they can have the same symptoms as the sprouts.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Performing the needed maintenance works correctly and on time;
  • Burning the affected organs;
  • Chemical treatments, using Rovral, Cabrio Top, Universalis, Ortiva, Thiovit Jet;
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Nectria Canker, caused by Nectria destructor:

The plants which are the most affected are the ones aged from 2 to 8. The affected plants no longer start their vegetation period and become dry during summertime. If the root system is examined, you can see that it is visibly deformed. Also, after peeling the bark away, it can be clearly seen that the tissues are brown. This disease is specific to the crops which are not taken care of, where no phytosanitary protection measures have been taken.

Main pests

Dagger Nematores (Xiphinema spp):

The affected plants don’t have visible symptoms. Only if the attack is severe, the plants will be less productive. This pest can carry a large series of virosis which are dangerous to the living plant.
Prevention and control measures:

  • Avoid moist lands (as the nematodes move in moist soils);
  • Performing a correct crop rotation in order to decrease the nematode population from the soil;
  • Applying nematode pesticides on the soil. Products to be used: Basamid, Nemasol;

Twospotted Spider Mite (Tetranychus urticae):

This pest is a polyphagous species which attacks several plants species. This pest colonizes the inferior part of the plant, feeding on the plant’s cellular juice. After the attack, the leaves slowly twist and gain shiny-gray spots. The leaves wilt and fall off and the plants no longer grow fruits as they should. If the attack is severe, it can also affect the grape bunches.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Chemical treatments, using Nissorum 10 WP, Envidor 240 SC, Milbeknock, Vertimec 1.8 EC;

Grapevine Bud Mite (Eriophydes vitis):

This pest is widely spread, but it cannot cause damages that can affect the production. This acari exclusively attack the grape vine leaves. After its stings, irregularly shaped and sized spots appear on the plant. On the superior side, the plant will have the disease’s characteristic bumps. If the attack is severe, the acari can affect the cordons and flowers, leading to the flower’s abortion.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Chemical treatments using Nissorum 10 WP, Envidor 240 SC, Milbeknock, Vertimec 1.8 EC;

Thrips (Anaphothrips vitis):

This pest exclusively attacks the grape vines. It causes damage to the leaves and inflorescences. After the attack, shiny, silver spots appear. If causes flower abortion and leaf and sprout wilting.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Treatments, using Actara 25 WG, Mavrik 2 F, Karate Zeon 50 CS, Decis Mega 50 EW;

Grapevine Phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae):

This pest is the one which has heavily affected the crop technology of the grape vine. This pest species attack more than one Vitis family crops. The European grape vine species are more sensitive to this pest’s attack. This is why it is recommended to graft the European grape vine species with the American species, as the latter one is resilient to this pest’s attack. Most of the damage is caused by the attack on the roots. The attacks on the roots grow knots and tuberosities on them. As a result of the growth of these malformations, the tissues break open and several pests get into the plant. The attack of the leaves is insignificant, only alerting the pest’s presence. The affected plants have yellow leaves, they stop developing and growing fruits and in 5-10 years the crop wilts. This pest attacks the crops planted on clay soils.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Grafting with an American grape vine species;
  • Planting the grape vine on sandy soils;
  • Planting resilient species and hybrids;
  • Chemical treatments, using Confidor Energy, Nuprid, Mospilan, Actara, Karate Zeon;

Cottony Grape Scale (Pulvinaria vitis):

This is a polyphagous pest which attack several plant species. This pest feed on the plant’s cellular juice. This pest creates sweet secretions where the sooty mold grows, which leads to a decrease in the photosynthesis capacity.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Chemical treatments, using Confidor Energy, Nuprid, Mospilan, Actara, Karate Zeon;

Scarab Beetle (Anomala solida):

It grows one generation per year and it spends the winter as a larva inside the soil, at a 55-80 cm depth. The adults attack the sprouts, causing pinches in the leaf. If the attack is severe, the bugs can attack the fruit and the inflorescences. The larvae are polyphagous, causing significant damage to the grape vines, as they chew the young roots.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Chemical treatments to be applied if, there are more than 4 adults on a plant. Products to be used: Decis Mega, Karate Zeon, Actara, Fastac, Reldan;

European Grape Vine Moth (Lobesia botrana):

It grows one generation per year and it spends the winter as a pupa inside the trunk’s exfoliated bark. This pest’s larvae are dangerous. These feed on the fruits and flower buds. After the attack, the seeds turn darker and wrinkled and are attack by the Botrytis fungus.

Prevention and control measures:

  • Applying 2 chemical treatments: one during blossoming and the second one during the ripe phase of the grapes. Products to be used: Laser, Fury, Affirm, Reldan, Mospilan;

The Vine Moth (Eupoecilia ambiguella):

This pest grows 2 generations per year and it spends the winter as a pupa inside the exfoliated barks of the trunks. The first generation’s larvae attack the flower buds and eat their organs. The seconds generation’s larvae eat the grape’s pulp, making the fruit sensitive to the Botrytis fungus attack.

Prevention and control measures:

  • This pest can be prevented and avoided using the same methods as the ones used against the European Grape Vine Moth;

Got a question?

My grapes are ripening but getting sick, they grapes rot on the vine before they are fully mature.

It is important to carry out preventive treatments in each stage of development of the grapevine.

Are grapes for about 15 years old every year beautiful leaves beautiful graves little smaller than normal but this year we added red bark around the tree at the base cover the entire area so that we didn’t have as many weeds and it seems it as if the it died it never got green leaves this year so I moved all the mulch back or red bark hoping it would come back is there anything I can do or is it dead

It could be possible to take a little longer this year for the leaves to appear. If you have removed the red bark, it is recommended to wait.

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