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LJWorld.com weblogs Dangerous Ideas

Another Beetle Pest

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Last week my wife and I went to Big Cedar near Branson and I was surprised to see Japanese beetles all over the plantings. This insect is a major pest back East because it will eat just about any garden plant and loves roses. Japanese Beetle

Since I have not seen this beetle in Lawrence, I decided to see what's known about its distribution in Kansas. It turns out there is a very nice data base called NAPIS, the National Agricultural Pest Information System. or "Pest Tracker". Looking up Japanese beetle gives an information link with pictures of the sort of damage the grubs can do to lawns, tips for controlling the insect. They don't mention what we used to do when I was young namely pick the beetles off and plop them in jar of rubbing alcohol.Alas, there don't seem to be any quick fixes, but that is typical for most pest species. Instead the suggested approach outlined here is an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. IPM involves monitoring larval and adult populations, cultural practices, and yes judicious use of appropriate pesticides and where practical biological control with parasites that attack the grubs and adults. Pest Tracker also has a recently updated distribution map for the Japanese Beetle. http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2008/Aug/08/japbeetlemap.gifLook at the full sized map here.Notice the beetle is widespread in the East and it appears to be moving into Kansas. In Douglas County, it has been found in surveys. There is one hot area of infestation, namely Wichita and the Kansas Department of Agriculture blames infested nursery stock for this.So look at the picture carefully. The quarter to half inch long beetle is easy to identify by the white markings on the side of the abdomen, the greenish metallic thorax and orange wing covers. If you see it, I'd suggest collect one for verification, contact the local extension bureau for advice and don't bring uninspected plant material from another area into Kansas.

Comments

George_Braziller 6 years, 1 month ago

So THAT's what they were! I went out to my peach tree on Thursday and there were four of them chowing down on the same peach. They're about as as noisy as cicadas and move as fast as a mouse when you disturb them.

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bearded_gnome 6 years, 1 month ago

is an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. IPM involves monitoring larval and adult populations, cultural practices, and yes judicious use of appropriatepesticides and where practical biological control with parasites that attack the grubs and adults.clearly, these japanese beetles are doing the work that american beetles won't do! and, most startling of all: these bugs have "cultural practices" what's that include? and I say, punish the japanese: its there beetle after all! besides, i always hated the Beatles' music anyway, it always seems to bug me.

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Paul Decelles 6 years, 1 month ago

Das Ubermine, you are right...here's a link to one in my yard:http://theforcethat.blogspot.com/2007/07/very-funny-nail.htmlGeorge, look for the white hairs along the side of the abdomen. If your beetle doesn't have them it is definitely not a Japanese beetle.Justbeginning to write...not there are a number of pine beetles. The one I am familiar with is the Southern pine beetle and lots of $$ is spent by forest managers to control it. Of course I got myself into trouble with one of my professors at UGA for suggesting that the beetle was a good thing since it would perhaps discourage to cutting of the South's hardwood forests which were rapidly being replaced by pine plantations.Here's a link:http://www.ento.vt.edu/~salom/SPBbiology/soupibee.htmland another that discusses other pine beetles:http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7421.html

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Paul Decelles 6 years, 1 month ago

Brian,I know what you mean about bagworms...I have a small willow shrub that is just full of the bags. Hard to kill at this time. As I recall the nest time to treat is in the Spring when the "worms" are young but i forget the details.

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Cynthia Schott 6 years, 1 month ago

They're not the only abundant beetle this year. Has anyone else been plagued with Green June Beetles? They are all over our blackberry bushes.Cindy

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 1 month ago

As I popped over to this article, I thought, "Oh... another insect picture."And then I scrolled.Ah, Paul's attention to the little things in life. Gotta love 'im.

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Ronda Miller 6 years, 1 month ago

Show us a picture of the beetles that are killing the pine trees in the Rocky Mountains, please Paul. With sugar on it! About a third of the trees were dead in the Breckenridge area. I hear they (the beetles) appear every twenty years and kill the elder trees while the younger trees are strong enough to withstand. I saw the many pin point size drilling sites that the beetles made. More info please, please!

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BrianR 6 years, 1 month ago

Ok gnome, lay off the caffeine :)I have these damn bag worms on my pine tree. I got a list of effective pesticides off the K State Extension Office web site but reading the labels made me decide against them. The bottom line is, we have bunnies living in the wood pile and I don't want to spray anything in the yard that might poison them. Anyway, the tree isn't that big so I just put on a pair of gardening gloves and plucked the little bastar, er, buggers off.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 1 month ago

Paul: "You did feel guilty:right?",;-DI've always gathered them up in a cup and deposited them outside. I tried to get my kids to do the same, but they just seem to be terrified of spiders, so they've always recruited me for the task. Peering sheepishly around the door jamb, they would ask, "What kind of spider is it?" ... to which I would spread my arms wide and caution, "Stand back! ... it's a horrible, leaping, face-biting spider!" ... which initially would evoke a wide-eyed response, quickly followed by, "Daaaaaaad."

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jonas 6 years, 1 month ago

Das_Ubermime (Anonymous) says:"Ah, bagworms. My parents used to pay me 1 cent for every bagworm I picked. Kept the population under control and acted as a second allowance."That explains a lot.

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Ronda Miller 6 years, 1 month ago

Paul, thanks for the link - sounds as though this is the very beetle that has destroyed so many pines in the Rocky Mountain area.Another strange question. I started to kill a spider last night and it screamed right before it died - is this possible? I swear I heard it! Maybe it was a small soul thing.

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Paul Decelles 6 years, 1 month ago

Hmmm I've never heard of spiders screaming and I don't see how they could make a scream..maybe it was some accidental by-product of the squishing...or a figment of your guilty conscience. egYou did feel guilty...right?

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Paul Decelles 6 years, 1 month ago

Multi,Barking spiders, eh? As I recall they produce a lot of methane. eg

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Aisling 6 years, 1 month ago

Another strange question. I started to kill a spider last night and it screamed right before it died - is this possible? I swear I heard it! Maybe it was a small soul thing.*that happened to me once! I just thought it was the psilocybin : )

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Ronda Miller 6 years, 1 month ago

aisling, too funny!Paul, indeed I did feel guilty - especially when I heard the scream. It really didn't sound as though the spider was passing gas. Lets face it, a scream and gas passing are very different sounds. I don't kill an outside spider because I know I am in their neck of the woods, but if they are in my domain then I squish em and feel guilty, very guilty, but I sleep a heck of a lot better.

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