Japanese Beetles

Run far, run fast! The Japanese beetles are back. Or possibly they are Chinese Rose Beetles. But what they MOSTLY are is HUNGRY. For my roses. They manage to squeeze inside the buds and eat them from the middle out, completely destroying the blooms before they can even open. There are so many beetles on the rose above, they can’t hide. On mine, you often have to pull the petals apart to find the sneaky little devils! I hate them with the hatred of a thousand burning suns!!  But there are two good things I try to keep in mind. One, they are only here a few weeks, and then they disappear for another year. And two, they are ridiculously easy to hand pick and drop into a dish of soapy water for the Bath Of Death. So no need to use nasty pesticides. I just fill a plastic margarine tub with some water and a heavy squirt of Dawn, and I walk through the gardens plucking the nasty little blighters from every rose I see them on, dropping them into their Day Spa of Doom, and voila. Soon, the roses are safe again.

Do you get rose beetles?  How do you handle them?

9 thoughts on “They’re BAAAA-AAAAAAACK!

  1. oh! oh! oh! I don’t have roses (wish I did!) … but that is some UGLY picture!!! You say they disappear …. but by then they must have destroyed a lot of roses. Yikes.


  2. They are HORRIBLE, SC! But I patrol vigilantly, once I see the first crumpled and chewed bud. I walk around with the Deathly Dish of Dawn, plucking the little bastages off one by one, and drop them into the suds where they obligingly die pretty quickly. I usually notice them right away, because I’m always aware of new blooms about to open. For instance, today I know that Abraham Darby and Souvenir de la Malmaison each have blooms ready to open, and I will soon be out there inspecting them. I’m going to cut those two flowers and bring them inside so I can enjoy them, pest free.

    Here in central Florida, roses repeat bloom every 4 or 5 weeks or so, straight through the year, unless we have a severe winter, so the other good news is that even if I lose most of this round of flowers, the beetles will be gone, by my hand or their own schedule, before the next round of blooming starts. In the meantime, though, I’m on the warpath.

    The only garden pests I hate more are lubber grasshoppers which can strip a shrub of every leaf over night, and Cuban treefrogs, hideous, pasty-white exotics that will eat every lizard, native treefrog, and bird they can catch. I watched one once leaping 5 feet into the air trying to snatch a feeding hummingbird. He missed. But I didn’t! Goodbye, invader–feed on, hummer!


  3. I am 100% with you on hatred of these horrible pests. They are devastating, to almost everything in my yard, especially apple trees, roses, and raspberries. I collected hundreds of them in soapy containers, went out several times a day, for weeks. Each year they have done more damage than the year before! AARGH! I feel your pain.


  4. So far, they haven’t managed to do as much devastation here, Sue, as they are doing to you. Knock on wood! The season for them is very short, and my garden is small enough that hand-picking goes a long way. If they were here for weeks and weeks, I’d probably go ballistic. They truly are awful, though I think mine aren’t true Japanese beetles, which are kind of pretty with their green iridescence. Mine are mostly black with some dull gray marks on them, and not at all pretty. Maybe they aren’t quite as prolific. They look more like pictures I’ve seen of Chinese rose beetles, which must be slightly different. Of course, maybe they are just getting established and will get worse over time. Boy, I hope not. It’s enough that the lubbers are here for months and months, And once they have shed from their black & orange striped forms into their hardened shells, even a straight shot of Raid doesn’t faze them. GACK!!!

    I allow a certain amount of insect predation in my garden, since I encourage birds, lizards, and other creatures to live here. But I have my limits!


  5. Hi, Carolyn! Don’t worry…the only place I’m sending MINE is straight to you know where, with my cries of “DIE, DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE, you sorry creatures!” echoing in their ears. Assuming they have ears, that is.

    Hope you never get them!


  6. My Favorite Marcia, Now I know what you have been doing lately. The spring fever “beetle” got you, too! We don’t seem to get those little pests. Our roses are mostly devoured by aphids when we don’t feed them. Right now they are looking pretty nice because the weather is still cool. When it gets well into the summer, they still have flowers, but not nearly so large. I like your technique, though. We have beer in our garden to take care of the slugs. They’re so lazy they won’t even drink the beer, though. hahaha Have a great week. I’ve missed you!!!!!! 🙂 TOM


  7. I wish I could say I have been working in the garden, but it is still being sadly neglected. Instead, I’ve been pushing like crazy to get as much done on my book as possible, before heading to San Diego for the birth of my first grandson. I’m just completing Chapter 29, and hoping to wrap it up in another 3 or so. I’ve also managed to write a couple more poems that are being published in an anthology due out in June, so I’m excited about that. And meanwhile, my poor garden languishes! I do go out every day and drown beetles, though. 😀
    Nice to see you! Thanks for stopping by.


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