Japanese beetle devastation

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sremick

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So the Japanese beetles got away from me and have entirely defoliated 7 of my 42 new vines planted this year, while only 2' or less tall. A number of other vines are hanging on by a thread, with a few leaves. I'm wondering: if a new vine is hit that hard with all its leaves destroyed so young, can it bounce back or is it a lost cause? Should I be scrambling to try and replace these vines ASAP this season?

I've had some Japanese beetles past years in my garden, but nothing to this magnitude. I had no idea they'd be that much more attracted to grape vines than anything else I've ever grown at this location.
 

gsf77

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I mentioned this in another thread, they ate a good bit of the fruit when it had just started forming. If there's enough of them they'll clean something up almost overnight. A lot of the first year's growth is underground but a plant does need to draw energy from the sun through the leaves.
 

sremick

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A lot of the first year's growth is underground but a plant does need to draw energy from the sun through the leaves.
If the vine is still alive will it produce new leaves at this point in the season and try to recover?
 

Xnke

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Yes, it will be fine if you get the beetles off.
 

sremick

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Yes, it will be fine if you get the beetles off.
That's reassuring. I'll get some photos soon to also help confirm that all is not lost.

Would it be prudent at this point to remove the grow tubes and the protection they provide, in trade for better access to the beetles?
 

gsf77

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I'm not exactly what a growth tube is but if you can at the least be sure to spray the inside of the growth tubes in case they're hiding in there. If the beetles are around they will be looking for some new growth. If the beetles are gone there will be about a million other sucking insects looking for some new growth.
 

Dennis Griffith

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I find that the Garden Tech liquid Sevin (zeta-cypermethrin) very effective on these little rascals. I switched last year as it seemed the carbaryl based products wasn't bothering them that much.
 

Vinobeau

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If you had the time to go out three times a day and flick them into a coffee can filled with water & a couple of tbs of liquid soap, you will do wonders; especially if you get two that are mating in one flick! The other is to spray the ground this year and next year with grub control. That way they don't even reach beetle stage. Check with a local lawn company like Nature Scape for the proper spraying time for your area.
 

Dennis Griffith

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This is after half a day. I set this far away, usually down wind, so as the draw them away from the vineyard and orchard. When they happen here, they come by the truck load. Except this year, the horde never showed, just a few scouting bands. And I have a 3 pronged approach. Spray, trap, and milky spore.

DSCN3664.JPG
 

sremick

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I find that the Garden Tech liquid Sevin (zeta-cypermethrin) very effective on these little rascals. I switched last year as it seemed the carbaryl based products wasn't bothering them that much.
I need to use organic methods. I find neem works when it hits them directly, unclear about lingering effects. I'll be also trying spinosad and pythrethrins, both of which I just picked up in concentrate form for use with my sprayer.

If you had the time to go out three times a day and flick them into a coffee can filled with water & a couple of tbs of liquid soap, you will do wonders;
Except I can't do that every day. :( Sometimes I need to be able to be away for a couple days. Summertime is also vacation time.

This is after half a day. I set this far away, usually down wind, so as the draw them away from the vineyard and orchard. When they happen here, they come by the truck load. Except this year, the horde never showed, just a few scouting bands. And I have a 3 pronged approach. Spray, trap, and milky spore.
I read so much mix thoughts on those traps. It seems more places than not say that they cause a bigger problem than they solve, due to the attractant. And "downwind" isn't consistent (average winds are about 30/30/30/10 in the 4 directions), so no matter where I put one it will be luring them right across my vines for part of the day. It seems my only option would be to totally surround them with traps in all directions.

Milky spore is also a tough one. Problem #1: you're only treating your own lawn. Most of the beetles come from off your own property. Problem #2: a 20-lb bag treats 7000 sq ft and costs $40. So to treat 3 acres, I'd need 19 bags, for a total of $760. And you need to do it multiple years in a row. Yikes.

And I thought the vines and trellis supplies were expensive... fighting Japanese beetles is shaping up to cost more than everything I've spent so far combined.
 

Dennis Griffith

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One thought about the traps, once they are in, no more breeding. I have 30 acres, so I can set them out a ways. As for milky spore, I do some every year somewhere. You can just do patches and eventually you'll get a good culture going everywhere. And it takes a while to work. Grubs also help spread it as they eat it and poop it out. It will creep beyond the area you treat. So I just keep spreading some around every year without breaking the bank.
 

Stressbaby

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Last year: https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/japanese-beetle-control.65876/#post-694412

This year:
IMG_2197.jpg
Last year was year #2. If you have any grapes on the vines, prune them off.

I have lots of experience with neem oil in my greenhouse. It doesn't have a direct killing effect. It has a number of modes of action, but primarily it acts as a growth regulator. You will not see an immediate effect, but rather it takes 1-2 weeks. Like Dennis, I use the new Sevin for JBs, works like a charm.
 

KevinL

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I handled my JBs by hand the first year, spending 30 minutes a day flicking beetles into a bucket. Then I realized that organic wasn't ever going to happen in my climate (It was more of me being a cheapskate than anything) and went and bought Sevin. Boy was I thrilled with the result and I'm never going back. It is very effective on the beetles, and a spray will provide excellent protection for 10-14 days.
 

Dennis Griffith

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I tried the organic route and struggled with fungus and JBs when I had like 20 vines. I live in the Ohio Valley region and have heavy disease and JB pressure. I started with a small amount too figure out what was needed to keep the vines healthy and produce grapes successfully. So now, I test for proper nutrient balance and have a spray program for my 100+ vines. The largest issue I face now is crown gall, which I think I have at bay. It's just a pain to have to deal with it. Everything likes grapes, I just like them more!
 

BigH

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I'm wondering: if a new vine is hit that hard with all its leaves destroyed so young, can it bounce back or is it a lost cause? Should I be scrambling to try and replace these vines ASAP this season?
The JB population exploded here this week. We have had them for about 3 or 4 weeks now, but they went nuts this week.

IMO, the vines that you have are going to have a better shot at survival than anything you plant this late in the season. We have enough season left for your vines to grow some green and get ready for fall if you get the JB problem under control.

H
 

sremick

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Good news: even the smallest and worst-decimated vines are already showing signs of trying to come back. I see little buds/nubs forming and some have even tried to push out new leaves. My faith in the stubborn vigor of grapevines is restored.

Hopefully there's still time for them to produce suitable root growth in this (their first) season before winter.

Needless to say I'm significantly upping my anti-beetle regimen in a more frequent and multi-faceted way.
 

Dennis Griffith

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There is one other way to control pests if you need to stay organic. Surround WP is a clay based product that will work, but you'll need to invest in a sprayer with agitation in the tank. It basically coats everything with what looks like chalk dust (after it dries). Bugs don't like it and it is supposed to keep the diseases at bay.
 

sremick

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There is one other way to control pests if you need to stay organic. Surround WP is a clay based product that will work, but you'll need to invest in a sprayer with agitation in the tank.
I actually already have a bag on the way. From what I read, as long as I kept shaking my sprayer tank I should be ok...? Mine is small (1 gallon).
 
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