Japanese beetle problems?

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Dennis Griffith

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On the milky spore, you don't have to buy the expensive one. We have a local farm supply who carries an off brand product in 40 lb bags. I don't remember what I paid last time, but it wasn't bad. The important part of my story is that they didn't have it on display. I would never had known it was there if the manager had not told me, so now I ask for it and they bring out what need. And it works for me, so ask your local farm supply folks if they have granular milky spore. Don't breathe the dust, it can cause problems. The granular stuff doesn't produce as much dust like the powder form.
 

Dennis Griffith

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My first vines in 2019 survived a month of no rain. We did not have a drop from the end of August to October. I had watered early in the Spring but took up the drip line in mid summer. We ended up hand watering and replacing the dripline at the end of September. The vines survived.

2021 was a really dry year (about 1/2 inch of rain a week). I decided I was not going to water anything, including the first year vines. I may have lost one or two out of 265 new vines. Most of those vines are still small (2022) so I'm treating them like first year vines. I'm heartened by the knowledge that the 2021 vines should have roots that reach the Earth's inner core.

Water deeply but not too often. The vines will look wretched for a couple days after the grow tubes come off but they will pop back soon.

I knew Dennis would be here soon! He's my JB expert.
In agreement with you. I elected to not setup the drip irrigation system this year as I wanted the vines to really establish a good root system. We had a dry period that had me worried, but it's all about the roots. I've had to cut out trunks before that suffered from crown gall. I found that a healthy root system will send up more shoots. Just treat them like a first year planting by pinching off any florescence. I have been watering only the newly planted vines this year.
 

CortneyD

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I wanted to pop on and second @winemaker81 and agree that dozens of studies of those Japanese Beetle Traps have shown that they bring more bugs to your property than you are killing. Even if you can put them away from your crop and are catching bugs with them, you are actually creating a bigger problem for yourself. If you ask around to growers and Master Gardeners in your area, folks in the know do not use them for this reason. University Extension agents specifically do not recommend them in any capacity.

Save yourself the money and get a bag of diatomaceous earth.
 

ChuckD

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I may have found the source of the problem. I just got home and killed seven in the vineyard… all on the end by the garden. Found five on the pole beans and about 30 on the rhubarb.
CFB03FA7-B7EE-4114-A7CC-ACD536552C75.jpeg
Since I’m done harvesting rhubarb I hit them with the Sevin. All the others suffered unfortunate crushing injuries. Almost all of them were getting it on when I found them. At least they died happy 😵😂.
 
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For an organic option to combat the Japanese beetles I've been using Neem oil, it typically doesnt kill on contact but helps reduce their reproductive cycle. The neem oil is also a big help for powdery mildew for us mid-westerners. The traps definitely help catch them, but didn't see a big difference in the population of the vineyard.

 

wood1954

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This year I’ve been picking one to two dozen a day, vs 100 a day last year.
I haven’t used synthetic insecticide yet, am waiting for two more weeks than I’m spraying for stink bugs, that should get me close to harvest then I’m going to try Pyganic once a week till harvest. Then…. I’m going to try spraying water on the clusters the night before harvest to knock off any stink bugs hiding in the clusters. Then I’m going to set up a sorting table to make sure I don’t have any stink bugs, I’m a little paranoid because I had so many last year.
 

ChuckD

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I have been picking them every morning before work and every evening after. I typically get 5 to 20 beetles each time. It’s easy when your vines look like this
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I hope I can keep them under control as the vines mature.
 

berrycrush

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In VA/WV area there are much less JB this year compared to last year. I tried Pyrethrin the first time on some vines and didn't notice any effect. I remembered how devastating JBs were to my young vines. When the vines get older and have more foliage, JBs are less a problem and can be tolerated without spraying.
 

ChuckD

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It’s interesting here. I looked at the wild vines on my property and see no JB’s or any insect feeding damage. The worst damage I see is on rhubarb, pole beans, then my new vines… in that order.
 

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