Sunday, July 5, 2009

Will It Float? Testing Japanese Beetles

Have you ever seen the David Letterman show when they play the game "Will it float?" Let's play with Japanese Beetles...will they float?

As the Magic 8 Ball would say, "All signs point to yes."

Above, you'll see a picture of hundreds of Japanese beetles that I handpicked off several of our trees and bushes. According to the articles I've read, handpicking or knocking them off branches is the best way to eliminate the problem. The fewer Japanese beetles in your yard, the fewer they attract to your yard. So evening before last, I went beetle collecting, knocking them into this basin of soapy water. I actually had hundreds more collected from a couple of days before, but I had too much soapy water in the basin and accidentally dumped it before getting started. What you're seeing here is only about 1/3 of what I collected total in two days of collecting.

Collecting beetles is not a pleasant job. First, I feel sort of guilty since I am drowning some of God's creatures. It just doesn't seem nice. Plus, as previously blogged about, many of them were engaged in, um, intimate pleasantries, which seems like a double whammy. (Although perhaps they died with smiles on their little beetle faces.) After I'm done collecting, I feel like I have bugs crawling all over me until I take a shower. It's probably simply protestant guilt, but nonetheless, it's a creepy feeling.

Meanwhile, David was spraying our heavily infested trees, bushes, and lawn with an organic mixture of water, "lemony fresh" Joy dishwashing liquid and garlic (although he also added Coca Cola and castor oil for fertilizer and varmint control--apparently, moles hate castor oil. Can you blame them?).

Today, a quick check of the trees and bushes show only a few beetles remaining. So either the handpicking and tree spraying is working, or the steady rain yesterday drove them off, or they are dying after mating, or they are migrating to a better climate. How's that for certainty? I will be glad when I don't have to look at them any more.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

I must say, that sounds like an utterly un-enjoyable way to pass time. But, I am sure that the rewards were worth the trouble. Looking at the first picture, I bet you could start fortune telling on the side by "reading the beetles."