Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Only Good Japanese Beetle Is a Dead One

So there I was, resting in my living room chair, drinking a Hansen's Mandarin and Lime soda (made with cane sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup), minding my own business.

And then I see it: something black flits by the window.

"Shit!" My sudden exclamation startles my husband. Not because I'm cursing--I do that a lot--but because it comes out of nowhere. "I bet it's a Japanese Beetle," I explain.

I get out of my chair and walk to the window, where I spy several black things buzzing about. For a moment, a very brief moment, I try to convince myself they're flies. But I know they aren't. They are Japanese Beetles, the scourge of the trees. And bushes. And garden plants.

In fact, I can't think of a single thing they are good for besides breeding and drowning. And for another fact, as you can tell from the picture, the damn things are already having kinky bug sex in my trees. (You are witnessing a menage a trois in this picture.)

Last year, we tried spraying the trees and shrubs with a cola concoction. It may have slowed them down a bit, but they came back stronger than ever. According to all the literature I've read, traps don't really work and, in fact, attract more Japanese Beetles to the neighborhood. The only thing that works is to go out in the early morning or late evening and knock the creepy crawlers into a bucket of soapy water and drown them. Apparently, the more Japanese Beetles you have, the more they attract. Their bug pheremones are powerful aphrodisiacs, so the only way to keep the population "under control" (I use quotation marks here because truly there is no controlling these beetles) is to kill off as many as possible.

So, for the next couple of months, guess what I'll be doing?

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