When we were kids (30 years ago), Mom read some where that if you pick them
off the plants manually then they will not be able to lay eggs. I remember a
couple years we had to spend some time picking off beetles. Ever since, we
pick off maybe a dozen beetles a year. This way you can avoid things that
may (or may not) affect other organisms in your yard. The following is
http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/Entomology/entfacts/trees/ef409.htm and is
the kernel of the site.
As to lawns, which are really not great for birds, except the American Robin
(yes, I have a little lawn!), you may want to check out
http://www.richsoil.com/lawn/ which has some great comments on having a
healthy (for grass, birds, kids, dogs, and you) lawn.
Many kinds of birds such as bobwhites, eastern kingbirds, crows, European
starlings, redwinged blackbirds, catbirds, songsparrows, robins and grackles
eat Japanese beetles. European starlings, common grackles and crows eat
large numbers of grubs in heavily infested areas. When grubs are close to
the surface, flocks of starlings may be seen on lawns and pastures digging
up grubs with their long, pointed bills. Crows frequently pull up small
pieces of turf and scatter them over a lawn as they dig. Moles, shrews and
skunks also feed on white grubs. These animals can damage lawns as they
search for grubs.
Predaceous insects such as wheel bugs, robber flies and praying mantids
occasionally feed on adult beetles. A few native wasps and flies also feed
on beetle adults or grubs, but they appear to play only a minor part in
beetle control. Several parasitic wasps, flies and beetles have been
imported from the Orient in an attempt to control the beetle in the United
States with only limited success.
Milky Spore Disease
Milky spore disease is a bacterial disease that kills Japanese beetle grubs.
Spores of this bacterium are produced commercially and sold under the names
of Doom,, Japidemic, and Milky Spore. The application of milky spore may
reduce the numbers of Japanese beetle grubs in lawns but beetles will fly in
from other areas to damage plants and crops. Research trials using this
approach to reduce grub numbers in turf have given very erratic results.
The disease does not kill other types of grubs that damage turf. See ENT-10,
Controlling White Grubs for additional information.
Hand collecting obviously is not the most effective method of control, but
can be used to protect valuable plants when beetle activity is relatively
low. The presence of beetles on a plant attracts more beetles. When you
remove beetles daily by hand from a plant, only about half as many are
attracted to that plant compared to those on which beetles are allowed to
accumulate. One of the easiest ways to remove beetles from small plants is
to shake the plants early in the morning (about 7 a.m.) when temperatures
are low and the beetles sluggish. The beetles may be killed by shaking them
into a bucket of soapy water.
In recent years commercial or homemade traps have become a popular means of
trying to reduce beetle numbers. Commercially available traps attract the
beetles with two types of baits. One mimics the scent of virgin female
beetles and is highly attractive to males. The other bait is a
sweet-smelling food-type lure that attracts both males and females. This
combination is such a powerful and effective attractant that traps can draw
in thousands of beetles in a day. Only a portion of the beetles attracted to
traps are caught in them. Small number of traps in a home landscape can
actually increase Japanese beetle problems rather than reduce them. Other
control measures such as insecticide sprays and dusts may be needed to
protect plants that are particularly attractive to the beetles.
Traps may be effective in reducing Japanese beetle problems if used
throughout a neighborhood or in open areas well away from valuable plantings
or vulnerable crops. In most home landscape situations, using 1 or 2 traps
probably will do more harm than good. The trap tend to attract the beetles,
which tend to create a bigger problem which is only solved by more traps.
----- Original Message -----
From: "william gilbert" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 11:37 AM
Subject: Re: Birds and Beetles
> My experience is that the traps they sell with the pheromone work very
> We have a large lawn and like the constant feeding of the birds on the
> The elimination of grubs may limit the feed available for the birds... Not
> trying to start a fight but we have never spayed or treated the lawn, it
> looks fine and the bids hop around happy feeding whenever the snow is
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Barbara Powers" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 11:01 AM
> Subject: Re: Birds and Beetles
> > Dear Jessie:
> > An effective way to get rid of Japanese Beetles is to put milky spore on
> > moved parts of your lawn. One application lasts for 10 years. The milky
> > spores attacks the grubs before they emerge and eliminates most of the
> > beetles. It may seem expensive but you only need to do it once. You can
> > it at most hardware or garden stores. I hope this is helpful. Also it
> > doesn't hurt the birds.
> > Barbara Powers
> > Manchester Center, VT
> > >From: jessie <[log in to unmask]>
> > >Reply-To: Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
> > >To: [log in to unmask]
> > >Subject: Birds and Beetles
> > >Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 19:59:41 -0400
> > >
> > >My roses are covered every year with Japanese Beetles and I am puzzled
> > >to why my yard birds never are seen taking any of these for food. They
> > >right there for the picking but I have never seen a bird on one of the
> > >bushes. I was fortunate this year when the young European Starlings
> > >devoured an infestation of European Sawfly larvae on a Mugo pine.
> > >else have any information or stories about birds and garden pests?
> > >----------
> > >Mona Bearor
> > >South Glens Falls, NY
> > _________________________________________________________________
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