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Re:Japanese Beetles

In a message dated 97-02-13 10:45:15 EST, you write:

<< Here in Lubbock we have a large problem with "Japanese Beetles"
 damaging our blooms, most often during rebloom time.  Our "Japanese
 Beetles" closely resemble a lady bug.  >>

I don't know what those beetles are, Dana, but they don't sound like real
Japanese beetles.  The real Japanese beetle is not a particular rampant pest
in Japan, as natural predators (or something) keeps it under control.  The
U.S. Ag Dept did lots of research on what keeps it under control in
Japan----but to my knowledge never reached definitive conclusions.  I read
that it was introduced into this country by a ship from Japan that unloaded
at Bayonne NJ in the WW I era, and has been moving westward ever since.  A
few years ago I read that the beetle had crossed the Mississippi River.  

One reason it thrives in this country is that the penchant for having big
grassy lawns in America creates the ideal enviornment for the larvae.  Moral:
 Dig up you lawn and plant irises of all types!  (A good idea even if there
were no Japanese beetles).

One idea that I discovered by accident for keeping Japanese beetles at a
minimal level on roses, grapes, etc. is to plant four o'clocks.  The beetles
will descend on the four o'clocks in a great swarm and neglect other plants.
 You can then go out and pick off the beetles by the handful.  But plant the
four o'clocks away from the plants you want to keep the beetles away from.
 Clarence Mahan in VA

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