Friday, June 25, 2010

Japanese beetles

Japanese beetles on summer grape leaves (Vitis aestivalis)
I have been hearing reports that the Japanese beetles have arrived. I have not seen any. But last evening, while weeding amongst the Joe-pye weed plants, bottlebrush and river oats grasses I found them. My reaction was one of amazement. The way these beetles chew the interior of the grape leaves to produce these lacy leaves. I left this situation as it was. In a few day I will go and remove what is left of the summer grape plant (Vitis aestivalis) that was smothering the plants I was weeding amongst. Could this even be a case of the Japanese beetles being the good guys and removing the grape plants before they smother everything else? But even grape plants have merit. Tasty dishes can be made with their leaves and jellies and jams with their fruits. The fruits are also eaten by many birds, the leaves are browsed by deer, and the bark is used by some birds in their nests.


  1. Mom and Dad planted roses in front of the parsonage this spring and they are doing beautifully, but the first rose brought inside had one of those nasty bugs burrowed deep inside the white flower.

    Between the Japanese Beetles in the summer(almost spelled it Beatles like the singing group LOL)and the Asian Beetles the rest of the year, I am quite tired of hard shelled flying bugs... Oh well such is life!

  2. Glad your roses are doing fine. Here at Habitat Home, I have removed all roses except three. Roses were eaten so badly for several consecutive years that they looked terrible. I did not spray and did not want to spend my time picking off the Japanese beetles, so I removed most of the roses in the garden beds. The three remaining roses are Rosa rubrifolia, Rosa carolina and a white rugosa shrub rose. All go on to produce hips in the fall for wildlife.