Beetle Mania

July 2nd, 2008

I’ve got beetle mania this week.  After seeing hundreds and hundreds of japanese beetles decimating our grapes and other plants, we decided it was time to get a trap.  They’re simple, not too expensive, and work like a charm.  Within minutes of hanging up the trap yesterday, beetles were flying toward it and dropping into the bag.

This thing works very well. There’s at least four flying beetles and a dozen more over the yellow vanes above the bag, and more on the way!

Japanese Beetle trap in action

After a few hours the bag was full of hundreds of beetles. Yuck!   We put up another trap and left them up all day.  This morning I threw out what seemed like two pounds of bugs, and hung up a couple of more bags. 

I considered cutting open the bag and throwing the beetles in the pond after reading about someone who fed them to his catfish, but I didn’t want to chance releasing a ton of beetles that we already caught.  This morning the grapes already look better, and there are many fewer japanese beetles on the other plants.

I’m under no illusion that this will solve our nuisance problem with the beetles.  But it may just help the grapes continue to mature, and lessen the number of beetles we have next year.  Chalk one up to technology, but I hope some enterprising bird can figure out how to eat these little suckers!

On the subject of yucky bugs, does anyone know what this big brown catepillar is?   It’s sitting upside down next to a 4×4 post!  I’ll try to find out… maybe we’ll call it a “Big Brown Four Inch Catepillar” for now.  Not very creative, I know.  Any better ideas?

Big four inch catepillar

4 Responses to “Beetle Mania”

  1. I’ve never seen a contraption like the Japanese beetle contraption before. Where did you find that?

    As to your caterpillar, I would call that a hornworm. Any more specific than that and I’m at a loss.

  2. We went to a local farm/feed store for the traps- I’ll have to check the brand, but it’s like the “bag a bug” type disposable bags. I’ve since found many varieties online, but this one works well. It combines a pheromone attractant and floral type attractant. I swear the beetles were flying around my hands within 5 seconds of opening the attractant package! Still trying to find that catepillar species- thanks!

  3. Leslie

    I saw these beetle traps at an Inn in Maine and was concerned to se that it was also trapping honey bees. We need to save our honey bees! How can we prevent trapping the wrong pests?

  4. Hi Leslie- Great question; I haven’t seen it as a problem here, but now I’m curious. Thankfully this year the beetles were not such a problem- and I hope that’s true going forward! Thanks for stopping by :)

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