Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Japanese Beetle Trap Hack

It is amazing how well these traps are working.  The beetles just fly into the bag.

I set up the third trap today and used the trap hack that Hartwood Roses posted about last week.  I used a large water bottle (half gallon???)  and a tomato cage in my version.  She posted an update on her traps today. Read about it here.

First, I cut the bag off just below the narrow portion.
I then placed the neck of the water bottle into the bag and used a piece of plastic twine tied just below the ribs that hold the cap in place.  A twist tie would work better but I didn't have one right at the moment.
Then using the same plastic twine I suspended the trap in the middle of the tomato cage.  I used the tomato cage to help keep the traps from blowing sideways in the high winds that we have had the last two days.  The beetles are not very good flyers and when the trap is blowing around it is hard for the beetles to land on the trap.  Also, I had a stash of cages so no extra money was spend except for the initial costs of the traps.
Yesterday I mentioned that they say not to hang in trees or by plants.  I have found that my plum tree is a Japanese beetle magnet.  In the past years the top of the tree has had a swarm of beetles flying around.  But today the top of the tree was without beetles and the only place I could find beetles were on the limb right around the trap.
The second trap that I hung yesterday was moved out into the yard as was the new third trap.  After relocating the traps I walked around my yard looking for beetles.  Normally my rose bushes are favorite places for beetles to snack on but today there were no beetles to be found.

Where were they?  They were in the traps.  The two traps that I hung yesterday are filling up fast.  By Thursday I will need to remove the bag on the trap in the plum tree. At that time I will either replace with a gallon ziploc bag or modify the trap to accommodate a large water bottle or milk jug.

The more beetles that I kill this year are less beetles laying eggs in the ground to hatch next year.  I don't see ever being able to eliminate beetles all together but if I can keep them off my trees and roses I will be happy.