Looking for help in dealing with Japanese beetles. At this rate they will be the healthiest in the county, they are chewing up my kale and broccoli leaves pretty well. Hoping at least to save my broccoli. Do any of the traps on the market work? Last year I just knocked them off into a glass of soapwater but I couldn't keep up with them. I am in southern Wisconsin and this is my second year growing using organic methods, three small beds of various veggies.
It's getting real hard for me to find Japanese beetle larvae to dig up and feed to the chickens. Ever since I went on a toad breeding campaign and began putting out little water features and leaving pieces of rotting log in the garden, the toad population has exploded. Only when the sun is at its brightest do they shut up. If it's overcast and looks like rain, they begin croaking in anticipation of having a "Boogie Night". But I'm willing to put up with their croaking and chirping if it will keep the bug population down.
A loooong time ago we had an infestation - like between 15 & 20 years ago. I hand picked them for a few years as I took my "garden tour" in the evenings. I dropped them into a jar of soapy water. I hardly see them at all now.
My project thread Agriculture collects solar energy two-dimensionally; but silviculture collects it three dimensionally.
One of those pheromone traps, and a flock of chickens. For next year, Four O'Clocks are a small, pretty flower that act as a fantastic trap crop. The Japanese beetles can't resist feeding on them, but they die within minutes of doing so. It worked great in my orchard last year, hardly had any in the traps (the hens were pretty sad, but there were plenty of tent caterpillars to occupy them instead...)
I have an infestation problem myself. Some well intentioned neighbors hung up those accursed bait traps and brought thousands to my property!! I'm trying milky spore and 2 types of beneficial nematodes. The milky spore should provide more of a permanent solution, as the nematodes will provide a more immediate one. I hope this helps!