Nikki Roche wrote:
Ellendra Nauriel wrote:
Nikki Roche wrote: I'm still trying -- unsuccessfully -- to get rid of Japanese beetles. They have no predators in my area yet.
Chickens are pretty good at eating them in the grub stage. Some will eat them in the adult stage too, but it seems to vary by flock.
A few years ago, my backyard had so many Japanese beetles that there were times you couldn't see the plants under them. Then I got chickens. After 2 years you'd be hard-pressed to find a JB in my yard at all. And my flock doesn't bother with the adult beetles, just the grubs.
I used to know someone whose flock would eat the adults. He used one of those yellow bag-traps, but rigged it with a tube at the bottom so the beetles would fall into a bowl of water inside the chicken run. His birds would sit there watching for the chance to grab a beetle before it could recover and fly off. He said he had almost no feed costs during the summer because of that.
My husband doesn't think we're ready for chickens. He may be right, but this info could speed things along. A few grape vines didn't come back this year, and I wonder if having such extensive damage from beetles last year contributed to that. By the start of fall, nearly every leaf looked like brown netting.