Japanese beetles are here, a bit late but they arrived overnight.
I only saw one on my blackberry canes and one landing on the ground (both dead by my hand) so you may be thinking I’m overreacting. I’m not!
In previous years, I went to war with Japanese beetles and I lost. But for the last 4 years, I have used a secret weapon that pretty much makes all Japanese beetles bypass my yard.
Why don’t they belly up to my buffet? I use a product called Surround.
Surround is 95% kaolin clay (5% inert) which is mixed with water and sprayed on plants. It is a beautiful organic solution to the beetle invasion.
Once again, this year, all the blackberries and the blueberries in my yard are wearing coats made of Surround which I mixed and sprayed this morning.
Surround works but ONLY if you spray it at the first sign of Japanese Beetles in the back yard.
When I say “first sign” I mean it. Apparently, Japanese beetles release a pheromone when they find good food. Any beetles in the vicinity fly in and start feasting.
How does it work? Surround doesn’t harm any other insects. But Surround does make berries and leaves taste really bad to the beetles! The proof is on the plants and in coming days, it will be in my bucket of sudsy water. This year I have only gotten about 45 beetles, total.
Last year, I plucked morning and evening and only got 45 beetles the entire season!
The year before I discovered Kaolin clay, I literally got thousands of Japanese beetles in my bucket and still lost all my blackberries, beans and apples.
The only difference was Surround!
Surround also keeps my 10 most hated bugs, including Colorado Potato Beetles, Cucumber and Squash beetles, off of plants so, yes, every squash and cucumber plant in my garden is also sporting a beautiful coat of kaolin clay.
FYI the beetles will drop by to check out my Borage, planted for bees, and my Pussy Willow but they don’t stay long. .
Based on early application of Kaolin clay, I expect that the Japanese beetle population is going to be looking for greener pastures and tastier food somewhere else.
If Iwin the war this year, I will once again give all the credit to Surround. If you’re being “bugged,” consider giving it a try.