Something's eating my plants!


Old 09-12-00, 09:35 AM
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I just moved into a new house in the country. My green, leafy plants--hostas and rudbeckia, particularly, are being eaten alive! They are covered with holes and are dying. I think something is eating them but I do not know what. I have seen japanese beetles on another nearby leafy bush, and that bush is covered in holes as well. I hung a japanese beetle trap nearby, but so far it has not seemed very effective. Is there anything I can spray on the plants to keep the bugs off? Thanks.
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Old 09-12-00, 02:38 PM
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The substance that used to be used is "carbaryl" for control of adult Japanese beetles. Whether it is still available or has bit the dust due to environmental regulations I am not sure. You can check at your local garden center for this or an insecticide that lists Japanese beetles on its label.

A substance called "milky spore disease" is effective against the immature grub stage which lives in your lawn. It does however, take a few years for the "disease" to have any profound effect on the over-all population. This is totally harmless to the soil and harmless to beneficial insects, bees, earthworms, all plants, animals, and humans.

It is believed that the Japanese beetle was introduced into the U.S. in some soil around a plant sometime prior to World War 1. The soil in Japan has this disease naturally which is why their beetle population is naturally controlled and ours has gone nuts. "Milky spore disease" treatment was isolated by the US government in 1933 and they own the patent on it.

For information that is keyed to your locality contact your local Cooperative Extension Service. They are listed in the government pages under county. The entry usually starts with the initials of your state's land grant college/university.

Especially trained Master Gardeners will be able to tell you what is currently available, what is effective in your locale and climate, and sources. Do give them a call.
Old 09-13-00, 01:17 PM
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it could also be slugs. they love hosta plants. you can check by looking in the center of the plant down at ground level. or (and this will get rid of them as well as show you if its them)place a shallow container in under the hosta burried up to the lip of the container half filled with beer over night. the slugs are drawn to the liquid and fall in unable to get back out. and as my grandfather said "die happy" (the slugs). the yuck part of this is dumping out the slug and doing it again. (if you do have slugs). my grandparents used this in the garden to keep slugs off the lettuce. you can also buy slug and snail bait at the garden center but DO NOT use if you have pets or children.

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