Six years, almost 1200 posts, lots of photos, and it seems that each year about this time, I write something about the same critter — the dreaded Japanese beetle.
Once again, they have made swiss cheese out of my raspberry plants, sometimes even mating and/or feeding on the fruit as well.
But this year, thousands of beetles descended on my Honeycrisp apple trees, and have decimated more than 50% of the leaves. Ugh! It’s easy enough to pick them off the raspberries or spray the plants with soapy water, but apple tree leaves are out of reach. Instead of spraying the trees with some bee-killing insecticide, we used a bacteriocidal solution, combined with an oil spray. End result — it didn’t work.
Thanks to the drenching the raspberries received from a few thunderstorms this summer, there were plenty of extra leaves for the beetles to consume, and I still got a nice crop of raspberries from the plants for my annual jam-making. But the fate of the apple crop is yet to be determined.