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Old 07-30-2008, 07:32 PM   #1

I got back from a trip to PA this weekend and saw a swarm of bugs around my hop garden and plum tree. At a closer look I come to find that the Japanese beetles have infested my hop plant and plum tree down to almost nothing. Oh Sh**! not my Hops! There were hundreds of beetles eating and mating on my plants. My deck was covered in beetle poo and plant material they didnít want to eat. It was a disgusting sight!
I ran to the hardware store as fast as I could to purchase some weapons to fight the infestation. Every minute counts. I came home with Seven ( powder insect killer for vegetable gardens) and some off brand sprayer you attach to your garden hose. They both claim to kill bugs in minutes. I wasnít happy about putting chemicals on my hops, however I had no choice.
Operation Hop freedom was in full force. Up went the ladder and out came the white powder onto the hop plants. Minutes later, phase two. I attached the sprayer to my hose and attacked the plum tree. The Japanese Beetles were surprised. Their counter attack was total chaos! They had no idea what hit them. Within minutes they started falling out of the hop and plum tree by the hundreds. There were Japanese Beetles bodies everywhere. I knew cleanup was going to be a mess but I think the hops will survive. The plum tree got hit badly, but I donít usually make beer out of plums. Or can I.
After it was all over I had only been hit a few times by kamikaze beetles. Damage was minimal. One did go down my shirt however. The next day the few remaining survivors did attack my basal plants just to piss me off. I powdered them too. I am not sure what to expect when I get home tonight.
Out of all this does anyone know what non chemical product I can put on my hop plants to stop this needless attack?

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Old 07-30-2008, 08:18 PM   #2
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Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Out of all this does anyone know what non chemical product I can put on my hop plants to stop this needless attack?
I have no advice to offer, I'm afraid. I just wanted to say how much I'm looking forward to the movie of the book!

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Old 07-30-2008, 09:39 PM   #3
Evets's Avatar
Jan 2006
Lancaster County, Pa.
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I inspect my hops daily and carry a spray bottle of liquid sevin. When I see a beetle, I spray it, but not the whole plant. In your case though, it sounds like you had no choice.

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Old 07-30-2008, 10:02 PM   #4
The Soft Underbelly
Jan 2008
Joliet, Il
Posts: 218
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I've read about people putting garlic cloves, hot peppers, onion in a blender with a quart or two of water, letting that steep a night or two, straining it through a coffee filter and spraying it on. not sure what that would do to the flavor of the hops though if used late in the season just before harvest. some people use nicotine in this concoction too (chaw spit possibly?)

The Safer people make an organic pest killer which i believe is insecitcidal soap and pyrethium (sp?) which as i understand it, while a manufactured chemical, is naturally occurring compund in chrysanthemums. It's widely reputed to be harmless to mammals and I've used it with some degree of success, although you'll need to re-apply once a week while the beetles are around.

I've taken to crushing these f-ers between my thumb and forefinger, makes me feel like a big man.

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Old 07-30-2008, 10:47 PM   #5
Jim Karr
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Dec 2005
SW Michigan..Bangor/Covert area
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Sevin (also known as carbaryl) is a relatively safe insecticide. It has been used for years indoors on dogs and cats for fleas, and you can actually shake it into your carpet to kill the little devils.

Sevin is a cholinesterase inhibitor, which means it stops the uptake of cholinesterase in the cell structure. It works so quickly that you will often see the ground covered in dead bugs very shortly after you spray.

I'm thinking that the amount of weather you'll get on your plants between now and harvest will pretty much minimize any carryover or residue in your hops.
As for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord. Joshua

"God is great, beer is good, people are crazy." Some country artist

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Old 07-31-2008, 12:55 AM   #6
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Dec 2006
Delaware, OH
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Try something like this:


You can get them pretty much anywhere you get home + garden stuff and I dont think they have to be this brand but something similar.

I know my parents use them out in the country to get rid of theirs all summer. Make sure you put these "bags" a ways away from what you DONT want them to eat because they ATTRACT bug then kill them. SO you're going to get more bugs coming towards them but it will keep them away from your hops if you put them far enough away.
"So we were slammin' beers in the church parking lot..."

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Old 07-31-2008, 03:34 AM   #7
Jan 2008
East coast, Virginia
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sevin for the "right now" effect.

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Old 07-31-2008, 03:41 AM   #8
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Feb 2008
Amherst, Western New York
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That was written outstanding. Like a Grandfather enthusiastically telling his grandkids about fighting the krauts or something. I was on the edge of my chair the whole time.
Ok not really the edge. More like reclined with my feet up. BUT GOOD NON THE LESS!! Get them evil bastids!!
My Kegerator Project

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Old 07-31-2008, 04:24 AM   #9
Apr 2007
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Bacillus thuringiensis will kill them as well as many other bugs. It isn't instantaneous. They eat it, then hours later they stop eating and die. The bacteria is packaged in a powdered product that looks like talcum powder.

One brand that I used successfully is called Dipel Dust. Check your lawn and garden stores that stock organic non-chemical pesticides. I doubt you'll find it at HD or Lowes. I use it to kill cutworms on my tomato plants. It can be used right up until harvest and is not dangerous to humans, although I would certainly rinse the hops after harvest regardless.

There are also many plants that the Japanese Beetle doesn't like to eat. You can plant these around your hop plants to discourage the little buggers. See this link:

Pest Control for Japanese Beetle

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Old 07-31-2008, 02:13 PM   #10
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Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by SOB View Post
Make sure you put these "bags" a ways away from what you DONT want them to eat because they ATTRACT bug then kill them. SO you're going to get more bugs coming towards them but it will keep them away from your hops if you put them far enough away.
Exactly. Baiting always seems like a poor idea to me when you are trying to kill off the bugs in the first place. I understand that the bait and kill works, but there is always a percentage that don't take the bait and stay on your plants. Bring more in with the attractant just ups the percentage of bugs that may or may not be killed by the bait.

It's loose / loose in my mind.

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