Northern & Central Midwest

July, 2005
Regional Report

Catch Japanese Beetles in the Morning

Japanese beetles can usually be controlled by picking them off plants every morning. Drop the beetles into a bucket of soapy water. If you are squeamish, hold the bucket under the plant and tap it. The insects will fold their legs and fall into the container. Do this early in the morning while they are sluggish.

Monitor for Apple Maggots

Apple maggots begin laying eggs in late July, so get your maggot traps ready. Red decoy apples coated with Tanglefoot will trap most moths if you have only a few trees, or you can use them to monitor numbers in a larger orchard so you can then place pheromone traps appropriately.

Keep Container Plants Watered

As the weather gets hotter and hotter, monitor annuals in containers and hanging baskets daily for moisture. You can continue fertilizing regularly but be sure to water the plants beforehand. If plants begin to lag, reduce fertilizing and wait until cooler weather when they will perk up again.

Let Turf Go Dormant

When rains cease for the summer, allow turf to go dormant in order to conserve water. However, the grass crowns will only remain alive if they receive about 1/4 inch of water every other week. If the grass does grow enough to mow, set the mower at 3 or 4 inches.

Trap Earwigs

Earwigs are partial to moist, dark areas, so use this feature to trap and destroy them. They usually eat only organic debris but may be tempted to tackle annuals and vegetables in times of drought. Place boards in the garden, and in the morning after they've hidden, lift the boards and destroy the pests.

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