Control. Lindane is effective, applied either to the soil to kill larvae or
as a spray to keep adults from feeding. DDT also controls the insect but
may injure some camellia varieties. An old remedy is to band the trunks
of woody shrubs with sticky tanglefoot to keep the wingless beetles from
reaching the foliage and flowers.
are friends. Don't step on them when you find
them hiding under stones in the garden or scuttling along the pavement. Ground beetles are large, an inch or more long, with shield-shaped
bodies and prominent curved jaws for grabbing and holding on to their
prey. Most species are black or brown; don't confuse them with May or
June beetles which are sometimes the same color and size, though not the
same shape. Some of these caterpillar hunters are brilliantly colored,
however. Calosoma scrutator, which climbs trees in search of canker-
worms, has beautiful iridescent blue-green wing covers with a narrow red
JAPANESE BEETLE (Popillia japonica).
This beautiful beetle, about 1/2 inch
long, metallic green with bronze wing covers and white dots along
sides and tip of abdomen, is garden enemy number i to most easterners.
First found near Philadelphia in 1916 and now established from Maine
to South Carolina, it has also been found in most states east of the Mississippi, but such sporadic outbreaks have been suppressed.
Adults appear near the end of June, reach a peak in July and August,
and gradually disappear after Labor Day. They feed on at least 275 differ-
ent plants and are extra fond of rose, hollyhock, hibiscus, canna, African
marigold (but not French), Boston ivy, Virginia creeper, sassafras, horse-
chestnut, linden, elm, willow, grapes, raspberries, plum, quince, peach,
asparagus, corn, and soybeans. Foliage is usually eaten in a lacy pattern,
with most of the veins left, but flowers are completely demolished, with
sometimes 50 or more beetles ganging up on a single rose. They seem to
prefer light-colored blossoms and are most active on warm, sunny days.
Each female feeds for 30 to 45 days, during which she lays eggs at
grass roots. Grubs hatching in 10 to 12 days are soft, wrinkled, hairy,
white with a brown head and grayish rear end, an inch long when full
grown, usually found in a curved position in soil. They feed on grass
roots until cold weather when they burrow down 8 or 10 inches in the
soil, moving up again in spring to resume feeding. They pupate in late
May or June, and there is only one generation a year.