I think this is probably a strange post for me because I am not known as a gardener in any sense of the term, but I found a solution that I didn’t find in my Google searches as I was trying to find a natural way to kill those suckers. My kids and dogs play in my yard, plus, I grow oregano and mint near my rose bushes so I wanted something natural, not a pesticide. I go natural as often as I can when choosing products for anything.
I had been noticing these all over every single rose on my 4 rose bushes and they were killing the roses as they bloomed.
Aren’t they nasty?
I had no idea what they were so I posted that pic to Facebook. My wonderful friends all agreed that those are Japanese beetles.
I googled and the one natural solution I could find was pick each one off one by one and put them in a bucket of soapy water. Leave the bucket of soapy water on the ground near where they are a problem and their disintegrating bodies will repel others.
I’m not touching them even with gloves on. What if they took off flying as I went to reach for them and they landed on me? I’d be screaming all over my yard. This woman does not do bugs. Ever.
I thought about what I could use that would be natural and the answer was what I always use when I need a natural product for something – tea tree oil. I use it for tough stains, I use it for ear infections (I don’t have insurance and haven’t needed an antibiotic for one in years, I stick tea tree oil on a cotton ball as soon as my ear starts hurting and it’s better in no time) and as an antiseptic on ouchies. I used it in our shampoo when we had a problem with lice.
I grabbed a spray bottle, mixed about 1/4 of the bottle of tea tree oil with a couple of cups of olive oil, went out and started spraying my rose bushes down. The whole bush, not just the parts with the beetles on it.
It took a couple of minutes, but they gradually started dropping off like flies or turning over and dying with their feet up in the air kicking slowly.
It had been 4 days, and not one sign of another beetle. I’ve been checking so I can kill them as soon as I see them again. I don’t want them having their babies or whatever they are and killing all of my flowers again next year.
I think my bushes probably taste horrible to them now. My bushes are showing no signs of damage from the olive oil/tree oil. I did read that olive oil will slow down the growth for a bit, but I was ok with that if that happens. I wanted the bugs to be completely gone before any new roses open up.
There you have it, the one solution that I didn’t find online but that I was pretty sure would work because tea tree oil kills most bugs that I’ve sprayed it on (including lice – mix it in your normal shampoo, wash and nit pick daily until they are gone. Every couple of days, I would do a mixture of tea tree oil/olive oil, spray their heads down, left a plastic bag on their hair for 30 minutes, washed, nit picked, so many more lice were loosened up and removed on those days. Also, make a mixture of alcohol and tea tree oil and spray it on your furniture, down in the crevices of the couch, on the beds, etc. It smells terrible for a bit, but that’s how we got rid of them completely after using every lice product out there.)
Have a great day and keep a bottle of tea tree oil on hand. It is the most diverse natural product you will ever find.