A couple of days ago, I walked outside and saw a bunch of very unwelcome guests on my Clematis vine – Japanese beetles. As you could probably guess from their name, they’re originally from Japan and were accidentally introduced to the US in 1916. Since there’s no natural predators, they can pretty much swarm and destroy people’s plants without pause.
I decided to go online to find out the best way to kill them and several hours later I finally come across the information I need. You might expect that finding information about how to kill the most costly invasive insect in America would be easy. Instead, everyone talks about how evil pesticides are as well as touting natural solutions. I realize pesticides aren’t the healthiest thing in the world but when I have at least 300 beetles in my yard eating things at a very quick rate, I need something that works.
Finally, I come across a study done on the 6 most popular pesticides and 6 most popular natural solutions and guess what – it’s not even close. The natural solutions were at best just a little better then doing nothing and any one of the pesticides would reduce the damage to the plants to almost zero. In my case it couldn’t reverse the damage but it could stop the damage.
That was a couple of days ago and while my plants like the Clematis above don’t look good, they haven’t been eaten much more (thank you 1-naphthyl methylcarbamate) so they might make it through the year.