What Japanese Beetles?

Japanese Beetles on a tasty green leaf
Japanese Beetles on a tasty green leaf

One of the great things about living in the Ozarks is the constant changing of seasons. It seems like only a few days ago we were in the throes of ice-storm season, and then came allergen season, and of course thunderstorm season, and now we’re in the midst of Japanese beetle season.

If your house has not yet been overrun and your plants devoured by Japanese beetles it means one of two things. Either you have the crappiest tasting plants in your neighborhood, or you have a neighbor like me.

Here at the CowChows we try to get along with everybody, but when the Japanese beetles began eating the green off our shutters it was time to take action. We thought about insecticide but couldn’t find one that kills only Japanese beetles. I tried going around squishing them but that quickly turned into a fulltime job. And then we heard about these nifty “Japanese Beetle Traps.” What could be better than that? You hang up this plastic bag with a little scented lure; all the beetles do a Hotel California conga into the bag, and no other bugs get hurt. It sounded perfect so we bought a bunch of them and hung them up all around the place.

There’s just one little problem with this solution. It works too well. All the beetles for miles around were magically drawn to our yard. We had bags full of them, and then trash bags full of those bags, And then, under the summer sun they began to rot and stink until our neighbors began to complain about the stench and when we said, “It’s the Japanese beetles,” they said, “What Japanese beetles?”

Turns out we had solved the Japanese beetle problem for everyone around us. While we were doing battle with these voracious little devils our neighbors thought we had developed a hygiene problem. That’s when I realized I was doing it all wrong. So, I gathered up all the lures and went for a walk around the neighborhood. Now when one of my neighbors complains about the Japanese beetles I just smile and say, “What Japanese beetles?” Life is good here at the CowChows.

Cordially yours,

Tim Couch