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    Sunday, August 13, 2006

    Japanese illegals take over the US. Chemical warfare useless.

    When they inscribed the lines from the Jewish poetess Ms. Lazarus about bringing the hungry and huddled massese on the Statue of Liberty ( now paradoxically closed for ever) they hadn't imagined that the hungry would include the The Japanese Beetle (Popillia japonica Newman) which first arived in the 1930's in the US in a nursery in southern New Jersey.

    Without its natural enemies it has spread as a pest of both gardens and agriculture and is to be found in nearly every state , and in it's adult form is to be found everywhere this month.In Jpan faced with natural predators it present no problems to the gardener or the gariclturalist.

    The insect is a voracious eater both in the larval grub stage in the spring when it feeds on plant roots, of various plants and grasses and often destroying turf in lawns, parks, golf courses, and pastures. It is today the most widespread turf-grass pest in the United States and it causes damage in Millions US$'s and is the cause of over US$350 MN. expenditure on pest control with insecticides.

    The distinctive shiny metallic green and bronze adult beetle is 1/2" long. During the feeding period, females intermittently leave plants, burrow about 3 inches into the ground--usually into turf--and lay a few eggs. This cycle is repeated until the female lays 40 to 60 eggs which will hatch by mudsummer and start to devour turf roots, in the winter the grub burrows and hibernates , then re-appears to destroy more turf in the spring and pupate to become an adult after about 10 months of subterranean life..

    Chemical controls

    A fearsome armoury is used Carbaryl,Malathion, Methoxychlor,Rotenone for the adults and Imidacloprid , Bendiocarb, Isofenphos, Chlorpyrifos, Diazinon for treatement of the soil in the spring to kill the grubs.

    Biological control
    The US Department of Agriculture has been at the forefront of biological pest control since WWII and has directed a lot of effort to control (with some success) but have failed to eardicate this expensive pest.

    2 nematodes , sprayed in a nutrient / water mix Steinernema glaseri and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora are commercially available. A spray of Bt or Bacillus Thuringiensis is often used as well. These worms and bacterial pests infest the beetles and kill them.

    Milky spore or the sporulating phase of the bacterium Bacillus popillae is sprayed on the soil and will inevitably be ingested by the larvae, wher is matures and grows rapidly and distends and eventually kills the grub which will have taken on a characteristic white colour , hence the name.

    Tiphia vernalis--is a small, parasitic wasp of Japanese beetle grubs resembles a large, black, winged ant. Its current distribution is believed to be throughout the Northeastern United States and south to North Carolina. Like all the parasitic wasps the female wasp digs into the soil, paralyzes a beetle grub by stinging, and then deposits an egg on the grub. When the egg hatches, the emerging wasp larva consumes the grub which has made both a handy home and a tasty breakfast.... or two.( Tiphia popilliavora is also said to predate on the Jpanese Bettele)

    Istocheta aldrichi This solitary fly is an internal parasite of the adult Japanese beetle and is the most serious natural predator of the beetle in Japan. The female flies are capable of depositing up to 100 eggs during a period of about 2 weeks. The eggs are usually laid on the thorax of the female beetles. Upon hatching, the maggot bores directly into the beetle's body cavity, killing the beetle.

    Attempts at establishing this predator in the United States have met with limited success, primarily in New England.

    Because it does not take this fly long to kill the beetle, I. aldrichi can often suppress Japanese beetle populations before beetles can reproduce.

    I. aldrichi is commonly seen feeding on aphid nectar deposited on Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), another pest from Japan.

    Lord Patel sought the views of Seth Tumbleweed about this pesky pest , he caught him carving an antique wooden duck decoy our of a piece of a stoop hand rail made from sassafass wood...." Well this is the paradigm of the post war , post industrial society and its direct relationship to asset mobility and globalisation" started Seth, " we whupped they Japs at Iwo Jima and dropped the big bomb"... but they crafty guys had one on us and sent a bomb long time afore. They Jap beetles pretty sure enough taken the continent over since."

    "Jest watch they Muslims do the same" he said, " First they Japs sent us Sony TV's with cases looked like wood but made of plasticky stuff , next thang y'now they've tookover the car industry" .

    Lord Patel left him whittlin' away. (Pic of a beetle on a flower of Althea a popular garden plant related to Hibiscus. Posted by Picasa


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