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Japanese Beetles attacking my hops!

I went outside tonight to trickle water my first year Cascades and Kent Goldings and noticed some of the leaves chewed up. I started poking around and noticed Japanese Beetles attached to the underside of my hop leaves. Now you can mess around with my tomatoes, grapes, bushes, shrubs and trees… But when you touch the hops, IT’S ON! I examined each leaf and crushed all of the little buggers (and must admit, got a lot of satisfaction from doing so) but am guessing that I only won the battle and the war has yet to begin. Make no mistake, when it comes to my hops, I will gladly patrol the front lines daily and crush every beetle I see into oblivion. Will this be enough? Or should I prepare to go critical mass on these damned things. I hate to spray stuff on my hops, but I will exercise the nuclear option if I can’t keep up with these little turds. Any advice?

I’d spray them now. Last year my mom had seven hop plants (mostly because she like the viney look and because I want the hops) and she got a japanese beetle infestation and they killed everything. No hop production, dying vines and they multiply like crazy so I would try and get rid of them now. She waited too long and ended up spraying them a number of times, at which point they had already started to breed and then they just kept coming back.

I have problems with the J Beetles myself. The problem with pesticides on hops is that you can’t wash it off like you would with fruit or vegetables. The only thing I use on my hop plants is Neem oil. It does help a bit with the beetles, but it needs to be reapplied frequently, and it’s no where near as good as something like Sevin.

Sevin works great to deter J-beatles but is a nasty product. I won’t have this problem until june up here. This year I’m going to try something I heard about. Mix equal parts garlic powder and cayenne powder, the cheap stuff, with water and spray your plants. I’ll have to wait to try it but give it a go if you like. I hope it is effective. I hate J-beatles !

I haven’t tried it, but one recommendation is to beat on the string with a wiffle ball bat to knock them off, preferably dropping them in a bucket of soapy water.

Yeah, I twanged the jute rope my bines are climbing on like a banjo string, and the beetles all fell off. Then I gleefully crushed the damned things. Here’s my problem with using pesticides though: I am growing my hops in Florida, and I’ve already got cones. I suspect it’s more from the High Pressure Sodium Light the utility company installed for some reason on the power pole in my backyard, than it is from the climate or sun cycle here. I think the hops are convinced they are growing in perpetual daylight and are confused or something. But yes, I’ve already got cones :smiley: , and I just really don’t want to spray my precious little buds of flavorful goodness! Perhaps I will try the garlic and pepper thing… Sevin dust probably isn’t a good idea at this point.

Well now I just hate you because it just snowed six inches and I definitely don’t even have anything sticking out of the ground for my two plants. Damn you people in the warm climates (insert image of me shaking an old man stick at you in hostility).

HA! LOL I’ll be shaking my stick at you when July and August arrive, and at three o’clock in the morning it’s still 95 degrees and 95 percent humidity… I was born and raised here, and still have yet to get used to Florida Summers. They are brutal man.

Fair enough and noted. Sounds like a good time for a nice low gravity beer. :cheers:

Indeed! My Munich Helles is currently lagering and has another month to go in the keezer. It’s my first attempt at a Munich Helles, but boy oh boy that one should taste good after spending a couple of hours mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges when it’s in the 90’s outside. I absolutely cannot wait to bottle that one up and drink the fruits of my labor on a hot day!


As for an update on the Japanese Beetles, It appears I am gaining the upper hand without having to use pesticides yet. This morning I only found one crawling around in the dirt waiting for me to crush it with joy, but no more on my hop plants thus far. Perhaps word has gotten out in the beetle community advising the others to pick another yard. This guy is highly protective of his hops!

Look into a product called diamataceous earth. A rather brilliant and simple answer to many home and garden pest. And it’s Safe for Human Consumption. It has rid me of spiders, and silverfish in the house, and I have ZERO pest problems in my garden. When I start growing hops, I will use it on them as well.

FWIW my grandmother uses around 20 drops of dawn dish detergent is a bowl of water and it keeps the JB’s off of her roses.


Thanks, I really appreciate it. I will check into using that!

specticide makes a japenese beetle spray.

Just wondering if any of you have had any luck keeping the little sumbeeches off your plants? I had no problem until they decided to have a 4th of July party in my yard! My hops & beans were covered with them. I sprayed Sevin since there’s no cones yet & hung 2 beetle traps in my yard. Must be a couple hundred in the traps already, but more troopers on the way! Did anyone try the garlic/pepper spray method? Man, i hate those bugs! :evil:

I’ve had OK luck with Neem in the past, but what made the biggest difference for me is treating my lawn for grubs. I haven’t had any run-ins with the J Beetles the past 2 years since I started treating my lawn. If only it took care of the cucumber beetles and cabbage loopers as well…

I have heard the traps only attract more beetles and doesn’t help the problem. I had some on my tomato plants and quickly knocked them out with a .024% pyrethrin spray.

+1 Dont put up traps unless you put them in the next acre. they use pharamones to attract the little munchers. only bring them in from an acre away. what dont fit in the rap eat your plants.

I concur… I treated my lawn as well with grub killer, and have not seen any more J Beetles since. This seems to work.

Thanks for the info. I’m assuming the grub killer is applied early spring, right after the frost leaves? Not sure if my neighbors do that, so i may be screwed anyway. Maybe i’ll try to bribe them with some homebrew!! :slight_smile:

That would be correct sir. The product I used was Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Killer in granulated form from Home Depot, but I believe it also comes in a spray bottle you can attach to your garden hose. It purports itself to last for 3 months (which I highly doubt), but it definitely decimated the J Beetle population in my hop yard, as I haven’t seen any more since.

Great idea bribing them with homebrew!!

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