I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
Death To Japanese Beetles!

I have really awesome Russian neighbors.  They are older than me and have an adult son so I try to keep my kids from driving them crazy.  On the whole we have a very nice neighborly relationship.  Gardening is the main bond at this point as it seems the one thing we've got in common.   They've given me a pie for making the view from their kitchen sink pleasurable while they do their dishes.  I spend all summer trying to convince them to take the surplus of veggies out of my beds.  So far they've been happily accepting cucumbers.  We live on small lots so if we are outside at the same time doing yard work, chances are we are going to bump into each other. We share our gardening successes and aggravations, ask for advice and plot future projects together.  None of us are trained horticulturalists or landscapers.  We are trial and error and like to trade our hard learned tidbits of info. with each other.

My neighbors have been driven batty by the onslaught of japanese beetles that are devouring almost everything in our gardens.  My rose leaves are lacy, they are eating the buds before they even have a chance to open.  My apple trees, gladiolas and crape myrtles are also suffering.  They are now onto the chaste trees and munching happily away on both flowers and leaves.

I hate them with a blind passion.  At least the rabbit who is visiting often is cute and there is only one of him to contend with.  No solution had been found to adequately deal with this dreadful little insect.  I kept meeting my neighbors outside as I shook my rose bushes as they were trying and collect beetles in a bucket of soapy water - every few hours.

A few days ago I mentioned that my granny would dump "grey water" otherwise known as used dish water on plants at times.  I wondered if the soap in the water would deter the bugs.   With nothing more than a hunch a spray bottle was procured, a few squirts of Dawn were added to the water inside and we stood together as my front bed rose bushes were inspected and found to be loaded with japanese beetles.  He sprayed and we stood there hopefully watching.  Within 30 seconds the beetles looked drunk and sloppy.  Within 5 minutes they were all dead.  DEAD!

We stood together and laughed.  I do believe some arm cheering occurred.  I almost hugged him!

Do I think this is really a longterm effective solution for japanese beetle control?  No.  But I DO know that it makes me inordinately cheerful to watch those suckers die right before my eyes.  Creatures of God they may be, but my roses are prettier and deliciously fragrant so in comparison the beetles are extraordinarily low down on my list of creatures to appreciate as part of the miracle of life.  Yuck is about all I can muster up when I think of them.

They died!  This solution is cheap and easy.  I've done the expected poking around on the internet and it appears that this is indeed an old-fashioned remedy.  There are heated arguments over which dish liquid to use and whether to add anything else to it to make it more effective.   Dawn is cheap and working well so I'm sticking with that for now.


ETA on June 28th:  I have been spraying once or twice a day and it does work.  Unfortunately the cottoneaster planted right behind it is shouting its displeasure as it is turning yellow and looking pretty sad.  It's got to be the detergent bothering it.  So, the beetles will get to eat my roses and I'm going back to shaking them off instead of spraying.



Anonymous said...

I have bees behind my shutters, can't spray bee spray on vinyl siding but a super soaker filled with water and a decent amount of Dawn will result in piles of dead bees every time! It's fun, cheap & effective

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