Monday, July 25, 2011

Return of An Unwelcomed Guest(s)

The day before I was set to leave for a vacation in Sudbury, I discovered my yard had a visitor. In fact, quite a number of visitors. Insects from the order Coleoptera had decided to feed on the leaves of the Corkscrew Hazel, Sand Cherry and hedge in my yard. These beetles are native to Japan and were first recorded in Canada in 1939. Since then, the Japanese Beetle has caused problems for farmers, nurseries and home owners in many states and provinces.

Last year, Jean and I found only a few of the invasive pests in our garden. This year however, the numbers have increased greatly and they have acquired a taste for the leaves of a Corkscrew Hazel tree in the backyard. At first, I tried to pick them off of the tree but for every 1-2 I removed, another 8-10 would emerge from the inner branches and leaves to escape placement into an empty yogourt tub. Knowing I could not win this battle, I took the garden hose and sprayed the entire tree with a good dose of H2O. With travel plans the next day, my options were limited and spraying the tree would help temporarily.

A grape vine that has crept over the fence from the neighbour's yard was also harbouring some Japanese Beetles. When searching for additional Popillia japonica, I came across this large orange beetle. It appears to be from the Scarabaeidae family, the same family that contains the Japanese Beetle and the Asiatic Garden Beetle. After a little searching, I identified this large insect to be a Grapevine Beetle.

A few years ago, this beetle caused heavy damage to my mother-in-law's ornamental grapevine. So, I quickly disposed of this specimen as well.

The next day, Jean and I left for Sudbury. Taking action to prevent further damage would have to wait. I had some Big Nickel birding to do.

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