The organic gardening beetle is also known as the eyed click beetle. It has two large false eyespots on its exoskeleton and when it feels threatened; it flips onto its back and clicks its thorax, causing it to jump up into the air a couple of inches. It keeps doing this acrobatic move until it feels safe. Organic gardeners should not fear the eyed click beetle. It poses no harm to humans or their organic gardens.
Instead, the organic gardening beetle is more interested in eating larvae of wireworms. The eyed click beetle spends most of its time in rotted stumps and logs. Don’t get click beetles confused with another click beetle larvae species called Limonius and Agriotes; these are harmful to your organic garden. The eyed click beetle tends to leave lawns and gardens alone, focusing more on the larvae of wood borers, which are extreme pests for your organic garden. You can find the organic gardening beetle in the eastern part of North America.
There are of course other beetles that like to eat lawns and gardens, such as Japanese beetles called Popillia Japonica. You can find these in eastern gardens and what they do is skeletonize on plants and lawns. Seems harmless, but the way these beetles skeletonize causes the plants, especially roses and grapes, to break down. The larvae of the Japanese beetle are white grubs that eat the roots of grasses in the soil, which causes lots of damage to your lawn.
Instead of investing in those expensive beetle bag traps, you can simply pick them off or knock them off into a big bucket of soapy water. The exoskeletons tend to attract more beetles to your garden. There are parasitic nematodaes that prey on the grubs of the Japanese beetle. These are oftentimes used to control grubs in gardens. If you want, you can apply nematodes in your garden’s soil late in August or early September. Just make sure that the soil is kept continuously moist and the nematode product is fresh.
You can also cover your garden veggies with floating rows by the middle of June to help keep beetles off. Or use Kaolin clay spray on your fruits and veggies (also known as Surround). During summer months, you can let your lawn lay dormant; by constantly watering it will invite white grub problems. So be careful of the organic gardening beetle that is harmful to your lawn and garden and if you see an eyed click beetle, cheer him on – after all he is your ally.
Check out the video below to discover how to control Japanese beetles. It’s a do it yourself contraption that works really well!