Are Japanese Beetles Eating Your Knockout Roses? Bag-A-Bug Save-A-Plant

Bag-A-Bug
Bag-A-Bug
Beetle Mania
Beetle Mania
Poor Petunia
Poor Petunia
Yesterday, these used to be leaves on my rosebush.
Yesterday, these used to be leaves on my rosebush.
Yesterday, these used to be rosebuds.
Yesterday, these used to be rosebuds.
Japanese Beetle
Japanese Beetle

Ridding Your Garden of the Dreaded Japanese Beetle

I am not the world’s best gardener. As a matter of fact, I am lousy with plants. But, there are a few plants in the summer time I do okay with.

One is my petunias. I love planting them and tending to them because they turn out so beautiful, make me feel accomplished, and are easy to take care of. If you would like to read more, I did write a hub on planting petunias.

The other plant I do all right with are Knock Out roses. You plant them and can leave them alone if you want and just watch them bloom. I normally try to deadhead them – meaning cut the old buds off so the new shoots can come through quicker. (I feel so big using the gardening term “deadhead.” Learned it last year, and I feel so proud.) You do not have to deadhead the Knock Outs, though. They will grow back anyway.

Both petunias and Knock Out roses are a good investment of your money for a beautiful yard.

Last year, I kept hearing about the dreaded Japanese beetle and how destructive it was. Then I experienced firsthand what those little bugs could do.

They look like a cross between a June Bug and one of those brown bugs that beat themselves against any type of light. All my plants were victims to this destructive little critter. They were hanging in clumps off my plants.

My husband and I found a fix for them that just amazes me. It is called BAG-A-BUG. You can buy them at Lowes or online, and I am sure you can find them other places too.

They are amazing. The Spectracide tablet you place on the yellow vane that you hang in a tree attracts the beetles.

You need to place them away from your house and plants so they will not be a nuisance as they fly by. The bag literally catches thousands of them in a day.

You will want to buy replacement bags; the money you spend is well worth saving your plants, and it is not very expensive to buy a box of bags.




This summer I had not heard anything about the Japanese beetles on the news like I did last year. I didn’t give it much thought and figured we were in the clear. Then, in the past few days, I noticed my petunias were being eaten – the flowers, not the greenery. Then I checked my roses. The bush had been full of buds about to bloom a couple of days before. Now, the buds are gone and the leaves are eaten with barely the stems in place. I could not believe they had arrived so quickly and had already taken out my petunias and roses. Fortunately, they are hardy plants and will recover.

My husband got the Bag-A-Bug out and put it together at the kitchen table. When he walked out the back door, he was immediately swarmed by the beetles. They were a cloud around his body. I wish I could have snapped a picture of it. It would have been a blur, though. He raced to the back fence, hung the bag in a tree, and ran out of the cloud of beetles.

Later, I just had to see if my plants were safe and if the bag was working. I flipped a couple of bugs off, but that was it. They had almost all migrated to the bag. I went out to check the bag, and the beetles were all clumped around the opening. It was like the beetles’ version of getting in to see The Beatles after the show was sold out. The bottom part of the bag is probably the size of a man’s hand, and it was already full.

The bag is shaped like an hourglass so once the beetles get in, they are trapped. A warning: You will want to change the bag almost daily or every other day because once they fill up the beetles on the outside will go back to your plants. Also, they stink to high heaven if you don’t get rid of the bag.

Hopefully, your area is not inundated with the Japanese beetles. If it is, get Bag-A-Bug in order to save those lovely plants. I do not mean to sound like an infomercial, but these bags really do work.

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Comments 16 comments

Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

The beetles going to see the Beatles! How cute! I wish I had a green thumb for something. I haven't ever been able to keep a plant alive. I may try petunias and knock out roses though! They don't sound too difficult. :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

If I can grow them, anyone can. LOL I am working on getting my pictures up for this hub, but I am doing something wrong. AAARRRGGGHHH! New computer, and I have never had this problem before.


Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

Can't wait! Good luck - and try to be patient, that always helps. Or, so I've heard. LOL ;-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

So I wouldn't throw my new netbook through the window, I moved back to my ole trusted desktop. :-) All is well again.


Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

Wise. Very wise.


Crobin28 profile image

Crobin28 5 years ago from Pelham, Alabama

Oh wow!! We don't have those in Alabama I don't guess. I'm not a big gardner and the only plants I do grow are indoor plants! I think I'm too lazy to work in the heat of the summer!! Haha!! My mother has always had a green thumb and so she can grow a water lilly in the middle of the dessert! She amazes me sometimes with the things she can do!


Michele VanHoose 5 years ago

Fun adventures in the garden! I wish I could have been there to see D get swarmed! Ha!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Remember Tom Hanks in THE MONEY PIT?? Well, not really... LOL


wreath 5 years ago

I live in the western STL area and they are terrible here. I have a Bag A Bug trap and estimate I have killed about a thousand in the last two weeks with no reduction in current numbers.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Wreath,

They seem to be slowing down a bit in SW Missouri. We have three bags up about 40 yards from the house, flowers, and garden. They have saved my plants from being plagued. We do have to change the bags out every one to two days. They smell HORRIBLE. You might want to put them in a garbage bag before putting them in your garbage can because the smell will knock you down.

Thanks for commenting!! :-)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

What about this year? Gulp! Please tell me we don't have them this year - I am going to check my roses tomorrow - I have had beautiful roses this year! I just bought some petunias today! I left them outside - I hope I didn't set them up to be eaten! lol


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Yep, one landed in my hair the other night. Early Spring and warm weather are causing them to start early. They may be worse in the country, but if you start seeing holes in your leaves, look for them then get some BAG A BUG and put it on the back fence or a place furthest from your plants. Good luck! :-)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

We don't have them here thank goodness! Loved the line about The Beatles! Great hub and I'm sorry you have that problem!


crjack59@mediacombb.net 4 years ago

Another good way to rid your plants of the pesky beetles is to spray the ground with liquid seven early in the spring and then again in the fall. This will kill the larvae and stop them from hatching out. Also, I would spray my plants{lots of blooming perineals} about twice during the summer...........works great!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Bill! I am glad you do not have them. We have had an early spring, and they have arrived early. I think I caught them in time this year. I like to stay away from the chemicals as much as possible, but sometimes I do have to resort to Seven spray or dust.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

crjack, I have tried all of that. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Thanks for commenting! :-)

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