Japanese Beetles

We recently moved to NC-near Myrtle Beach-from Long Island, NY. This is a "learning experience" for us. The gardening is much different. Our soil is heavy clay. This is the first time I've had to deal with SO MANY Japanese Beetles. It started the first week of June. How long can I expect this invasion to last ? We have hummingbirds, butterflies etc coming to our yard... so would like to keep their safety in mind. The lots on either side of us are empty... would spraying for grubs help?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Despite the tough gardening conditions, I hope you'll learn to love gardening at your new home. I've gardened with heavy clay soil for many years, and it can be overcome with lots and lots of compost. Every fall, I still haul in bags of leaves that my neighbors have put out on the curb. Now, about the Japanese beetles... With two vacant lots next door, your garden is the best restaurant in the neighborhood for those rotten little herbivores. Spraying won't help, and would probably just put the hummingbirds and butterflies at risk. The best remedy is to keep a bucket with soapy water at your side when you're in the garden. Pick the beetles off by hand and drop them into the water. Yes, it's gross. But I've found that an aggressive drowning expedition early in the season reduces their population substantially later on.

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