Check out this little guy - he's sort of a cute little critter, isn't he? All shiny and different colors... The only problem is he's on his way to a party...
And THIS is what the party looks like (this next picture is NOT for those with more wholesome tastes...):
Yes, they're doing EXACTLY what you think they're doing.... And they're doing it ALLLLL OVER my yard, in my shrubs, in the garden, EVERYWHERE. Awwwww yeah! (Cue the dirty video music - boom chicka bow bow!)
You can't walk across the yard without getting pelted on the side of the head by a Japanese beetle on his way to one of the orgies somewhere on one of my plants. Heck, I even had one crash land IN MY HAND.... That made things really convenient for me. 'Cause where there's a party, there should be some DRINKIN'!
That's just a couple days worth of collecting when "the partying" first started. A few days after that I dumped it out and started over. And got THIS in under an hour:
Not only were the Japanese beetles at it, but the squash bugs are doing it with a LITTLE more decency - they're trying to hide under the giant leaves of my squash and pumpkins. You'll see one of them, caught AND killed in a fit of ecstasy at the bottom of the jar...and those leaves floating around with dots on 'em? Those're the eggs of the squash bugs...I keep picking the leaves apart to try and only get the parts with the eggs, figuring the plants might want their "solar panels" still in place.
Check out these two - they look a bit shocked. GASP! I don't know what kinda critters you are, but you're doing it on MY PLANTS! Get a room - in someone ELSE'S YARD!
And these here are some of my most hated. The cucumber beetles. Just so you know, they're not as particular as their name implies. They also like squash and pumpkin plants. And they like things a bit more romantic - right there in the reproductive organs of the plants themselves... I'm finding this is actually kinda cool - sometimes I'll find six or more of them going at it down IN the male blossoms of the plants. And since there are SO MANY male blossoms, I have no qualms twisting that blossom tip shut (if it's not already closing on it's own, trapping the passionate little buggers inside), and then picking it off and stomping on it. (Yes, you might catch me "dancing" in the garden. That's not a dance. It's frustration!)
And for all those squash bugs you don't catch? Just one of them can leave LOTS of these little patches all over your plants...and then those eggs will hatch out before you know it, and you have DOZENS more squash bugs.
Cute story. My first year of gardening, when I was trying to be all organic and wholesome about the gardening, I didn't want to kill off ANY critter I didn't know was bad. And I saw all these eggs all over the leaves of my squash!! And I talked to those eggs each time I saw them, telling them I was CERTAIN they were going to be BENEFICIAL insects, and how grateful I would be for all the help they'd lend.
And then they hatched. And they were cute. Not fuzzy bunnie cute, but little immature insect cute. And again, I told them I couldn't wait to see what wonders they would do in the garden.
If I remember right, I only got maybe a couple squash that year. Oh, and ALL my squash plants died in record time.
Boy was that a lesson!
And here's something new I've learned. It's kinda fun, since the squash/pumpkin patch is within spitting distance of the pond out back, to pick the squash bugs off the plants and toss 'em into the pond. GULP! The neighborhood kids stocked the pond with fish, and the fish LOOOOVE squash bugs!! They also seem to love Japanese beetles, but I have to be MUCH closer to toss those in before they fly off. You have to admit - this is about the most "organic pest control" as I can get! ;-)