In just a few hours, they munch their way through the green leaves of a plant, leaving lace-like skeletons in their wake. And then they march on to the next plant.
I won't say they have met their match (as they seem to be winning); but Ed and I are putting up a good organic fight. Ed rigged up a trap that is designed to lure them into a one-way bag with some sexy beetle pheromones.
And several times a day, we make our rounds to their favorite hangouts and either squish them between our fingers or shake the branch, causing them to fall straight down into a bucket of water, from which they can't figure out how to fly out of.
Like so many of the things we fight on this farm, these bugs are invasive. They arrived in the U.S. in 1912 on Japanese Iris bulbs and were first noticed in New Jersey. Ever since, they have been making their way west. Their larva is a grayish-white grub that chews on the roots of plants, causing havoc with nice lawns (fortunately, we don't have any nice lawns). The adult emerges from the ground in late June and hangs around for about a month, eating voraciously.
Guess I know what we will be doing for the next month. Wish us luck!