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Question: 1357-2816
Is there anything that I can use to get rid of the beetles that are eating the leaves on my peppers? I have been using tweezers to pick them off and putting them in a bucket of soapy water. Sandy, Lebanon, CT

Mort's Answer:
Beetles will move on to their leaves before munching on the peppers. Canola oil would make it difficult for them to hang on, as would olive oil. If it gets to a point where the holes are greater in mass than the remainder of the leaves, you could consider a nerve toxin. Pyrethrins are used on dogs. One spray on the soil under the plants would be enough. I use it in my garden to kill off ticks. I would not recommend any contact insecticide on vegetables. You could continue to pick them off until they or you are ticked off.

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Question: 199-5201
We have been getting red beetles on our storm door glass in the late summer. There are mulched beds not to far away and we live not too far from woods. What are they and how can we get rid of them? Jean, Garrison, MN

Mort's Answer:
There two dominant kinds of beetles that show up in the fall. Soldier and Asiatic beetles eat wood and breed in soil. Your nearby mulched beds can be protected by putting a barrier between the soil and the mulch. Black plastic or landscape matting will provide the needed divider. A downside is the beetles are breaking down the wood mulch to create a richer nitrogen based soil for your plants. Ammonia glass cleaner will drive them away temporarily. Spraying the area with a insecticide will kill them. Sevin or malathion applied to the surface of the mulch will work. Follow directions on the labels.

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