Ok so I have been invaded with black beetles and they are eating my cabbages and beans. I really don't want to use a chemical on my plants so how can I get rid of them. I will try to get a picture of them so you have a better understanding of what I am dealing with.
Hi Christene - I'm not sure what type of beetle is in your garden - perhaps its the Japanese Beetle? - but there are some good natural pest control methods that you can try. Have you tried Neem oil - its derived from the Neem tree and works like insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils to plug the spiracles on the beetles, the holes on their body they use for respiration. Other natural methods include handpicking, and using poultry or birds as a pest control - chickens love beetles!
I hope this helps. Here's a link on Neem Oil:
Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) works well for many critters. It is a bacteria. The most common name at the Feed 'n' Seed ('round here) is Dipel. If you want to go completely free of anything whatsoever then time to break out the ShopVac. Suck up all the buggies, put them in a blender, spray the juice back onto the plant. Serious. It has been studied that insects release a pheromone when in danger (of eminent blending), which their unblended brethren will interpret as 'stay away."
Hi Christene - Try this recipe. I've seen many variations, and it looks like it works best. Remember, the spray must be applied regularly, particularly after rain.
6 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp dried hot pepper
1 minced onion
tsp pure soap (not detergent)
1 gallon hot water
Blend & let sit for 1 - 2 days. Strain & use as spray. Ground cayenne or red hot pepper can also be sprinkled on the leaves of plants (apply when leaves are slightly damp) to repel chewing insects or added to the planting hole with bone meal or fertilizer to keep squirrels, chipmunks, dogs and other mammals away from your gardens. Be sure to reapply after rain.
(via: Capital District Community Gardens - http://www.cdcg.org/pests.html#garlic)
I have tons of Japanese Beetles too. I usually knock them into a bucket of water and Dr. Bronner's. You can get Milky Spore at garden centers or lawn care section of some bigger grocery stores. You apply it to your lawn (per directions), I think it may be in the fall and spring. It's a bacteria that doesn't affect anything but the beetles. The larvae eat it and it takes over their bodies, multiplying and spreading out into the dirt. It supposed to last something like 10+ years. It's a little pricey though depending on your lawn size.