Apart from the intense heat and lack of good rains so far this season, Christmas beetles are out in full force, as usual for this time of the year, munching my rose bushes with gusto, it seems .. and my new season basil plants!!
Did you know : The adult female lays 20-30 eggs underground in Dec/Jan. Once hatched, the larvae spend a year, still underground, feeding on decomposing organic matter and grass roots during winter. In spring they move closer to the surface, constructing a chamber out of soil in which to pupate. These pesky pests then emerge, flying off to nibble on sweet juicy leaves, and reproduce. Their life cycle comes to an end, having spent most of it underground.
I didn’t know all that until now. I only knew that they were annoying … and Christmas was coming !!! Besides nibbling leaves, creating a lattice look around the garden, they, being attracted to light at night, make a B-line for open doors and windows on a suicide mission smashing head-first into walls, lamps and anything in their way including humans!!! They love dive-bombing plates, bowls and pots of food ending belly-up .. legs waggling frantically !!!!