This is the second beetle that I found, last Monday, on a flower of 'Paul Ecke, Jr.'
Japanese Beetles exist to do only two things: they eat and they mate to make more beetles for next year, and they can usually be found doing both things at once. Roses are a favorite meal for them, as are the grape vines next door at Hartwood Winery.
When I do rose presentations for garden groups, my most frequently asked question is about how to deal with the annual plague of Japanese Beetles. I don't use insecticides of any type in my garden ... and beetle control for me is a two-level process that takes a bit of effort ... I know this is a disappointment to the quick-fix type of folks. (They tend to want a magic bullet, one-time thing. Sorry, there's not one for these nasty pests.)
Step One is to place beetle traps. I know what some of you are thinking ... we've been led to believe that beetle traps attract more beetles than they catch. This may be true to some extent, but my plan is to remove as many of these nasty creatures as I can from the available pool of eligible mating partners. The beetles that are lured to their deaths by the traps (a) won't be eating my roses and (b) aren't contributing to the population of next year's brood.
Step Two is to hand pick any beetles that I find on the roses. I walk the garden with a small bucket of soapy water in the early morning, when it's cool and the beetles are sluggish, dropping any beetles I find into the bucket ... no beneficial insects are harmed in the process. Later in the day, I dump the dead beetles and rinse the bucket.
If there is an up-side to this, it's that Beetle Season only lasts for a few weeks in the heat of summer when the roses aren't at their best anyway. I do what I can to keep up with it, trimming off dead and damaged flowers and foliage. Before I know it, the beetles and the summer heat are gone, and the roses get back to doing what they do best ... producing flowers and making me very, very happy.