Problems with Japanese Beetles and Ticks? Get Guinea Fowl!

Japanese beetles... I hate them! I don’t know anyone that is happy about the introduction of the Lady bug look-alike that swarms homes, stampedes cattle and in general are more then a common nuisance. There is absolutely nothing good about this bug. From the time the soy beans are harvested until frost, most people in farm country stay inside nowadays due to this lady bug impostor.

This year, I'm taking a stand, I have had it. I can’t take it anymore. I miss cook outs and BBQs and riding my horse in the evening when it's cool. I want my fall life back.

This is my year to change the world. I proclaim we all buy Guinea fowl and overrun farm country with the tick-eating, loud and obnoxious birds. I would rather have a bird that eats ticks and Japanese Beetles that I can eat, than I would be forced to stay in doors for over a month due to bugs.

Japanese Beetle2

                                            Japanese Beetle

This year I bought 4 cartons of Guinea eggs at the local sale barn and hatched out about half. We had more then a few power outages that I'm sure resulted in the poor hatch. 22 birds for the $8.00 investment is still well worth while.

I was thrilled when they were all sorts of colors. I got blues, and bronze, pied and whites, purple and pearl. The flock will be colorful to say the least. I have warned my neighbors that they will be having company and if they are kind enough not to be upset with the flock of loud, wild birds they would be pleased with the results.

Advantages of Keeping Guinea Fowl to Eat Japanese Beetles

Everyone here in this little town would be very happy if the birds made even the smallest dent in the Japanese beetles. I plan on growing the flock to over 100 before I start to butcher and start having those BBQs where the kind neighbors will be invited to enjoy some fruits of their patience.

The Internet is full of articles singing the praises of Guinea fowl taking properties that are over run with ticks and pecking their way down to no ticks at all. The same is true with the pesky Japanese beetles.

Disadvantages of Keeping Guinea Fowl to Eat Japanese Beetles

I have to ask myself why in all these years I over-looked Guinea fowl as a resource not only for food, as they are fine dining, but as control of diseases carrying ticks and now more recently the blasted Japanese beetles. The reason is Guinea fowl are not for everyone. They are loud; they never shut up. If you live anywhere near a neighbor this can be an issue. It's best to warn your neighbors within a mile of the new pest in town.

This brings us to the next problem with Guinea fowl they don’t stay home. You are best to get them as day old keets and raise them where they are going to spend their life roosting at night. If you teach them to come in at night, they will.

They will also range an average of a mile around your property, and sometimes more. Clipping their wings only undermines the reason you have them, so this is not really a productive option. If you can put up with the noise and the fact they roam and you have beetles and ticks, then Guinea fowl are certainly an option for you.

They should be in everyone’s arsenal who is trying to battle the lady bug look -alikes, the Japanese Beetle. We all know sprays don’t really work. Guinea fowl seem to be the only option for the serious war on Japanese beetles. I will let you know how it goes with the neighbors…

 Here are my keets with a few Midget White Turkeys in the foreground.

keets - baby guinea fowl

By Gypsy, our resident homestead blogger from One Sky Ranch Gypsy's Wanderings Homestead Blog

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