This is awesome. The USDA is doing research into the potential of geraniums to fight back and actually kill Japanese beetles. Now, I'm lucky not to have to deal with these pretty-but-still-really-horrible beetles here in California, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. So I find the USDA's graphic description of the beetles' death remarkably satisfying:
Within 30 minutes of consuming geranium petals, the beetle rolls over on
back, its legs and antennae slowly twitch, and it remains paralyzed for
hours. The beetles typically recover within 24 hours when paralyzed
laboratory conditions, but they often succumb to death under field
after predators spot and devour the beetles while they are helpless.
Great stuff. Keep it up, USDA.
Oh, and by the way. Wicked Bugs. That's a little hint about my new book. Coming in May 2011. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the garden.