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Killing Japanese Beetles: A True Story

I've made money in about eighty different ways, but killing Japanese beetles for gardeners never came to mind as a job. It's something new, and that's one thing 'm enjoying about running my Most Interesting Money Maker Contest. I get to hear about all these ways I've never never considered nor even heard of. So here is the story/contest entry about the Japanese beetles sent in by a subscriber to the Unusual Ways newsletter...

Steve Osgood

When I was around 12 I found a great way to make some money. Living in suburbia in Ohio everybody had their own veggie garden. The problem was an outbreak of the Japanese beetle. If you ever encountered a Japanese beetle they are pesky little creatures with a hard shell and a love of destroying everyone's garden. There was also not any easy to use pesticides at the time to kill them off, until I came along.

After testing out on my parent's garden I realized that dunking the beetles in hot water brought them a quick death. So I started selling my services to the neighbors; I would get rid of your beetles at a price of 5 cents per beetle. In a couple of hours I could put down 200 to 300 of these critters, and could usually pull in 15-20 dollars a job which was a lot of money back then, and even better I was fighting off invasive species. I did this every summer for maybe 3 or 4 years, you know until I discovered girls.

Now I think I could make even more money if I found something to do with the dead beetles, either making them into some sort of organic gardening product, or as fish food.

Or maybe make them into earrings - I've seen stranger jewelry. Come to think of it my wife and I sold earring made of fish scales. Maybe they could be made of Japanese beetle wings. In any case, thanks for the story.

I by the time you read this the contest is over, go ahead and subscribe to the newsletter. I'll announce any new competitions in it. Or just send along any story you have of an odd way you've made money. If I put it on the site I'll send you an e-book of your choice (with at least three to choose from).



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