Tag Archive | pest

Monday Memories 8-7-2017

Ilex vs. Rabbitsimage

Rabbit Deterrents:
•These trees have chicken fencing around them, but it’s right against the bark. It needs to be away (1 foot) from the trunk and at least 6 inches underground, as best as possible.
•There are commercial repellants to use, but need to be reapplied often & don’t generally work according to the experts.
•Spread blood meal, cayenne pepper, manure or dog or human hair around plants.
•Spray plants with a solution of hot pepper sauce and water or vinegar. Reapply the solution after each rain. This solution can be rinsed off of vegetables after harvest and will not affect the taste.
•Use a foul-tasting spray deterrent that contains bitrex. Do not use bitrex sprays on vegetable plants because it will affect the taste of the produce.
•The last solution is a fine rabbit stew. Mmm.

Ilex vs. Snails & Slugs

Euchemotrema hubrichtiPreventing damage should start from last year’s observations, if possible. Most likely, if you had them last year in your garden they will be back.
Clear leaf litter from around susceptible plants. Don’t give them a place to hide.
Make a barrier of eggshells, twigs, or ashes around the plants as they don’t like to crawl over rough or sharp material. Copper wire or pipe is also effective, relying on the premise that the copper delivers an electric shock to them.
Provide a halved orange upside down as bait at night, and remove the takers the next morning.
Use a shallow lid buried in the ground and fill with beer or lemonade. Slugs and snails cannot resist a free drink, and will come and drown in the pool.
For smaller plants, make a cloche by cutting the bottom off a plastic bottle, bury slightly, and remove the lid for ventilation.
Encourage frogs and birds to your garden as they can’t resist a meal of escargot!

Ilex VS Lawn Fungus

disease Triangle

Changing your lawn care habits might reduce your risk of fungi problems. A healthy lawn has a really good chance of pulling through a fungal infection, but that is up to you!

  • Water your grass regularly, but don’t water it too much because waterlogged grass invites fungi. Don’t set your irrigation and not monitor it.
  • Dry grass can also makes your lawn more susceptible.
  • A nitrogen-based fertilizer applied annually (in the fall) supplies your grass with the nutrients it needs to flourish.
  • When you mow, don’t remove more than one-third of the length of the blades of grass at a time. A healthy length for grass (from the thatchline) is 3 inches tall.

I’ve noticed many different types of fungus coming out in droves because of our weather this season. Some are fairly rare and hard to treat.

Ilex VS Sycamore Anthracnose (Apiognomonia veneta)

The most common signs of Sycamore Anthracnose are:image

  • *Heavy leaf and twig drop in late spring
  • *A thinning crown
  • *Random, dead leaves in canopy
  • *Distorted limb growth
  • *“Witches’ broom” growth (dense clusters of twigs)
  • *Cool, wet, spring weather will aggravate the spread of this disease.

If the average daily temperature at the time of leaf budding is below 55 °F, anthracnose infections will be severe. If the average daily temperature is 60F or above during this time, disease incidence will be greatly reduced.

 

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Monday Memories 6-12-2017

Many of these pests / diseases are making their way around again. Be sure to monitor your plants, as many of these issues are easily dealt with in the early stages.

Ilex vs Rose Sawfly

imageLarvae can be effectively controlled with a neem oil product or an insecticidal soap. Spray only the leaves (both sides), in the morning as neem oil can possibility hurt pollinators (More research needs to go into that). The strategy is to find larvae while they are still small and before damage becomes severe, like our roses! There is no need for control after the larvae have finished eating and left the plants, give or take mid-July.

One last note, these are not caterpillars, they are actually primitive wasps, so Bt or Bacillus thuringiensis will not work.

Ilex VS Oak Wilt

Oak wilt is confused with other problems such as drought, construction stress, borers, and root problems.

These symptoms would include:Image

  • More noticeable during late summer
  • Regular size leaves, little wilting
  • Leaves browning evenly
  • Leaves remain on the tree after discoloring
  • Dying trees scattered throughout stand
  • More common on stressed sites
  • Signs of borers or root disease

Oak Wilt symptoms:

  • More noticeable during early summer
  • Small leaves, thin crown, wilting
  • Edges and tips of leaves bronzing first
  • Leaves drop soon after discoloring
  • Dying trees found in groups (root grafts)
  • Streaking and discoloration of vascular tissues

Ilex VS. Dutch Elm Disease

dutch elm diseaseThe DED fungus is spread by two insect vectors: the native elm bark beetle (Hylurgopinus rufipes) and the European elm bark beetle (Scolytus multistriatus). The fungus is transported on the beetles from infected trees to healthy trees as they feed on twigs and upper branches. The beetles lay their eggs in the bark and wood of stressed trees along with elm firewood with the bark left on. Developing larvae form channels just under the bark and the fungus grows through the galleries until it reaches the tree’s water conducting cells, or xylem. Chemicals manufactured by the tree during its effort to fight the disease plug up the xylem, causing the tree to wilt.  In the Midwest, beetles typically have two generations per year.

Ilex VS Four-Lined Plant Bug (Poecilocapus lineatus)

The four-lined plant bug (Poecilocapus lineatus) removes plant’s chlorophyll  via their piercing-sucking mouthparts. They also secrete a toxin in their saliva that digests the components responsible for holding the plant cells together that leaves a hole in the plant’s epidermis. This feeding produces white, dark, or translucent spots the plant’s leaves, which can run together forming large blotches. Leaves can turn brown, curl-up and ultimately fall off. If feeding occurs on new growth, wilting may result. This is a photo of a nymph. He was doing just fine in the damage department.

Ilex VS Eastern tent caterpillars ~ Malacosoma americanum

imageThese guys are often confused with fall webworms, and bag worms, although all three are quite different. Tent worm nests are active early in the season while webworms are active late season. Tent worms like to make their tent nests in the forks of branches, while webworm nests are located at the tips of branches. Fall webworms also enclose foliage or leaves within these nests. Tent caterpillars do not. Bag worms are single worm homes made of the foliage from the tree it has decided to call home. They mostly evergreens like junipers or arborvitae. I like to remember the difference like this… A bag can hold one, but a tent can hold many.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern plant Girl

Halyomorpha halys ~ Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

imageThe Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is a true bug in the insect family Pentatomidae. It is an agricultural pest in its native range of China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Recently (in 2000), the BMSB has become a serious pests of fruit, vegetables and farm crops in the Mid-Atlantic region and it has been spotted in other states as well.

As with all true insects, it feeds by using its proboscis to pierce the host plant. The BMSB feeds on many ornamental plants, weeds, soybeans, corn, peppers, tomatoes, tree fruits and berries. Their feeding on tree fruits such as apples or peaches results in damage called, “cat facing,” and renders the fruit unmarketable.

Here in the U.S., there are generally only one generation hatched per summer, however in their native range, 4 to 6 generations could hatch in a season.

The BMSB also likes to share your warm home with you in the winter. Just like ladybugs and boxelder bugs, they will flock near your doors, waiting for you to open one just long enough for them to fly in.

As their name states their business quite clearly, don’t smash these guys or vacuum them up while removing them from your home. I use the ‘cup and card’ method of catching them and throwing them outside to avoid the smell!


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Leaf-Footed Bug ~ Leptoglossus oppositus

image

Leptoglossus oppositus or the Leaf-Footed Bug, is a common, minor pest of many kinds of crops, including fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and ornamentals. It is a major pest in the southern states containing citrus, pecan and peach fields, where its feeding on ripening fruit causes fruit drop, among other issues.
These guys are cousins of the stink bug (Perillus) and do emit a smell when threatened. He’s another ‘SBD Dropper’ when nervous.
Ironically, they choose to pick host plants in the conifer family, rather than fruit. Native conifers they tend to decide to live in are:

wp-1473038201382.jpg

Leaf-Footed Bug with parasite

  • Lodgepole Pine ~Pinus contorta
  • White Spruce ~ Pinus glauca
  • Douglas-firs ~ Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • Eastern White Pine ~ Pinus strobus
  • Red Pine ~ Pinus resinosa
  • Mountain Pine ~ Pinus mugo
  • Scots Pine ~ Pinus sylvestris

Eggs are laid in small groups on the needles or leaf stems of the pine, and hatch in spring. Nymphs go through 5 instars before reaching adulthood. In the United States, the species only has one generation per season, however in southern Europe, it completes two generations a year and in tropical Mexico, three.

The poor guy to the upper right there has a parasitic egg attached to his right shoulder (thorax). I checked with Bugguide.net (an AWESOME source for insect ID) and they are not 100% on what type of hitch-hiker this is, however lean towards the Tachinid family (true flies) .

In the northern parts of its range (here, the Midwest), September is the time these bugs start to move about to seek crevices for overwintering. This is the fun time of year when all the bugs want to come in and enjoy the warmth… They will have to fight with the Lady bugs and Boxelder bugs to find a good place to sleep!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

 

On a funny note: I will remember this insect as the LEFT-Footed Bug, as that is what my brain first registered when reading the name, along with the Latin name solidifying it by having ‘oppositus’ in the name.

 

Mossy Rose Galls ~ Diplolepsis rosae

Plant galls occur in an intriguing variety of strange shapes, textures and colors. Some are asymmetrical, bumpy, or warty, where others are smooth and round. Some galls have thick growths of fuzz, hair or spines. Moss galls (or galls in general) do not harm the plant, unless there are quite a few of them. They need the plant to live to also be able to live.

image     image

Galls result from a complicated interaction between two living organisms. The gall-maker (insect, disease or mite) causes the plant to modify its growth into a special dwelling that surrounds the gall-maker. In the case of mossy rose galls, it is a small cynipid wasp called, Diplolepsis rosae.

The Mossy Rose Gall Wasp emerge from the old galls in early spring (April to May) as the weather turns warmer. Females lay eggs for about 3 weeks in the dormant buds of roses, preferring the rugosa line. Larvae hatch and as they feed on the buds, chemicals in their saliva causes the leaves to distort and grow large galls. The larvae live within the gall, all the while feeding and growing to finally emerge the next spring. There is one generation per year.

image     image

There’s really no pesticide that can cure this. If you can’t handle seeing them on your rose, prune them out.


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Ilex VS Woolly Aphids

Woolly aphids sure sound cute… Until you notice a flock of them has landed on your favorite plant, like this echinacea.

These guys are the size of a pencil lead, fluffy white and travel in large groups. You don’t usually see just one of these guys. The white fluff is actually a wax that protects the insect. They aren’t specific in their meals and can be seen feeding on foliage, buds, twigs and branches, bark, and even the roots.
If no action is taken damage materializes as twisted and curled leaves, yellowing foliage, generally poor plant growth, branch dieback, or even the development of cankers and galls.
Parasites, predators and even heavy rainfall will help reduce the populations naturally.  If you believe the natural population controls need your help you can use a forceful stream of water from the garden hose to dislodge the aphids or prune and remove selected, heavily infested stems and water sprouts.  I like squishing them. Spraying with insecticide is rarely justified.

image

These were lined up on my echinacea stem. When I moved in with my gloved hand, they jumped quite powerfully, out of the way of my squishing fingers. Ah, looks like I was going to have to be faster. Boom. I move in and wiped the stem in a swift motion. 6 down, with only two jumpers. Next stem fairs better with 4 casualties and no jumpers. I got this.

image     image

There are numerous species of woolly aphids, and they feed on many types of plants. They usually require two separate food plants called the primary host and the secondary host. They live on the primary host plant during winter and spring, on the secondary host plant in summer, and then return to the primary host. However, there are several cycles between the start and end of the season. Their seasonal, breeding cycle is very strange. Let’s see if you can wrap your mind around these funny gals:

image

  • In fall, the eggs are laid on the primary host.
  • In spring, they hatch into wingless females.
  • These females give birth to live young without mating (parthenogenesis). Each female can give birth to hundreds more wingless females.
  • In late spring to early summer, the wingless females give birth to winged females that fly to the secondary host plant, where they give birth to wingless females again.
  • In late summer and early fall, winged females will again be born.
  • They fly back to the primary host plants and change things up a bit by cloning themselves as both female and males!
  • The males and females mate and the mated females lay eggs. Low temperatures kill the adult aphids while the eggs wait patiently under the mulch for the warmth to start the cycle again!

That’s some crazy Shyt!!

 

 

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Ilex VS Leaf Miners

Leaf miners can cause a fair amount of damage to a plant, if the gardener isn’t paying attention. A leaf miner is the larva of an insect that lives in and eats the leaf tissue of plants. Most of leaf-mining insects are moths (Lepidoptera), sawflies (Symphyta) and flies (Diptera), though some beetles also begin this way. This feeding action causes strange scribbles to appear on the leafs of some unfortunate plants.  I’ve always thought of the book ‘Charlotte’s Web’ when I observe these… Always wondering if I’m going to read,”Some Pig!” one of these days.

image     image

It looks like a prescription from my doctor…

I spotted them in my Vervain Mallow (Malva alcea) this summer. This plant is considered a weed here, although I think its pretty and allow it to grow in my garden. With the weed title in mind, I can’t find much information on what fly causes these tunnels. Either way, it doesn’t matter. The way to get rid of them is the same for all miners. Squish or remove leaf. It is that easy. I try to find the newest feeding area and squish the leaf between my fingers, thus squishing the insect. If there are too many on a leaf, remove it and throw it away.

image     image

Someone got confused and laid an egg on an annual   ||   Leaf miners on columbine

Miners overwinter as pupa in the soil, then morph into flies that lay eggs on the underside of leaves. The eggs then hatch into maggots and burrow inside the leaf tissue to mature. Three species of miners in the genus Phytomyza are associated with columbines.

 


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Monday Memories 6-6-2016

Lots of critters and diseases are coming out to play with our plants. It reminds me of this patty-cake game we played as young-ins…

See, see my playmate,
Come out and play with me
And bring your dollies three
Climb up my apple tree
Holler down my rain barrel
Slide down my cellar door
And we’ll be jolly friends
Forever evermore.
Oh no my playmate
I can’t come play with you
My dollies have the flu
Boo hoo boo hoo
Can’t holler down rain barrels
Or slide down a cellar door
But we’ll be jolly friends
Forever evermore.

Say, say, my playmate
Don’t come and play with me
Don’t bring your dollies three
Cut down my apple tree
Fall off my rainbow,
Into my cellar door
And we’ll be enemies
Forever evermore.

Say, say my enemy.
Come out and fight with me.
And bring your bulldogs three.
Climb up my sticker tree.
Slide down my razor blade.
Into my dungeon door
And we’ll be jolly enemies
Forever evermore.
Say say old enemy
Come out and fight with me
And bring your bb gun
And we’ll have lots of fun
I’ll scratch your eyes out
And make you bleed to death
And we’ll be jolly enemies
Forever evermore.

Oh little enemy,
I cannot fight with you,
My mommy said not too
Boo hoo hoo hoo
I can’t scratch your eyes out
And make you bleed to death
But we’ll be jolly enemies
Forever evermore.

Ilex vs Rose Sawfly

imageLarvae can be effectively controlled with a neem oil product or an insecticidal soap. Spray only the leaves (both sides), in the morning as neem oil can possibility hurt pollinators (More research needs to go into that). The strategy is to find larvae while they are still small and before damage becomes severe, like our roses! There is no need for control after the larvae have finished eating and left the plants, give or take mid-July.

Ilex VS Gooseberry Sawfly – Nematus ribesii

Many of the same family insects have the same timing.

This is the gooseberry sawfly that had attacked my gooseberry for two years a few years back. The last two years, they haven’t been found. Awesome sauce!!

Just for the record, using dish soap is not acceptable for a cheap substitute for horticultural soap. Now-a-days, the dish soap is not soap anymore, detergent is the main ingredient and modern soap lacks the fatty acids that are helpful in killing (smothering) the insect.

Ilex vs The Asparagus Beetle

wpid-20130611_174006.jpg

These little guys are my bane.  I use IPM (Integrated pest management), meaning that I hunt and squish bugs! I can’t say that I am pesticide free, but most issues can be taken care of without chemicals. IMO no chemical action is need for these beetles. But, if you must, I’ve sprayed neem oil on the eggs after harvesting time, which is sometime late June (soon). There are normally 2 cycles of insects here, but there could be more.

The easiest way to catch these buggers is to have a cup of water ready. As you move towards them, they move to the other side of the stalk (quite funny to watch!) Put the cup under them & wave your hand near them. Their instinct is to drop to the ground, but instead, the cup of water will catch them. The larva and eggs aren’t as easy to remove. It’s the same method I use for typing… Hunt & peck.

 

Ilex VS Oak WiltImage

Oak wilt is a disease caused by the fungus Ceratocystis fagacearum, that is either spread by beetles of the nitidulid family (commonly known as sap bugs), or by root grafts. The disease clogs the vascular system of the tree causing wilting.

This disease kills red oaks including; red, black, pin, and scarlet varieties. White oaks including; white, bur, and swamp white oaks tend to pull through, although it takes many injectable fungicide treatments and a lot of care must be given.

How to Attract Butterflies!

My mom called them "Flutter-by's".Click he link for a list of larval plants for many butterflies!
Amelanchier spp. – Serviceberry

  • Bruce Spanworm
  • Blindy Sphinx (small)
  • Striped Hairstreak
  • Amorpha canescens
  • Black-spotted Prominent
  • Dog Face
  • Asimina triloba
  • Zebra Swallowtail

Ilex VS. Dutch Elm Disease dutch elm disease

During the early summer is when effected trees are the easiest to identify. Leaves on the upper branches will curl and turn a gray-green or yellow and finally, crunchy brown. This symptom is called “flagging”, although a flag alone is not complete assurance that the tree has DED. Another symptom is brown streaks in the sapwood beneath the bark of affected branches, which is the blocked xylem. However, only laboratory isolation and identification can positively confirm that the tree has DED. Check with your local extension or State University, usually they will perform this test for a nominal fee. Most arborists find these two symptoms are enough evidence to treat or remove an elm.

Ilex VS Euonymus Scale

escaleEuonymus scale (Unaspis euonymi) is a pest that is around all year, especially on groundcover euonymus. Treatment should be done when the crawlers emerge, which is around the early part of June, although it may be a bit later this year. Male adult scales are white, and females are dark brown and are shaped like an oyster shell. Euonymus scale overwinters as a mated (pregnant) female on the plant stems. Eggs develop beneath the scale and hatch during late spring.

 

©Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Four-Spotted Sap Beetle ~ Glischrochilus quadrisignatus

Four-Spotted Sap Beetle (or ‘picnic beetles’, ‘picnic bugs’, or ‘beer bugs’) feed on sap from injured trees, decaying vegetables or fungal matter. They love ripened fruit, as well as beer, wine, fruit juice and fermented beverages. The beetles like to party in large numbers when these beverages are present, often drowning while enjoying their libation. Then I get to enjoy protein in my wine =-P

They can be a nuisance to farmers, however they don’t generally bother crops until something else causes the crop to be damaged in some way. Once damage is done, like Japanese beetles nibbling on tomatoes do they come from miles around. They aren’t strong fliers, however scientists have tested marked beetles by placing a basket of rotten tomatoes 200 yards away, and the beetles found the prize in less than two hours.

Researchers have also found that their favorite food is beer mixed with bananas. Hmmm, I do peanut butter and bananas.. However, I wouldn’t think to down my meal with beer, yuk.

image   image

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

1 Down – 632,764,231,897,752 To Go!

imageGoodness!

It is March 14th, 2016 and I just killed a mosquito that was going to snack on me. Here is what was left of the bitch after I got through with her. Makes you want to think twice about messing with me 😉

She is a pretty powerful beast and I’m not tooting my own horn here, however she is considered one of the most deadly animals in the world! (Most likely just under human). She can transmit infections such as malaria, yellow feverwest Nile virus, Chikungunya, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika virus and other arboviruses.

I’m sure our recent bout with over 50F degree temps woke her up from her hibernation. Yes, these bitches hibernate.

Those bloodsuckers can smell their dinner from a distance of up to 100 yards via carbon dioxide. Other things that tend to attract them include:

  • People with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin attract mosquitoes. That doesn’t mean that these dive-bombers prey on people with higher, internal levels of cholesterol, but those people who have more of the byproducts of processing cholesterol, which remain on the skin’s surface.
  • People who produce a higher amount of certain acids, such as uric acid, can trigger a skeeters olfactory glands, luring them in.
  • So can Uncle Bob and his application of a half a bottle of Old Spice.
  • People wearing darker clothing.
  • People with type O Blood tend to get snacked on more, followed by B, with A coming in last.
  • People moving around and sweating, compared to the folks lounging on chaises.
  • The Drunks will get attacked more over the Sobers as alcohol raises temperatures and causes more flailing of the arms 😉
  • That being said about the sweating above, more specifically, these whores like old sweat. Bacteria on your skin will change odor after it has been snacking on chemicals in your sweat. So, if you had a rough day of activities, then slow down for a seat at the campfire that evening without showering, you’re essentially screaming ‘Bite Me!’.
  • Another fav smell of the incarnates of evil are smelly feet! It’s the double-latte-three-shot-espresso version of old sweat. You may not attract any human females with that stench, but the mozzie females will go nuts. Don’t eat Limburger cheese either. Did you know it was the same bacteria that makes your feet smell. Eauuuu!
  • Stop eating bananas, the added potassium makes you more attractive to bite.  Eat more garlic and vitamin B1 instead.

I wish you the best in the upcoming season of itch.

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl