Insects and Animals

Buzzing Yellow Stripey Things – Identification

So you’re trying to figure out if you’re seeing a bumblebee or a carpenter bee? I found two excellent guides to figuring this out! Buzzing Stripey Things (pdf) Yellow Stripey Things...

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Will Weevil Larvae Survive In Our Home?

Q: My family bought some pecans from a roadside stand in Georgia as we returned home to Wisconsin. As I shell the pecans, I’ve found some with weevils inside the shell. Do we need to be concerned about the larvae...

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Harm/Benefits Of Spreading My Dogs Ashes On Landscape?

Q: Can ashes from my beloved dog be scattered in my landscape? Is there any benefit or harm to the plants?  A: There will be no direct harm to your plants from scattering the ashes around them. But there might...

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Cats Use Beds As Litter Box – Should I Replace Soil?

Q: I have several raised beds where I grow vegetables. Stray cats like to use my beds as their litter box. Do you think I should replace the soil before I plant in spring.  A: I am not a veterinarian...

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Deer Have Chewed Up My Azaleas

Q: Deer have left my azaleas alone for thirty years but this year a young buck has completely defoliated my plants. What should I do with them now?  A: Deer have incisor teeth in their lower jaw but not in...

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Cottony White Fuzzy Stuff On Houseplant Stems

Q: What could be the cottony white fuzzy stuff on my houseplant stems? How do I get rid of it?  A: It’s very likely your plants are infested with mealy bugs. They are kin to scale insects and both suck...

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Armadillo management tips

Q: I need some help with an armadillo(s) in my yard. They’ve even set up a homestead (dug a tunnel) under my driveway. I’ve been looking for the right remedy for getting it/them out of their home and run outta...

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Do I Need To Treat Soil After Termites?

Q: I had two dogwoods killed by termites. Do I need to treat the soil before planting new trees? A: Termites don’t eat the living part of the tree, they can only digest the parts that are already dead. So...

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Organic control of aphids

Q: I have planted my seedlings in my barn under grow lights this year, a totally separate building away from the whiteflies that were in my garden two years ago. I went to check them yesterday and all are covered...

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Cats use garden for litter box

Q: I have several raised beds where I grow vegetables. Stray cats like to use my beds as their litter box. Do you think I should replace the soil before I plant in spring? A: I am not a veterinarian...

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Non-native plants don’t harm insects

Q: What effect do non-native plants have on insects in our landscapes? A: Contrary to what you might have heard, in some cases non-native plants are beneficial for local insects. Many insects are generalist feeders and can happily consume pollen,...

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Coneflower rosette mite identification

Q: Why are there not any petals on my coneflowers? The plant right next to it is beautiful, full of cones with petals. A: You have coneflower rosette mite. Here are the typical symptoms: > cone has tufts, flower petals,...

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White Fuzzy Stuff On My Houseplants

Q: What could be the cottony white fuzzy stuff on my houseplant stems? How do I get rid of it?  A: It’s very likely your plants are infested with mealy bugs. They are kin to scale insects and both suck...

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Scale insect control on Meyer lemon

Q: My Meyer lemon tree just contracted these yucky little bugs. I did not have them last year. I scraped them all off by hand. What are they and how do ensure they don’t return? A: They are scale insects....

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Aphid control on plumeria

Q: What kind of infestation do I have on my plumeria? I have sprayed it twice with a product containing sulfur & pyrethrins. The little tan insects are smaller than any aphid I’ve ever seen. A: The tan things are...

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Cherry tree heavily infested with scale insects

Q: What’s going on with my young weeping cherry tree. Planted this past spring, it did pretty well, but seemed to drop leaves early. If I rub the white off, I get a bright yellow mustard-colored stain. It’s sticky, but...

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Do I Need To Treat Soil For Termites

Q: I had two dogwoods killed by termites. Do I need to treat the soil before planting new trees?  A: Termites don’t eat the living part of the tree, they can only digest the parts that are already dead. So...

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Sorghum Covered With Insects

Q: My friend has sorghum sprouting near her bird feeder. I noticed the seedhead was absolutely covered with a wide variety of insects, from different looking wasps and ants to other flying creatures.  A: Sorghum (milo) in bird seed comes...

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