Insects and Animals

Daylily/gardenia/gladiolus thrips identification and control

Q: I have discovered these tiny critters all over my gardenia bush, only in the flowers from what I can see, as well as in my gladiolus. What are these and how can I get rid of them? A: It’s...

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Green bumps on rudbeckia are rudbeckia psyllid

Q: These little light green bumps surrounded by a black spot showed up on my black eyed Susan‘s almost overnight. They are throughout the patch on many different leaves. Is this a bug or is this a fungus? A: Widely-knowledgeable...

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Cottony taxus scale on yew

Q: I did a spring trim of my Scott Wallace yews and found a surprise under the needles. What is it and how do I deal with it? A: This is cottony taxus scale, aka cottony camellia scale. The insects...

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Small Worms Near Meyer Lemons

Q: While watering my Meyer lemon tree I found a lot of small worms crawling on top of the soil. How can I eliminate?  A: I think you are seeing the larvae of dark-winged fungus gnats. They live in very...

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Bluebirds Stopped Coming To Their House

Q: We setup a bluebird house in our rain garden. White-breasted nuthatchs went in and out for a few days. Then the bluebirds showed up. Today the nuthatch is going in and out. Did the bluebirds just give up? Is...

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White Grubs In Mondo Grass

Q: I was replacing my dying mondo grass and as I planted the first one I found a white grub. Could that be the cause of my plants dying?  A: White grubs, which eventually turn into various spring and summer...

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Nuthatches and Bluebirds Fight Over Birdhouse

Q: We setup a bluebird house in our rain garden. White-breasted nuthatchs went in and out for a few days. Then the bluebirds showed up and took over. Today the nuthatch is going in and out. Did the bluebirds just...

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Diagnosing (Identifying) Holes in the Yard

Sometimes many heads are better than one when it comes to solving a problem. Wade Hutcheson, my Extension colleague in Spalding county, gets plenty of calls from the citizens of his area asking his help in identifying various holes in...

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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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