Insects and Animals

Green June Beetle – Crossing Road

Q: I have seen many of these crossing the streets in my neighborhood lately. Could you please identify for me? Looks like a cross between a large maggot and a caterpillar! A: It’s the grub of a Green June Beetle...

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Pandorus Sphinx Moth Caterpillar – Identification

Q: Any idea what this is? (The caterpillar, not the quarter ;o) A: It’s a pandorus sphinx moth caterpillar. I’ve never seen one before. I suspected it was a sphinx moth due to the body shape and the prominent spots....

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Squirrel Damage – To Bluebird House

Q: What happened to my bluebird house? Was it squirrels or raccoons? A: I think either a gray squirrel or a flying squirrel did the damage. I lean toward flying squirrel because I took down a damaged bluebird box one...

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Raising Chickens – Rules for DeKalb County

Q: I’ve heard that the DeKalb chicken-keeping ordinance has recently changed. The problem is, I cannot find any official documentation about that. Do you happen to know the latest? A: Anne-Marie Anderson (The Celtic Gardener, (404) 667-1219, www.facebook.com/thecelticgardener_ says” As you are no doubt aware,...

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Puss Caterpillar – White (and Venomous)

Q: I’ve never seen a white caterpillar before, nor one that looks like it is covered with fur like an angora kitten. Do you know what kind it is? Is there such a thing as an albino caterpillar? A: Yikes...

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Leaf-footed Bug – Nymph

Q: We noticed this pretty bug on the side of our car. The bug was gesturing at us with its antennae and abdomen. A: It just wanted to be friendly! It’s a nymph (i.e. juvenile) of a leaf-footed bug, Acanthocephala...

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River Birch Sawfly Larvae – Proper Control

Q: In March I drenched the ground around our two river birches with the Ortho product which has imidacloprid. Each tree has 3 trunks, each about 6 inches in diameter. I used a 40 oz. bottle and divided it between...

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Millipedes – Identification

Q: We have an abundance of these things in and around our home. What is it and how do we get rid of them? This one is nearly five inches long. A: It’s a North American millipede, Narceus americanus. There...

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Yellowjackets – Trapping With Bowl, Bait and Oil

I’ve described on radio how to make a monitoring trap for yellowjackets using meat bait and some cooking oil. Here’s how it works: Get a cereal bowl, a piece of sandwich meat and some vegetable oil. Roll the meat into...

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Goats/Sheep – Using for Weed Removal

Q: What do you know about using goats for removal of ivy, privet and the like? A: Goats or sheep can be pretty effective, especially in places where it’s too steep or overgrown to mow. Here are some articles about...

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Barklice – On Crapemyrtle

Q: Can you identify these bugs? I have several clusters of them on my crepe myrtle trees. A: They’re barklice. They feed on bits of bark and lichens but don’t hurt trees. Exotic though they look, there’s no need to...

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Elephant Ears – What Happens In Winter

Q: I often see big elephant ear plants being used in commercial landscapes. What happens to the plants in winter? Do they give them away? A: Local landscaper Ed Castro says most companies simply compost the plants. It would be...

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Lubber Grasshopper – Identification

Q: A huge black grasshopper settled for a rest on my Japanese maple. Any idea what it is? A: It’s a lubber grasshopper. Their “skin” varies in color as they grow from nymph to adulthood. Black ones are not unusual....

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Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum) – Care

Q: I received a plant from my grandmother called “Hens n Chicks”. Some of the hens seem to be dying and the chicks are still going strong. What should I do? A: Hens and chicks, Sempervivum tectorum, is native to...

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Zucchini Circles – Solved

When I was asked what could cause spiraling grooves of damage to a zucchini squash, I was initially perplexed. Nothing I know of would make that sort of damage. It was posted on Name That Plant and it received several...

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Verbena – Slug Damage

If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it! Diana W. asked me “Have you ever had a blooming verbena plant on which all the flowers disappear overnight?” “Sure.” I acknowledged. I’d noticed my new red...

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Imperial Moth Caterpillar – Identification

Q: My son moved to Raleigh, NC and sent me a picture of this caterpillar. It’s about 6 inches long. A: It’s a very handsome imperial moth caterpillar. It goes through different color changes as it matures from initial egg...

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Caterpillars – Removal From Sweetgum

Q: We have noticed lots of caterpillars nesting in the sweetgum trees. Is it worth trying to control this infestation with insecticides or will they disappear by themselves? A: I think you’re seeing fall webworms. They build their protective webs...

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