Insects and Animals

Earthworms – Thousands of Casting Mounds

Q: Last year I had a beautiful lawn but now I fear I’m losing it. There are thousands of small mounds of soil similar to ant hills but much smaller. This condition covers the entire lawn area. Can you tell...

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Hen and Chicks – Blooming

Q: I’ve talked with several gardeners and none have seen a Hens & Chicks bloom. This plant is over 10 years old. A: Hubba-hubba! You’ve done very well! Most succulents, particularly those kept as houseplants, bloom reluctantly. I think the...

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Pine Beetles – Identification

Q: Can you identify what the goo is oozing from the trunk of a pine tree in my backyard? I would hate to have to remove the tree. A: The “goo” is hardened resin from the tree. It came out...

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Knock Out® Rose – Decline

Knock Out®  rose has become a ubiquitous part of urban landscapes in the last decade.  It blooms reliably and is resistant to black spot leaf disease. Usually it is trouble free. However, I have noticed several instances where the rose just...

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Ground Birds – Plants to Feed

Q: I want to plant grasses that feed and provide cover for ground birds on two acres of cultivated land. I want to provide feed and shelter for turkey, grouse, whippoorwills, quail, meadowlark and others. Where can I find information...

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Kudzu Bugs Bothering You?

Those folks living near kudzu patches have known about the kudzu bug since 2009. This olive green/brown insect is about the size of a ladybug and imparts a distinct smell to the area where they congregate. It is well known...

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Squirrel-proof Birdfeeders

Squirrels are the bane of bird feeders. I went though a half-dozen plastic and wooden feeders before I bought an Eliminator from Wild Birds Unlimited. It has a weighted, adjustable perch which allows lightweight birds to feed but slams a...

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Skiff Moth Caterpillar – Identification

Q: This green critter was found on a Japanese maple tree leaf. It is 1/2″ long and 3/8″ wide and 3/8″ high at the tallest point. The two dark brown “balls” are some of the excrement of this bug. Underneath...

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Bean Leaf Roller – Identification

Q: Attached is a picture of a pest I found on my lima beans in the garden. Can you help? A: Your distinctly red-headed creature is a bean leaf roller caterpillar. Its parent is a long-tailed skipper butterfly. I’m sure...

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Tomato – Fruitworm

Q: I have several of these on my tomato plants and have no idea what they are. They don’t look like cutworms and they only seem to be eating the leaves. Can you help? A: You have a tomato fruitworm....

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Yellowjackets – Traps

Q: We have lots of yellowjackets on our patio. What is the best trap for them?  A: I have tried the commercial trap with special baits but the most effective traps were inexpensive or home made. I had a thriving...

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Snails – In the Classroom

When I worked for the UGA Extension folks several years ago, I was a member of the National Science Teachers Association. In an article, they suggested that kids could learn a lot by keeping large snails in the classroom. We...

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Crayfish – In the Classroom

When I worked for the UGA Extension folks several years ago, I was a member of the National Science Teachers Association. Their magazine, Science and Children, contained many good ideas for teaching science to my 4-H Club members. I saved...

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Box Turtle (Terrapin) – In the Classroom

When I worked for the UGA Extension folks several years ago, I was a member of the National Science Teachers Association. Their magazine, Science and Children, contained many good ideas for teaching science to my 4-H Club members. I saved...

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Japanese Beetle – Decline in Numbers

Q: We have always had a problem with Japanese beetles in summer. So far this year (2012), we have not seen any at all. None! What’s up with that? A: Just as the mild winter increased the number of ticks...

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Hornet Nest – Near Bee Hives

Q: My husband is a beekeeper. A hornet colony has built a sizable nest on the back of our house. What makes it unique is that the nest is flush on a window and you can see inside the nest....

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Majesty Palm – Scale Insects

Q: We have a majesty palm at work that was purchased six months ago and it constantly gets brown leaves. It has new growth, but they always seem to die off fairly quickly. It gets watered 1 2 times a...

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Mud Dauber (Dirt dauber) – Buzzing Sound

Q: How does the mud dauber make the buzzing sound when nest building? The wings do not appear to move. A: Mud daubers do indeed make a buzzing sound when they are working. I’ve noticed it when visiting barns and...

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