Insects and Animals

Spider Mites – Control

Spider mites are difficult to control in the landscape. Symptoms include twisted foliage, “speckled” leaves and tiny webs between leaf stems and main stem. Butterfly bush, verbena, foxglove and several houseplants are common hosts for spider mites. There are three...

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Tent Caterpillars

Tent caterpillars in the wild black cherry trees along the interstate have begun building their homes in the limbs. Like most caterpillars, each of the crawlers is basically a “stomach with legs”. Their existence is dominated by the urge to...

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Egg Candler – Building

If you’re incubating eggs…or just want to determine how fresh an egg is, a candler is a useful tool. Farmers once used a candle in a box…but these plans show how you can use a flashlight or a small lamp...

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Eggs – Incubating

One of the most memorable experiences I had as a young person was attending the Poultry Embryology class at Rock Eagle 4-H Camp. We opened eggs to study embryos, learned about incubators and even dyed just-about-to-hatch chicks blue and red....

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Eggs – How They Are Made

You look at an egg and wonder…..just how did this get made inside a chicken? And how exactly does a baby chick get inside there? And what’s that yucky white stuff on the yolk? Here are some references to help...

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Beautyberry – Mosquito Repellent

Many are the plants and plant oils that are reputed to repel insects! From the citrosa geranium to the lemongrass plant, there are differing levels of insect repellency in their odor. Now comes word that a researcher at the Agricultural...

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Camellia – Cranberry Rootworm

When a gardening friend first described the damage to her camellias on Sea Island, I thought the holes in the leaves must be caused by an insect pest. But when I saw the holes were not round, I shifted gears...

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Grub Control – Poor Results in Spring

We do a lot of dirt digging in spring and sometimes discover white grubs in the soil. The grubs are immature beetles (Japanese beetle, May beetle, June beetle, etc) which feed on plant leaves in June. The grubs themselves feed...

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Plant Hoppers (Planthoppers) – Roosting on Stems

The fuzzy white powder covering the upper stems of hosta, azalea and many other landscape plants looks just like a fungus. Powdery mildew has disfigured the leaves of crape myrtles and dogwoods for weeks, so this white powdery stuff must...

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No BS! Free HS! – Getting Horse Manure for your Garden

Gardeners have used animal manure for thousands of years to add nutrients and organic matter to their gardens. In metro Atlanta, it has become harder and harder to find a stable because owners have had to move as their land...

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Deer Repellents – Scientific Research

There are many repellents for deer; some are sold commercially and some are concocted by homeowners. I found two articles that actually used the scientific process to evaluate deer repellents. Reducing Deer Damage Comparative Analysis of Deer...

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Chigger – Control

“There was a little chigger and he wasn’t any bigger than the head of a very small pin. But the bump that he raises just itches like the blazes – and that’s where the rubbin’ comes in!” A day in...

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Pine Beetles – Diagnosis and Control

Several kinds of beetles ferociously attack drought-weakened pine trees in summer. The Southern pine beetle is the most feared. In September, homeowners typically notice a brown-needled tree, distinct among the other green pines around. By the time the tree is...

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Saddleback Caterpillars

Saddleback caterpillars are one to one and a half inches long. They are distinguished by the large brown spot or “saddle” in the center of their back. Stiff, white hairs cover the sides and both ends of their body. These...

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Sweet Flag (Acorus) – Scale

Former Extension agent Christi Heidt reports an unusual problem: scale insects on acorus (variegated sweet flag). As far as I can tell, this has never been reported before. Here are her comments: “I was really surprised about the acorus. I...

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Pansies -Something Eating Leaves

A skill that gardeners could practice more often is observational horticulture. Sometimes you learn more from just looking around than you do from a book. Last week I noticed that my early-planted pansies were severely chewed-upon. Initially, I suspected chipmunk...

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White Grub – Control

It’s common to find one or two “C-shaped” white grubs when you dig the soil in spring and early summer. A grub is the immature form of a beetle. Some grubs develop into Japanese beetles, some turn into the brown...

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Ticks

The sight of a mosquito on your skin is annoying but not alarming. A quick slap and the bloodsucker is bound for parts unknown. You return to your gardening or sunbathing. But the sight of a tick on your body...

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