Insects and Animals

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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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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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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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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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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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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Carpenter Bee – Identification

S. M. e-mailed to ask what is the difference between a carpenter bee and a bumble bee. Since I am not a trained entomologist, I called Dr. Paul Guillebeau to find out. “Just look at their rear end,” he advised....

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Fire Ant – Control

Fire ants can be a real problem in home lawns. While they do not directly affect the grass, they can cause damage to mowers and other maintenance equipment. They also sting people and pets, making the lawn an uninhabitable area....

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Southern Pine Beetle

When I was a boy, one of my favorite pastimes was to stack up several soup cans, walk a few paces away, then throw rocks at the tower of cans until they tumbled down. I was convinced that if I...

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Scale

Scale insects range from pinhead size to a quarter-inch in diameter. In general, they are easy to scrape from a twig or leaf. Many exude a reddish liquid when squeezed. Scale often release a sweet liquid (honeydew) that attracts ants...

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Azalea Lacebug – Control

You may have seen the damage lace bugs do to azaleas without knowing who did the dirty deed. Lace bugs suck the juice out of individual leaf cells. Since they hide underneath azalea leaves, you’ll never notice the bugs but...

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Flea – General Control

Great fleas have little fleas Upon their backs to bite ‘em, And little fleas have lesser fleas, And so ad infinitum, And the great fleas themselves, in turn, Have greater fleas to go on, While these again have greater still,...

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