Insects and Animals

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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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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Pansy – Caterpillar Damage

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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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. Saddlebacks...

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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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White Grub – Control in Lawns

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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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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Hornet – Control

It is startling to pass by a shrub or small tree in the yard and suddenly notice a gray, football-shaped hornet nest hanging down. Hornets have received such bad press in cartoons and folklore that you might instinctively cover your...

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Unseen Biting Bugs

When you have an itch, you scratch it…and you look for a likely cause. Perhaps it’s poison ivy, maybe it’s an ant bite or maybe it’s one of those unexplainable “it just itches” kind of things. On the other hand,...

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Lawn Insects – Soap Flush

Lawn insects can be hard to find, especially when young. One way to detect them is to use a soap flush. Mix 4 tablespoons of dish detergent in a 2 gallon bucket. Pour the mixture over a six square foot...

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Yellow Jacket – Control With Glass Bowl

Yellow jackets can be a real pest in late summer and fall. They swarm out of the nest at the slightest provocation, looking to punish whomever disturbed them. Want to know what works to kill a nest? We do too!...

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Screech Owl Box

Owls are excellent predators in a small landscape. They capture voles, mice and small snakes. It’s easy to build a box for a screech owl family. Make it 8″ by 10″ by 15″ tall with a 3″ hole. Hang 15...

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Ticks – Identification and Control

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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