Insects and Animals

Toad – Identifying Droppings

Q: I’m trying to figure if this animal dropping is from a toad or cat. I’m kinda not thinking cat because it’s on concrete every time and we have three labs so I don’t see cats often. We do have...

READ MORE

Japanese Maple – Asian Ambrosia Beetle toothpicks

Q: My Japanese maple appears to have fallen victim to some sort of attack. Some of the limbs and branches have begun to sprout some kind of growths and the leaves on the affected limbs and branches are wilting. What...

READ MORE

Butterfly Bush – Spider Mites

Q: My four-year-old butterfly bush is starting to die. I am perplexed as it has been a great performer. No pests or mildew seen. A: Is there any chance of herbicide or other pesticide applied nearby? The twisted leaves reminds...

READ MORE

Raspberry Sawfly – Identification

Q: There is something eating my red raspberry leaves. This happened last year after planting and is starting again this year. Can you suggest an organic solution? A: It looks like raspberry sawfly. Sawfly larvae are inconspicuous. They feed from...

READ MORE

Snake Skin – Identification

Q: I found this snake skin in my garden. It makes me nervous to be working outside. Any ideas what it is? A: I’m not expert enough to positively identify a snake by its shed skin but because this is...

READ MORE

Hosta – Vole Damage

Q: My hostas looked beautiful, until suddenly one totally wilted. Now, ten days later, the affected one seems to have a “phoenix arising from the ashes”! Is this from a vole? A: I think this is a vole damage. Voles...

READ MORE

Green Spotted Frog – Identification

Q: I was wondering if you might know what kind of frog this is. He’s very cute but shockingly bright. We live in Ringgold, in the woods. A: It’s a barking treefrog. see...

READ MORE

Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle – Idetification

Q: A friend gave me a milkweed plant that is supposed to be good for monarch butterflies. I’ve noticed an insect that I have never seen before eating the leaves. Do you know what this is? A: It’s the larval...

READ MORE

Blueberry – Leaf-footed Bug

Q: My sister has three different types of blueberry bushes that produce delicious berries. But I have noticed lots of these flying guys have also been enjoying them! Can you tell us what they are and what we can do...

READ MORE

Goats – Milk is Safe after They Consume Poison Ivy

Q: If goats eat poison ivy is the milk safe to drink? A: Goats enjoy poison ivy foliage very much. As with dogs and cats, if the goats brush against a vine you can get a rash after petting them....

READ MORE

Okra – Holes in Leaves (Hibiscus Sawfly)

Q: I noticed my okra leaves beginning to show some holes. The leaves also have a lot of worms on them. What can I do for this? A: It’s hibiscus sawfly damage. Early on a humid morning you can find...

READ MORE

Squirrels Nesting In My Old Oak Tree- Can They Hurt It?

Q: Squirrels appear to be nesting in a knot hole in my ancient oak tree. Will they hurt it? A: I can’t think of any damage the squirrels might do. They don’t gnaw oak bark nor do they enlarge a...

READ MORE

Purchasing Beneficial Insects For My Yard – Ladybugs

Q: I’ve wondered about purchasing beneficial insects for my yard. I’m particularly interested in ladybugs to combat aphids on milkweed that I plant for butterflies.  A: Lady beetles certainly do eat aphids. The problem is keeping enough lady beetles around...

READ MORE

Can Millipedes Harm Anything?

Q: In all this dampness, we have had a lot of millipedes. They crawl up the side of the house and across the drive. Can they harm anything?  A: They don’t bother anything except your nerves. It’s creepy to step...

READ MORE

Restore Bare Places From Empty Ant Hills

Q: How do you restore the bare places from fire ant hills in my centipede lawn that have been vacated after using ant bait? A: Wait until early May when the soil is warm and drag a rake a couple...

READ MORE

Why Should`nt I Use Dawn Dish Soap To Kill Bugs/Weeds?

Q: Why don’t you recommend using Dawn dish soap to help kill bugs and weeds? A: The number one reason I don’t mention Dawn for garden use is that it doesn’t have a pesticide label that permits it. Strictly speaking,...

READ MORE

What Can We Plant To Repeal Mosquitoes?

Q: What can we plant to repel mosquitos instead of using chemicals? A: I hate to burst a popular bubble but no landscape plant has been shown to repel mosquitoes. It is true that the sap of some plants is...

READ MORE

Can I Use Nicotine Tea As An Insect Repellent?

Q: A neighbor swears by nicotine tea to spray for insects in his vegetable garden. He takes a wad of chewing tobacco wrapped in cheese cloth and lets it sit in a gallon of water for a week then uses...

READ MORE