Insects and Animals

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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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Acorns and Wires Chewed Through Around Car Engine – Culprit?

Q: My car would not start one morning. When I opened the hood there were acorns on top of the engine and nearby wires were obviously chewed through. What do you think did it?  A: I offer up three suspects:...

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Deer- Resistant Plants?

Q: We recently planted some dwarf loropetalum and mahonia. We were told they were deer proof but the neighborhood deer ate them. We are looking at the following replacements: abelia, gardenia, camellia, osmanthus, and distylium. Any more? A: You’ve made...

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Pine Tree Killed By Pine Beetles – What To Do With Stump?

Q: What do you do with the stump once you remove a pine tree that has been killed by pine beetles?  A: Pine beetle attacks are not typically so low on a tree trunk as to infest the stump. I...

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How To Get Rid Of Snails?

Q: This past fall I noticed little snails crawling on my outdoor furniture. I think they are coming from the decaying mulch we put down last year. How do I get rid of the snails? A: Your snail population should...

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How To Make Moles Move On?

Q: I have moles currently making roadways in my yard. I’ve been told that they are not feeding off grubs but earthworms. How can I make the moles move on?  A: Moles certainly eat grubs and earthworms, but they also...

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Repel Rodents – Ultrasound Devices?

Q: I need advice on ultrasound devices that repel rodents.  A: They are useless. The reason ultrasonic devices don’t repel animals, even though they can hear sounds we can’t, is that ultrasound does not pack much energy. A sofa, a...

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Tomato – Caging to Deter Squirrels

Q: A friend says that she feeds the squirrels in her landscape bird seed, which she believes keeps them from eating her tomatoes. I’m afraid this will only cause more squirrels to come into my garden. What are your thoughts?...

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Soybeans – Planting and Fertilizing a Deer Food Plot

Q: We are planting soybeans in a food plot for deer. The seed company recommends 0-70-120 for fertilizer. What does this mean and can we mix it ourselves? A: Since fertilizer dealers in different parts of the country sell different...

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