Insects and Animals

Flea Beetle – On Tatsoi

Q: What’s shotgunning my tatsoi? I’m trying to get an early start to the season. These are in a hoop house. A: This looks like damage from flea beetles. They are common in summer gardens, particularly on eggplant. It makes...

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Slug – on Broccoli

Q: I found these bugs on my broccoli plants. What’s the best way to control them? A: You have a slug, not a bug. A common online remedy for slugs and snails is to press a saucer into the ground...

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Ground Bees – Natural Control

Q: These bees that come out of the ground and make our yard ugly in the spring. What can I use to kill them? A: Wow, that’s a lot of ground bees! I have them too, but I like mine...

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Protecting Hostas From Animals

Q: Last year rabbits chopped the stems off my hostas at ground level. Is there anything to discourage them from feasting again this year?  A: Like deer, rabbits will eat just about anything that’s young and tender in spring. A...

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Recommendations For Flower Seeds That Help With Beehives?

Q: My brother is a beekeeper. Do you have a recommendation for flower seeds that could be planted to help his hives? A: There are dozens of common flowering plants that honeybees adore. The goal is to have something flowering...

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Is It Too Early For Bluebirds?

Q: A bluebird just appeared in my back yard. Isn’t this too early for them? A: My neighbor, Cathy G., maintains nesting boxes in our neighborhood and feeds bluebirds in her yard year round. They don’t typically migrate. During the...

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Indoor Stink Bug Problem

Q: I have an indoor stink bug problem. I kill ten or so every day but it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference.  A: You likely have a bunch of brown marmorated stinkbug (BMSB). They love to suck...

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Hemlocks And Adelgid Insects

Q: Have researchers developed a hemlock that is resistant to woolly adelgid insects? Would you recommend not planting hemlocks? I need tall thick screening in an area that gets some sun and shade to block noise and view.  A: There...

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How To Control Fire Ants?

Q: Do cucumber peels, coffee grounds, cinnamon, or grits control fire ants? A: In a word, no. The grits/fire ant control myth has been around for ages. Folks mistakenly think that fire ants will eat the dry grits, which will...

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Nematodes – Sampling and Control

Q: How do I sample for root-knot nematodes before planting a fig? A: Nematodes are tiny worms in the soil. Some species, like root knot nematode, harm plants by parasitizing roots. It is difficult to sample for nematodes before you...

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Woodpecker – Damage to Dead Tree

Q: This is a small dead tree in our back yard. It looks like some kind of animal was trying to make shavings, shreds of tree lying at the base. Any ideas? I have lots of woodpeckers on my farm...

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Frozen Icicle on Tree Limb – Squirrel?

Q: Why is this branch dripping? It’s way up high on the ‘Squirrel Highway’ they use to go from tree to roof. A: My bet is a squirrel stopped for a snack and chewed on the tree limb, which caused...

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Used Gas On Yellow Jacket Holes – Why Are They Now Flying Over Area?

Q: We used gas on three different yellowjacket holes. There are now dozens of yellowjackets flying over this area during the day. Is it possible these insects were not in the nest when it was destroyed and are trying to...

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Deer Ate Japanese Maple Leaves – Will It Survive Winter Inside?

Q: Deer ate all the leaves off of my four-foot-tall Japanese maple. Will it survive if I bring it into our sunroom this winter?  A: I think there’s a good chance your Japanese maple will sprout leaves next year without...

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Lacewing Eggs – Identification

Q: I found these white things on a satsuma leaf. A: Lucky you! You’re seeing the eggs of a lacewing. You’re lucky because lacewing larvae are ferocious predators of sapsucking aphids, scale insects, spider mites and whiteflies. Look around on...

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Fire Ants – No Control With Cucumber Peels, Coffee, Cinnamon, Grits

Q: Do cucumber peels, coffee grounds, cinnamon, or grits control fire ants? A: In a word, no. The grits/fire ant control myth has been around for ages. Folks mistakenly think that fire ants will eat the dry grits, which will...

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Lawn Service Saw Grubs, How Do I Treat?

Q: My lawn care guys told me that they saw grubs in areas where the fescue had died. How should I treat for them?  A: I would first ask for the guys to show you the grubs. White grubs are...

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Finding Scorpions Indoors

Q: Our ranch-style house is built on a slab, primarily one level. In an average year, we may find two or three scorpions indoors. But since the beginning of September we’ve started finding them almost daily, in all parts of...

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