Insects and Animals

Bluebird And Nuthatch Fighting Over House

Q: We setup a bluebird house in our rain garden. White-breasted nuthatchs went in and out for a few days. Then the bluebirds showed up. Today the nuthatch is going in and out. Did the bluebirds just give up? Is...

READ MORE

White, Sticky Stuff On Hemlock Trees

Q: I have a white, sticky substance on my hemlock trees up at Lake Burton. Any advice would be appreciated. A: It’s very likely you are seeing hemlock adelgid insects. These sap sucking creatures have killed thousands of hemlocks in...

READ MORE

Hunting “Piggies”

Q: As a kid, we would hunt what we called “piggies” in the woods. As I remember, the leaves were sort of heart-shaped and when we found them we would bend away the leaves so the little piggies could be...

READ MORE

White Grub In Mondo

Q: I was replacing my dying mondo grass and as I planted the first one I found a white grub. Could that be the cause of my plants dying? A: White grubs, which eventually turn into various spring and summer...

READ MORE

Ants On Potato Hills

Q: How do I get rid of ants that make my potato hills their home? Are they destroying my potatoes underground?  A: Assuming you have fire ants, they are known to feed on potato tubers. You’ll get the best organic...

READ MORE

Are Loropetalum Leaves Dangerous For Dogs To Eat?

Q: Are loropetalum leaves dangerous for dogs to eat? My dog doesn’t obsess about them but he takes a mouthful every time we pass by one in the neighborhood.  A: I’m not a veterinarian but to my knowledge loropetalum leaves...

READ MORE

Keep Worms From Eating My Peaches

Q: Do you have any suggestions to keep the worms from eating my young peaches? I have honeybees nearby. A: Plum curculio is a small “snout beetle” that attacks peaches and plums. Adults overwinter in debris near a tree and...

READ MORE

Small Worms On Top Of Soil

Q: While watering my Meyer lemon tree I found a lot of small worms crawling on top of the soil. How can I eliminate?  A: I think you are seeing the larvae of dark-winged fungus gnats. They live in very...

READ MORE

Magnolia scale on banana shrub – control

Q: I’ve got cooties on a banana shrub. Leaves have black soot on them. Limbs have brown growths. Thoughts? A: Your banana shrub has magnolia scale. These insects suck sap and then excrete a sticky liquid called honeydew. The honeydew...

READ MORE

Daylily/gardenia/gladiolus thrips identification and control

Q: I have discovered these tiny critters all over my gardenia bush, only in the flowers from what I can see, as well as in my gladiolus. What are these and how can I get rid of them? A: It’s...

READ MORE

Green bumps on rudbeckia are rudbeckia psyllid

Q: These little light green bumps surrounded by a black spot showed up on my black eyed Susan‘s almost overnight. They are throughout the patch on many different leaves. Is this a bug or is this a fungus? A: Widely-knowledgeable...

READ MORE

Cottony taxus scale on yew

Q: I did a spring trim of my Scott Wallace yews and found a surprise under the needles. What is it and how do I deal with it? A: This is cottony taxus scale, aka cottony camellia scale. The insects...

READ MORE

Small Worms Near Meyer Lemons

Q: While watering my Meyer lemon tree I found a lot of small worms crawling on top of the soil. How can I eliminate?  A: I think you are seeing the larvae of dark-winged fungus gnats. They live in very...

READ MORE

Bluebirds Stopped Coming To Their House

Q: We setup a bluebird house in our rain garden. White-breasted nuthatchs went in and out for a few days. Then the bluebirds showed up. Today the nuthatch is going in and out. Did the bluebirds just give up? Is...

READ MORE

White Grubs In Mondo Grass

Q: I was replacing my dying mondo grass and as I planted the first one I found a white grub. Could that be the cause of my plants dying?  A: White grubs, which eventually turn into various spring and summer...

READ MORE

Nuthatches and Bluebirds Fight Over Birdhouse

Q: We setup a bluebird house in our rain garden. White-breasted nuthatchs went in and out for a few days. Then the bluebirds showed up and took over. Today the nuthatch is going in and out. Did the bluebirds just...

READ MORE

Diagnosing (Identifying) Holes in the Yard

Sometimes many heads are better than one when it comes to solving a problem. Wade Hutcheson, my Extension colleague in Spalding county, gets plenty of calls from the citizens of his area asking his help in identifying various holes in...

READ MORE

Buzzing Yellow Stripey Things – Identification

So you’re trying to figure out if you’re seeing a bumblebee or a carpenter bee? I found two excellent guides to figuring this out! Buzzing Stripey Things (pdf) Yellow Stripey Things...

READ MORE