What? Me Worry?
Symptoms that aren't as serious as they look
by Jonathan Heaton
As an arborist, I work with a lot of people who care deeply about their trees and shrubs. Almost once a week, I will get a call from someone who is alarmed that something new they’ve noticed on their tree might be a major problem. Sometimes it is a problem that needs help, but often it is something that looks bad, but isn’t. Here are some of the common issues that arise. >> read article
Control Caterpillar Pests
by Blake Layton
Caterpillars are vexing pests to many of the plants we grow in our home landscapes and vegetable gardens. There are numerous different species of pest caterpillars, most of which specialize in feeding on a particular group of plants: azalea caterpillars sometimes defoliate whole plantings of azaleas; heavy infestations of bagworms destroy arborvitae trees; tobacco hornworms strip the leaves from homegrown tomatoes; squash borers kill squash and pumpkin vines. And the list goes on. >> read article
Where Are They Now?
by Steve Frank
People don’t often think about insects in winter. Frankly, most people don’t think about insects at all except when they are being tormented by mosquitoes in the summer. As gardeners, we tend to consider insects and the natural world more frequently than other people, but what happens to the pests that drive us crazy and the other bugs that fascinate us during warmer months? >> read article
Stop the Vampires!
Gardening Practices to keep mosquitoes down in your yard
by Yvonne L. Bordelon
Besides ruining a day in the yard, certain mosquitoes can transmit West Nile and other diseases in their quest for the blood needed to produce eggs. In fall, mosquitoes mate and the males die. The females spend the cold months hidden in protected places, such as hollow logs and in the cracks of buildings. So it is a good practice to clean up debris and caulk buildings in fall. >> read article
Douse the Flames
Yes, you can control fire ants.
by Blake Layton
Fire ants. Just hearing the words will make most Southern gardeners anxiously check their shoes and the ground where they are standing. These non-native stinging ants are established in portions of 12 southeastern states, and six of these states – Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina – have fire ants from border to border.
Fire ants prefer treeless grassy areas such as pastures, roadsides, parks and lawns, and densities can reach 50 to 200 mounds per acre in areas where they are not controlled. Fire ant mounds are unsightly, but it is their stings that make them so notorious. Unlike honeybees, fire ants do not have barbs on their stingers, and this means they can sting more than once. A single fire ant sting is painful, but unsuspecting gardeners sometimes sustain dozens or even hundreds of stings as a result of unknowingly stepping in a fire ant mound. The raised white pustules that result usually persist for about a week. >> read article
First Aid for Summer Squash
by Bob Westerfield
As we enter mid-July with August right around the corner, there are some pretty rough-looking summer squash patches that I have visited around the state in my role as a vegetable specialist. From backyard gardens to commercial growers, everyone that has grown summer squash knows the challenges that the late season can dish out ... >> read article
The Perils of Beneficial Insects
by Larry Caplan
So you think that beneficial insects are the answer to all your pest problems? Then gather 'round, my children, and hear the twisted tale of "The Praying Mantises that Almost Took Over Evansville ..." >> read article
Dealing With Common Garden Pests
by Theresa Schrum
There are two major battles that all gardeners face every season: weeds and pests. I have always said (and will repeat) that there will never be a complete victory in either battle. As long as we have gardens, we will have unwanted creatures that can cause damage and headaches ... >> read article