One of my favorite insects is the Luna Moth. One day last year I had the joy of seeing one on the brick of my home right beside my front door. It actually stayed there resting for a day or two, and then it was gone. Luna moths are usually a rare sight to see. They spend the majority of their time in forests, and are active at night adding to their elusiveness. Another aspect that adds to their elusiveness is their life cycle. The adult stage of a Luna Moth lasts for about a week. During this time they do not eat, because they do not have a proboscis (mouthpart). Continue reading
Each time you bring a load of firewood inside this winter, you could be opening the door for wood-infesting insects to make your home their home. Most insects brought into the home on firewood are harmless, and you can greatly reduce their numbers by following a few simple steps from the entomology department at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Continue reading
Before the title makes you think of friends and family, let us consider our garden-variety pest that may invade homes throughout the holidays.
By late fall, most outdoor insect home invaders have settled down for a long winters nap, either outdoors or in your home. Yet it is still a good time to seal, caulk and repair cracks, crevices and gaping thresholds as a way to keep pest invaders – and cold winter air – out of your home. If any spiders, ladybugs, stinkbugs, or flies, appear in your home, they are more nuisance than harmful and vacuuming them up often takes care of the problem. Continue reading
Spectacular blooms and diverse types and varieties make roses a favorite of many Kentucky gardeners. However, warm, humid growing conditions create an ideal environment for serious problems each year with black spot and powdery mildew.
Gardeners can nip these fungal diseases in the bud by planting resistant or tolerant varieties and creating an unfavorable environment for disease development. It may be necessary to use fungicides throughout the summer, especially on susceptible varieties. Continue reading
If you have an ornamental pool or landscape fish pond, you might be wondering how to reduce mosquito populations in these particular situations. Ornamental pools and landscape fish ponds are potential breeding sites, but they don’t have to be.
Below are some mosquito management tips for these pools and ponds. Some of these tips also apply to birdbaths. Continue reading
After spending about 9 months as eggs in masses on twigs of wild cherry and related trees, the first few tiny eastern tent caterpillars (ETC) of the season should soon be leaving their eggs. The onset of the single generation that occurs each year varies with the character of the season. Hatch was noted as early as March 14, 2012 during an unseasonably warm spring and as late as April 2, 2014 during one that was slow to develop. Continue reading
Many people enjoy making New Year’s Resolutions, so I would like to encourage you to make some gardening resolutions. Even those of you who do not typically grow anything can reap benefits from planting something, nurturing it, and watching it grow. It doesn’t have to be a large vegetable garden. A small container garden or raised bed garden will be just fine. Continue reading
Once autumn leaves have fallen, mistletoe becomes highly visible on large trees throughout Kentucky. Phoradendron, the scientific name for this parasitic plant, means tree thief. You can commonly find these small leafy plants on twigs and branches of many hardwood species in the southern two-thirds of the United States. Mistletoes extract water, mineral elements and food from their host tree by way of a parasite
nutrient-uptake organ; hence the name, tree thief. Continue reading
When you bring houseplants indoors before temperatures get too cold, be sure to leave pest problems out in the cold.
A rule of thumb is to bring plants in before night temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit to allow plants to adjust to warmer indoor temperatures. It’s a good idea to inspect plants for pest problems several weeks before you plan to bring them inside. This precaution gives you ample time to take care of any insect or disease problems. Continue reading
You can reduce the risk of some common problems next year by getting rid of leftover plant debris in vegetable, flower and fruit gardening areas this fall.
Several disease-causing fungi and bacteria spend the winter on plant debris, and can cause diseases the following growing season. Proper garden sanitation can combat such diseases as early blight, mildews, gray mold fungus and various root rot and wilt problems. Continue reading