Uninvited Guests for the Holidays

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

Rose Diseases

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

Tips To Reduce Pests Potential Mosquito Breeding Sites In Ornamental Pools & Landscape Fish Ponds

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

Time for 5 Eastern Tent Caterpillar Egg Hatch

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

Top Three New Year’s Resolutions for Gardeners

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

Mistletoe: tree thief, holiday tradition

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

Leave Houseplant Pests Out in the Cold This Fall

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