Pests, Diseases, Weeds & Pesticides
"What kind of bug is eating my tree (or my plants)?" is the most frequently asked question we get in the Cooperative Extension Office. The resource we use to find the answer is Pest Notes on the University of California Integrated Pest Management (IPM) website. Pest Notes have pictures and descriptions to make comparisons. They tell what damage to look for and what the solutions are.
"What kind of weed is invading my garden?" is another question we are often asked. Again, we find the answer in Pest Notes because weeds are pests, too. There are pictures and descriptions to help identify and manage the problem. There is also a Weed Photo Gallery on the IPM website.
"How do I get rid of an annoying deer (squirrel, skunk, ground hog, gopher, etc.)? Are there deer-resistant plants?" Pest Notes have the answers again! They describe the problem and how to solve it.
Insect control will be necessary most years during some part of the growing season. An all-purpose vegetable spray or dust may be the simplest insect control treatment.
Cultivation is mainly for weed control. The soil should not be allowed to bake around the base of the plants. Hand hoeing is the safest weed control method. Herbicides used in commercial farming are difficult to apply at the recommended rate to small areas. Before using any herbicide, inspect the label for crops that may be safely treated. Herbicide residues may interfere with germination of seeds planted for the next crop season.
If you attended the 2017 Entomological Society of America (ESA) meeting, held recently in Denver, you probably recognized a familiar face and his research. Myrmecologist (ant specialist) Brendon Boudinot, doctoral candidate in the Phil Ward lab, UC...
Last summer you may have happened upon praying mantids mating. Hopefully, the male didn't lose his head. Which begs a question asked by a reader: How long after mating does the female lay or produce her egg case (ootheca)? "Usually it takes a week or...