Urban IPM

Friday, October 2, 2015

Oak leaf galls

Oak leaf galls.
Galls are an abnormal swelling of plant tissue and can be caused by mites, insects, nematodes, bacteria or fungi.  Galls usually are found on leaves and stems, but can sometimes be found on other locations of the plant.

In this case, the organism causing the oak leaf gall is a wasp.  The gall grows around the insect and helps to protect it from predators and weather.  The gall will also provide nutrients to the wasp until the wasp is fully mature.

The galls do not seriously affect the health of the tree, but they can be unsightly.  Heavy infestations may distort the leaves or cause early leaf drop.  Once the galls are on the tree, there is really nothing that can be done about them.  When you have galls on the leaves, they will eventually drop off with the leaves.

For more information on galls, please see this publication.

Friday, September 25, 2015

FREE WEBINAR on managing cockroaches and ants

Cockroaches and ants!  We don't want them in our houses.  learn practical tips for preventing problems from these pests in this webinar presented by me, Wizzie Brown.

Note: On October 2, the link to the live webinar opens about 15 minutes before the webinar.  If you try to log in earlier, you will ge an error message.

For more webinars in this series, see All Bugs Good and Bad 2015 Webinar Series. The webinars are brought to you by the following eXtension Communities of Practice: Imported Fire Ants, and Urban IPM; and by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the University of Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture

The link to this webinar is: https://learn.extension.org/events/1855

Look forward to your participation on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 1:00 pm central time.
If you happen to be unable to attend the webinar, it will be recorded for you to watch later at a more convenient time.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fig beetles out in high numbers

Have you seen me?

These beetles are velvety green, about one inch long and 1/2 an inch wide.  The top is a dull green with yellow-brown markings on the wings and the underside is bright, metallic green with yellow-orange markings.  Larvae are creamy white, c-shaped larvae with well developed head capsules and legs.  Larvae (also called grubs) can grow over an inch in length.

Green June beetle. Photo by Drees.
Adults are large and conspicuous.  They like to eat thin-skinned fruits (such as grapes, peaches, figs and others) or fermented fruits and some flowers.  Adults may also be found on trees that are oozing sap, but the beetles are not causing the sap to ooze from the tree. Larvae feed in the soil and eat plants such as turfgrass, vegetables and ornamental plants.  Grubs often will emerge from the soil at night and crawl on their backs instead of using their short legs.  Grubs may cause small mounds of soil on the turf that may be mistaken for fire ant mounds or earthworm castings.

To check for grubs, which are the damaging stage, cut several 4" x 4" soil sections in different areas of the turf and look in the root zone and soil for presence of grubs.  It is possible to have grubs in the turf and not see any damage.  If a turf is kept healthy, then it can withstand some damage from insects.

If you feel the need to treat for grubs, you can try nematodes or pesticides.  When choosing nematodes, be aware that they require moist soil to move and parasitize prey.  If you are under watering restrictions, this may not be a feasible option.  Pesticides come in granular or liquid formulations with systemic (i.e. the active ingredient imidacloprid) or contact (i.e. the active ingredient cyfluthrin) modes of action.  Contact products need to come in contact with the grub for it to kill the insect, so it will require watering in to carry any pesticide to the soil where the grubs are located.  Systemic products also require watering in, but the turf will take up the active ingredient into the roots and the grub will get a dose when it feeds on the turf.  Granular products should be applied with a properly calibrated spreader and then watered in.  Always read and follow all label instructions.