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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
oak galls

Oak Galls

Posted by John Fulton -

One group of problems showing up is galls. Galls are swelling of leaves, twigs, or other plant parts. Most are caused by mites or wasps. They damage the plant parts and the plant responds with a gall. In the case of leaves, the swelling is actually leaf tissue. This is something I like to refer to as similar to you getting a mosquito bite. The damage comes in and a swelling occurs. There is no...

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squashbug nymph

Insect Pests of Squash, Pumpkins, and Cucumbers

Posted by John Fulton -

Everything in the squash, melon, pumpkin, and cucumber families are cucurbits. There are several potential insect problems with them, and today's column attempts to help minimize or prevent these problems. The first group of insects is the cucumber beetles. These can be green, black and yellow striped, or black and yellow spotted. The importance of the beetles is not that they eat small holes i...

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CarpenterBeeDamage

Carpenter Bees

Posted by John Fulton -

Carpenter bees will be the unofficial "insect of the week." What is usually a very minor pest, has garnered half-a-dozen calls and office visits in the last week or so. There are many species of carpenter bees, with the most common in our area resembling a bumblebee. There are differences of course, with the major one being the top of the abdomen segment of the carpenter bee being bare and shin...

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buffalo gnat

Swarming Gnats - That Bite

Posted by John Fulton -

The gnat swarms have been with us a few weeks, and at least some of these are the early buffalo gnat populations. The small flies, or gnats, are hatched in clean, running water. This is one indicator our water protection plans are succeeding. They will continue to hatch until water temperatures hit about 75 degrees. They will also travel up to 10 miles in search of a food source, meaning blood....

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anthracnose on sycamore

Tree Leaf Diseases Return

Posted by John Fulton -

One of the normal scourges of spring has hit us again. This is the group of fungi collectively known as leaf spot fungi. Common ones include anthracnose and apple scab. Anthracnose starts as dead leaf areas between leaf veins, or on the tips of leaves. When severe enough, leaves will fall. Several of the infected trees have actually had the leaves turn completely black already. It is much more...

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Ant and Termite Differences
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The Differences in Ants and Termites

Posted by John Fulton -

With some warmer weather comes the swarms of insects that raise that perennial question of "Are they ants or termites?" Swarming time for both insects is about the same time, and they are really looking to start new colonies because they have outgrown their old ones. This is the reason for the winged insects, as the wings allow the ants or termites to cover larger areas to start their new colon...

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