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John Fulton


John Fulton
Former County Extension Director



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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
Potato leafhopper

Potato Leafhopper

Posted by John Fulton -

Potato leafhopper populations have exploded in the last week. These are the small, pale green, wedge-shaped insects we often see around lights at night. The main garden crop they affect is, guess this one, the potato. The leafhoppers may also infect green beans, alfalfa, and a large number of perennials. They suck sap, and inject a toxin back into the plant. The first sign is a yellow "v" at the tip of the leaf. These areas then turn brown or black. Entire plants or branches can die from these tiny insects. Control with Sevin, bifenthrin, or permethrin.

Foundation Sprays

If you have been following a foundation spray program all year, keep it up. If you haven't been, it is probably time to start. The foundation spray program is your first line of defense against nuisance pests in the house. It cuts down on crickets, millipedes, spiders, ants, and many others that find their way inside. And, with the crickets singing, it's only a matter of time before they find their way into your abode.

To accomplish a foundation spray, you would select a material such as permethrin or bifenthrin to begin with. Then spray the foundation and the adjacent foot or two of soil or plant material with the spray mixture. Both these products are cleared on most types of plants. Foundation treatments should be applied every 7-15 days depending on the temperatures. The materials break down quicker in hot weather.

Foundation treatments won't prevent everything from getting in the house, and they certainly won't kill things already in the house. For insects already in the house, you have a few options. The first is mechanical control. This is fancy language for something like a flyswatter, shoe, vacuum cleaner, flypaper, or glue boards. The next is chemical control. This basically means aerosol cans inside the house. The most common ones are for flying insects or ants, although many of the flying insect killers now have permethrin in them and can last quite a while.



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