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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.
milkweed missouri botanical

Milkweed beetles

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

Milkweed beetles ( Oncopeltus fasciatus ) may be feasting on the seed pods and plant tissue of your milkweed plants (Asclepias sp.). They have bright red-orange and black markings. These markings are a warning to predators advertising their bad taste. They are unpalatable to birds because of the milky latex sap contained in species of the milkweed family. These bugs are unsightly to gard...

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velvet ant

Velvet Ants

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

Recently, many have been fascinated with the sight of a brightly colored velvet ants ( Dasynatill sp. ) running across their lawns or through their gardens. These are technically not ants but solitary wasps. They have straight antennae and not the elbowed antennae of ants. Velvet ants can be red or black, fuzzy and have a velvety appearance. Velvet ants appear in your garden during the m...

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cicada killer
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Cicada Killers

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

Cicada Killers (Sphecius speciosus ) are out and the inquiries at the Master Gardener run plant clinics have been numerous. Cicada killers are solitary wasps that look like big black hornets with yellow banding on their abdomens appearing in late July and early August. These insects are considered beneficial because they exert a form of biological control on the annual cicada (...

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squash bug eggs
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Squash Bugs

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

Squash bugs ( Anasa tristis ) are eating up squash, melons and pumpkins all over the area. The pumpkins in the organic vegetable garden at Holton Homes have several life stages of the garden pest represented. Adults and the younger nymphs are sucking the sap from the plants and feeding on the fruits cause moderate to severe plant damage. The feeding damage causes spots, yellowing and bro...

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Japanese Beetle Grub Control

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

How to Control Japanese Beetles Japanese beetles are a jeweled menace of plants like roses, lindens, hibiscus and blackberries. They don't come from some elusive place in the south where they have been sunning themselves all winter but rather have hibernated in your lawn, states Kelly Allsup, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator. When spring comes, ove...

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