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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

Nuisance Pests

Posted by John Fulton -

Pest Season Comes Again

With the warmer weather, we're becoming more active. There are also many nuisance pests becoming more active as the temperature climbs, and we destroy their resting places by cleaning off flower beds and raking up piles of leaves. Let's start with the Asian ladybugs. Right now they are alternating between resting and sunning. These are the beetles that overwintered as adults, and are looking for a place to stay and something to eat. The place to stay is on the side of something in the sun (in order to warm up), and the something to eat is soft bodied insects such as aphids. Without aphids present, these ladybugs will chew on about anything.

The best control in the home is a vacuum cleaner. If you have numbers too large for that control, area sprays of an aerosol flying insect killer will knock down the ones it hits. If you are terribly bothered, try a perimeter spray of the foundation, door areas, and window areas on the home with a pesticide that will last for a while. Color test the material on siding first, and hope for the best. The pesticides are effective, but they are sometimes overwhelmed by the number of ladybugs that you are trying to control. Permethrin and bifenthrin are probably the most commonly used pesticides for perimeter sprays.

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