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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
Soldier Beetle

Insects To Watch For

Posted by John Fulton -

Soldier beetles will be appearing shortly. They look like pale lightning bugs without the light, and are very common around pollinating linden trees. Since soldier beetles are beneficial, it is inadvisable to kill them. They feed on small insects such as aphids, however, they do qualify as a nuisance pest in much the same way as the Asian lady bugs. Weather-stripping and caulking will help keep them out of your house. A vacuum cleaner will safely remove soldier beetles that are found inside.

After some very severe infestations of bagworms the past few years, the calls have been coming in all year on the correct treatment times for bagworms this year. Year-in and year-out, the correct treatment time for bagworms is June 15. You can mark this date on your calendar for

next year and be within a few days of the correct treatment time. With a very cool spring, a week later may be a possibility, but this season's yo-yo temperatures really even out. The idea is to have all the eggs hatched before treatment. The traditional treatment has been Sevin, but the B.t. products such as Dipel and Thuricide have really taken the majority of the market. Many other products will work, but the B.t. products have several good points including safety to mammals and toxicity to larger bagworms. If you are in doubt about whether you have bagworms, check your trees and shrubs around June 15. You can actually see the small bags as the larvae build.

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