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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

Insects in an Unusual Year

Posted by John Fulton -

What about insects? We always have more insects than we would like in lawns, gardens, and ornamentals. A warm winter, after a hot, dry summer last year will probably add to their numbers this year. And the season has started early. I've seen buffalo gnats in some locations already. Usually after a summer like we experienced last year, we can expect a much larger number of grasshoppers. Black cutworm moth catches have already occurred in pheromone traps, and of the intense number needed to start calculating cutting dates for vegetables and field crops.

As for a couple of the more common insect pests, it would definitely be wise to keep your own vigil for their appearance. Another method to begin scouting them out would be to use plant indicators such as those published in Orton's "Coincide" book. Bagworms are usually sprayed around June 15, but here are some of the plant indicators: Northern Catalpa or Japanese Tree Lilacs in full bloom, Mockorange in bloom, Hills of Snow Hydrangia beginning bloom, and Serviceberry with some ripe fruit. Euonymus scale is usually an early June initial treatment, then followed with three repeat applications about 10 days apart. Indicators would include Northern Catalpa or Japanese Tree Lilac in early bloom, Cockspur Hawthorn in bloom, or Beautybush in bloom. These are just some examples if you happen to know where to find some of the indicator plants.

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