Summer Pest, How to identify and combat these critters and bugs?
SLIDE: Pets Breakdown:
Plants to watch: Fruit Trees; Apple and Peach, Roses, Zinnias, Grape Vines
Many gardeners and homeowners consider them to be one of the most serious pests they face. They can cause devastating root damage in their grub phase, but also attract various burrowing animals that dig up your lawn or garden bed searching for the grubs to eat. The adult beetles feed on plant foliage and it results in rapid loss of leaves
Japanese beetle grubs overwinter 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) deep in the soil. As spring arrives and temperatures increase, the grubs move up in the soil to feed on plant roots. They pupate in late May to June and adults start emerging in late June to mid-July. Adults live from 30 to 45 days and feed through late summer or early fall with females constantly laying eggs.
Treat with a combination of Milky Spore and NemaSeek Beneficial Nematodes in either the spring or the fall. The nematodes help to distribute the Milky Spore. This combination of organisms also works synergistically to most effectively control the grubs. In warm climates you will achieve excellent long-term control after applying Milky Spore once per year for 3 years. In colder climates it may take up to 5 years to achieve long term control.
Milky Spore is the bacterium Paenibacillus popilliae (formerly Bacillus popillae). This bacillus is primarily lethal to Japanese Beetle grubs. The life cycle of the Japanese beetle includes the immature beetle, called a grub. The grubs inhabit the soil of your lawn and garden, feeding on the roots of your grass and other vegetation.
Once Milky Spore is applied, the grubs ingest it as a normal part of their feeding. The more spores are in the area, the greater the chance of infection. Each infected grub dies within approximately 3 weeks and releases new spores.
Nematodes Seek Out Stationary Pests including Grubs, root zone weevils, citrus weevils, Japanese beetles, black vine weevils, ticks, queen ants/termites and more. Great for gardens, lawns, fields, pastures and orchards. After being applied to the soil, the nematodes locate pests and enter through various body openings or directly through the body wall. Once inside, the nematodes produce bacteria that is injected into the pest's blood. They will not harm mammals, aquatic life, birds, reptiles or amphibians
Apply quality humus and essential soil additives to improve overall soil health and bioactivity. Grubs don't attack healthy roots.
Use a Neem Oil product to control adults that elude your traps and also to discourage them from feeding.
Treat again with Beneficial Nematodes six months after your first application to further distribute the Milky Spore and to eliminate newly developing grubs.
Some of the most affective things you can do is observe your garden at several times a day if possible. During these times you can physically remove pests and ensure that they will not be returning.
Several Types of Mites, Usually named for the host plants: Boxwood Mite, Spruce Mite, Oak Mite, Honey Locust Mite.
Spider mites are small and usually red, orange or yellow/green in color.
These Pests become troublesome during midsummer dry spells and on plants who are already weakened due to less than favorable growing conditions; transplant stress, less than ideal soil.
Mites often go overlooked until they are in abundance and the plants leaves begin to yellow. Easy ways to detect the mites is to shake branches and leaved over a sheet of white paper. The pests will fall and be easily seen on the white background.
Mites can be found either on or under the leaves. They slowly remove the chlorophyll, killing the plants.
A few options for ridding your garden of these pests include commercial repellents, available at your local nurseries or home goods stores or more natural remedies such as essential oils. Essential oils have a strong scent that work great as natural repellents. They immediately affect the nervous systems of the mites and as a result driving them away.
Several to try are:
This essential oil is what is referred to as a miticide, and it is extracted from the nuts that come from the neem tree.
Neem oil is widely used for a wide variety of pests that attack plants, not just spider mites, therefore it is safe to say that this essential oil is somewhat considered to be a universal natural repellent.
Although the smell is not as pleasant or as intense as that of the lemon or eucalyptus oil, the neem oil is great for targeting infestations, and the results will show after the first few days of treatment.
If there is one thing spider mites hate more than the smell of lemon, that is the strong smell of menthol. This is why eucalyptus oil is guaranteed to work like magic, due to its antibacterial and bactericidal properties. In addition to being highly efficient, the eucalyptus oil also has a water-like composition when you slightly dilute it before using it, and this allows an easy, even and effortless distribution across the plant leaves.
Lemon oil is by far one of the most popular choices for preventing spider mites from destroying your plants.
Lemons are known for being natural antibiotics, as they have strong antimicrobial properties and they are also non-toxic, which means that they pose no threat whatsoever, neither to your plants nor to you and your family. Besides this, the lemon oil also has a fresh and sharp smell that will delight you!
Widely used in the international cuisine, cinnamon is a delicious and intensely flavored ingredient that delights us with its scent and taste.
However, the cinnamon oil is a very pleasant smelling essential oil that can be used as a non-toxic and non-hazardous pesticide, and its efficacy against spider mites has been proven numerous times
Another very strongly scented essential oil is the peppermint oil, which contains an intense menthol smell just like the eucalyptus. In addition to this, the peppermint oil also has antiseptic properties.
Rosemary oil can be easily sprayed onto the leaves of the infested plant and it will instantly kill the spider mites. Make a solution of water and rosemary oil, put it in a special spraying bottle and then apply it evenly – it will target both the spider mites and all the other species of mites that affect plants.
The canola oil is also very efficient if sprayed diligently on every leaf, twice a week. Make sure to mix the canola oil with water and to dilute the oil according to the severity of the infection – if the plant is severely affected by spider mites, then you can create a 2% solution.
The concentrations vary slightly from one essential oil to another, as it is highly recommended to use stronger concentrations for oils with a gentle smell, and lower concentrations for those with a very sharp smell (such as eucalyptus, lemon oil, cinnamon oil or the rosemary oil).
That being said, make sure to adjust the proportions depending on the size of the spray bottle: if the bottle can accommodate 1 liter of solution, then half fill it with lukewarm water and then add the essential oils. You can either add only one essential oil (10-20 ml) or you can combine two or three of them: for instance, rosemary and peppermint work perfectly together.
Another way to prepare the solution is by simply mixing two drops of an essential oil of your choice with 6-8 ounces of warm water and one teaspoon of castile soap (soap made of olive oil).
Shake all the ingredients very well, put the solution in a spray bottle as instructed above and then you can start spraying it all over the plant.
Both of these “recipes” are equally efficient, but it is highly recommended never to apply pure essential oil directly onto the plants, not even on the affected areas, as they can kill the leaves and do more harm than good. Make sure to always dilute the oil prior to spraying it.
Squash Vine Borer Moth
The squash vine borer, Melitta curcurbitae, is a common clearwing moth in home gardens throughout the Midwest. It is a serious pest of vine crops, commonly attacking summer squash, winter squash, and pumpkins. Cucumbers and melons are less frequently affected. In home gardens, entire crops may be lost in a year of high borer populations.
The adult borer resembles a wasp. It is about 1/2 inch long with an orange abdomen with black dots. The first pair of wings is metallic green while the back pair of wings is clear, although that may be hard to see as the wings are folded behind them when they at rest. Eggs are flat, brown, and about 1/25 inch long. The larvae are white or cream-colored with brown heads, growing to almost an inch in length.
Beginning in late June or early July, squash vine borer adults emerge from cocoons in the ground. Squash vine borer adults are good fliers for moths and resemble wasps in flight. These moths are unusual because they fly during the day while nearly all other moths fly at night.
Soon after emerging, squash vine borers lay eggs singly at the base of susceptible plants. Approximately one week after they are laid, the eggs hatch and the resulting larvae bore into stems to feed. The larvae feed through the center of the stems, blocking the flow of water to the rest of the plant. The larvae feed for four to six weeks, then exit the stems and burrow about one to two inches into the soil to pupate. They remain there until the following summer. There is one generation per year.
Often the first symptom of a borer attack is wilting of affected plants. Wilting may occur only in strong sun at first, but if the problem is left unchecked, the plants eventually collapse and die. Closer observation of a wilting plant often reveals holes near the base of the plant filled with moist greenish or orange sawdust-like material called frass . Over time, the base may become mushy or rot away altogether. Several borer larvae may attack a single plant.
Squash vine borers are challenging to prevent or manage. Use integrated pest management (IPM) methods for the best results. Most management options are limited to control the hatching larvae before they enter the plant. Once the larvae invade the stem, it is difficult to treat squash vine borers. Home gardeners can take a proactive stance against squash vine borers by monitoring your squash for the presence of adult borers starting the last week of June. Monitoring tells you if and when squash vine borers are present. This information helps you determine what further management measures may be necessary. There are two methods for detecting squash vine borer adults. The first is actual observation of adult activity in the garden. These moths are conspicuous insects when flying and easy to detect; watch for them when you're in your garden. In addition, the adults make a very noticeable buzzing sound when flying that is easy to detect while in the garden.
You can also use yellow trap pans to detect squash vine borer adults. This can be any container (e.g. pan, pail, bowl) colored yellow and filled with water. Because squash vine borer adults are attracted to yellow, they will fly to the container and be trapped when they fall into the water. Place traps by late June, checking your traps at least once a day. When you notice squash vine borer adults in your traps you know they are active and it is time to take further action.
Plant vine crops that are usually not attacked by squash vine borers, such as butternut squash, cucumbers, melons, and watermelons.
A second planting of summer squash made in early July will mature after adult borers have finished laying eggs.
Promptly pull and destroy any plants killed by squash vine borers.
You can physically exclude adult borers by placing floating row covers over your vine crops when they start to vine (or for non-vining varieties, starting late June or early July) or when you first detect squash vine borer adults. Keep the barriers in place for about two weeks after the first adult borer has been seen. Be sure the row covers are securely anchored to prevent adults from moving underneath it.
Don't use row covers if cucurbits were planted in the same area the previous year. This is because squash vine borers overwinter in the soil near their host plants. When the adults emerge the following summer, they may end being trapped under the row cover instead of being kept out. Practice rotation to minimize this issue by planting cucurbits in different areas of your garden (if possible) or alternate seasons when you grow cucurbits.
Generally do not use floating row covers anytime crops are flowering. This prevents bees from pollinating your vegetables which will have a negative impact on plants. An exception to this would be if you pollinate your crops by hand while the floating row cover is erected.
If, despite your efforts, your crop is successfully attacked by borers, you can try to kill the borer inside the vine. Although the chance of saving the plant is not good, you do not have much to lose. As soon as wilting is noticed, use a sharp knife to cut a slit in the affected stem. Slice carefully up the vine until you locate the borer (or borers). Once you have killed any borers with the tip of the knife, mound moist soil over the cut area and keep this spot well watered. New roots may grow along the cut stem, allowing the plant to survive.
Web Worms are the caterpillar form of a small white moth. The moths fly around during the summer laying their eggs on the underside of tree leaves. The moths seem to prefer alder, willow, cottonwood, apple, pear, peach, pecan, walnut, elm, and maples, but will eat a very large variety of trees and shrubs. Target plants include: Nearly every tree except conifers; favorites are mulberry, elm, sweet gum, willow, oak, linden, apple and other fruit trees.
As the eggs hatch, the caterpillars start to spin a web around the leaves they're on. They feed for about six weeks and their webs can reach more than 3 feet across. This is when they look their worst.
Other signs of fall webworms: Caterpillars gathering at branch tips; webbing surrounding branch tips; also watch for webs on branch tips of garden plants spinning silken webs. The gray-haired, black-spotted caterpillars may be yellow-green with a black head or tan with a red head.
Worms feast inside webbing, increasing nest size as they grow. Feeding doesn’t typically cause long-term harm to the tree, but the nest is unsightly and may reach up to 3 feet across by late summer.
Getting rid of these pests can be as simple as cutting the affected areas of the trees, shrubs or bushes away and disposing of them by: burning them in a fire it or burning barrel, or placing the cut branches in a trash bag and putting them in the dumpster.
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