Not everyone has a lawn, but if you do, fall is the perfect time to give your lawn some much-needed attention. To find out if you are maintaining your lawn properly, answer the following questions:
You're probably familiar with lady beetles (aka lady bugs), common beneficial insect predators that prey on aphids and other soft-bodied insects. However, lady beetles are not the only beneficial predators that can be found in your garden and landscape.
Other “natural enemies” such as assassin bugs, minute pirate bugs, lacewings, predatory wasps, spiders, and predaceous ground beetles attack and kill pests. In some cases, both the adults and larvae are predators. It's important to recognize the different life stages of these beneficial predators so you know they are helping control pests and not attacking your plants.
If you are seeing black and red bugs scurrying about near trees and buildings, they may be boxelder bugs. Boxelder bugs (Boisea rubrolineata) feed on the flowers, leaves and seedpods of female boxelder trees (Acer negundo) and occasionally are found on maple and ash, and sometimes on certain stone fruits and grapes.
Boxelder bugs are often confused with other insects that look similar such as red-shouldered bugs, squash bugs, the bordered plant bug, and leaffooted bugs.
This insect doesn't usually cause significant damage to landscape plants, but when their numbers are high during fall, they can build up on outside walls or sometimes enter houses and may be considered a nuisance.
If you have a...
Now is the time to prepare your garden and landscape for winter. The simple tasks recommended below will help prevent perennial weeds, insect pests, and certain disease pathogens so these problems don't get established and become difficult later.
- Manage weeds using nonchemical methods such as cultivation, handweeding, or mowing.
- Prevent weeds using competitive plants, mulches, and hand removal.
- Herbicides (weed killers) are rarely needed in established landscape plantings when nonchemical controls are used regularly.
To learn more about managing weeds, see the UC IPM Pest Note: Weed...
- Author: Karey Windbiel-Rojas
We have received several questions lately from people who've found large, strange looking insects in their garden and landscape. What are these alien-like creatures? Are they good, bad, do they bite?
They are Jerusalem crickets, also sometimes called sand cricket, niña de la tierra (child of the earth), potato bug, and stone cricket.
Jerusalem crickets are relatives of crickets, grasshoppers, and katydids. These large insects can be up to two inches long and have heads that somewhat resemble a human head. Their head and body are amber colored, with dark stripes on the abdomen, long antennae, and no wings. Their thick legs are...