New! Vegetable Pest Identification cards
I'm excited to announce the brand new Vegetable Pest Identification for Gardens and Small Farms card set is available! This is a handy, quick reference that focuses on sustainable pest management for vegetables, melons, fruit trees, and other crops commonly grown in small-scale farms and backyard gardens.
The cards were compiled by Mary Louise Flint, Andrew Sutherland, and myself, and they cover common insect and mite pests as well as pathogens, nematodes, abiotic disorders, weeds, and vertebrate pests. You'll also find information on general predators, lady beetles, parasites, and...
Weeds can be a real nuisance in gardens and landscapes, and even during the colder winter months, some kinds of weeds continue to grow and thrive. These are called winter annual weeds.
Most weeds are classified as annuals, biennials, or perennials. Annuals complete their life cycle (germinate from seed, grow, flower, set seed, and die) in one year or less, biennials generally complete their life cycle in 2 years, and perennials live longer than 2 years.
Examples of winter annual weeds include chickweed, little mallow, and annual bluegrass. They germinate and actively grow during fall and winter, then produce seed and die by the hot summer months.
If allowed to set seed, annual winter weeds can continue to grow...
We've had some rain in our area lately so you are probably seeing some weeds starting to grow in your garden or lawn. Among the few new weeds poking out in my landscape is dandelion, my husband's least favorite weed on Earth.
Hopefully you are aware of UC IPM's YouTube video series, but if not, we have a few dozen short videos cover pest topics such as catching a spider, trapping snails and slugs, and how to remove dandelions.
The "How to Remove Dandelions" talks about different nonchemical tools you can use to pull out unwanted weeds and discusses the importance of getting as much of that tap root as possible.
Opossums are the only marsupial native to North America and are quite interesting animals. Female marsupials may be seen carrying their young in an abdominal pouch or sometimes on their back. But opossums can also be pests.
This nocturnal animal can be a nuisance in neighborhoods when they dig through trash cans, compost piles, or food dishes intended for pets. If opossums visit your property occasionally, this may not be a cause for concern, unless your pets remain outdoors at night. Opossums will fight with dogs or cats and can inflict serious injury.
Opossums are often hosts for dog and cat fleas, and may carry several diseases including tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis, trichomoniasis and Chagas disease.
If you have house or office plants and have ever seen small, dark-colored insect swarming around them, your plants could have fungus gnats.
Fungus gnats are tiny flies that as adults, resemble mosquitoes. Fungus gnats don't bite people, but their presence can be annoying. Their larval stage lives in wet, overly moist potting mix, where they feed on decaying matter.
The first step to managing fungus gnats is allowing the soil in your houseplants to dry out in between watering. To read more about how to manage this pest, visit the UC IPM publication Pest Notes: Fungus Gnats.