Soil solarization is a method home gardeners and farmers can use to manage soilborne pests such as weeds, disease pathogens, nematodes and insects. Solarization can reduce help reduce pesticides used to control these pests.
Soil solarization is simple: prepare the site, water it a bit, then cover the soil with clear plastic for an extended period of time to allow the sun to heat the soil to temperatures lethal to a wide range of pests.
Learn more about this process in our recently updated Pest Notes: Soil Solarization for Gardens & Landscapes, by authors Jim Stapleton, Cheryl Wilen, and Richard Molinar of the University of California Cooperative...
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.
I've had a few calls about raccoons recently; reports ranging from them getting into trash cans at night, to even a report of one coming through a friend's open kitchen window and licking the butter dish!!
Raccoon sightings are not new to residential areas. While they normally live in natural habitats, they can easily adapt and survive in urban settings where they may damage garden plants, knock over garbage cans or compost piles, and eat backyard fruits, nuts and vegetables.
Problems in and around the home can also occur when female raccoons look for nesting sites. They can cause damage by ripping off shingles and other structural features when trying to get into the attic or underneath decks. Odors and other issues may...