- Author: Denise Godbout-Avant
Seasonal Landscape IPM Checklist for Home Gardeners
UC's Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Home, Garden, Turf and Landscape Pests Quick Link has a Seasonal Landscape IPM Checklist which is a wonderful resource with monthly checklists within your selected county/region to help guide you how to keep your landscapes healthy.
Topics include common pest problems to look out for, preventative measures, and links to more information. You can also subscribe to receive an automated monthly list by email.
December and January Lists
I reviewed the December and January checklists for Stanislaus County. The following are some topics listed and additional appropriate links:
- Frost – Temperatures sometimes drop to freezing during the winter months. Cold temperature can kill bark, buds, flowers, and shoots, so protect sensitive plants from frost. To increase a soil's ability to absorb heat rake away mulch to expose the ground around the base of the plant. If frost is expected irrigate the soil (if there hasn't been any rain recently) at least three days prior. You can also cover sensitive plants overnight with cloth or similar material other than plastic but leave covers open at the bottom so heat from soil can help warm plants and remove covers during the daytime. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/GARDEN/ENVIRON/frostdamage.html
- Irrigation – Always adjust your watering schedule according to the weather. We have had a very wet December, which followed an atmospheric river storm in October. So, gardens have needed little to no irrigation lately, depending on your soil type. Overirrigation can lead to root rot. Resume irrigation if storms diminish during the remainder of the winter (let's hope it remains wet!). If there is an extended dry spell during upcoming winter months, irrigate infrequently and deeply. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/homegarden/irrigating/
- Clean up – Remove old fruit and nuts in and under trees to avoid harboring pests. Also rake up fallen leaves beneath deciduous fruit trees and roses (but leave the leaves elsewhere in your yard for beneficial overwintering insects including butterflies and bees). http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/GARDEN/FRUIT/CULTURAL/sanitation.html
- Prune – Trees and shrubs that need pruning including apple, crepe myrtle, pear, rose, spirea, and stone fruits (exception are apricot and cherry trees which can harbor certain pests, i.e. shothole borer, which should be pruned in the summer). Remove dead and diseased wood. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/homegarden/pruning/
- Mistletoe – Mistletoes are parasitic plants that absorb nutrients and water from a host tree. Healthy trees can tolerate a few branches infected with mistletoe, but a heavy infestation could ultimately kill a tree, particularly if the tree is stressed or unhealthy. With leaves having dropped during fall months from deciduous trees, mistletoe is visible on the now-bare trees, and thus can be removed easily. Remove branches at least a foot below the mistletoe attachment before it produces seeds that will infest other limbs and trees. Since mistletoe often infects many trees on the same street, a neighborhood effort to remove all mistletoe from any trees on the block will help reduce continued spread in the area. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/QT/mistletoecard.html
- Peach leaf curl –If leaf curl has been an issue on your peach or nectarine plants apply preventive spray once or more times until bud break. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/QT/peachleafcurlcard.html
- Bare root plants – Now is the time to plant bare root deciduous trees, shrubs, and vines, including roses, fruit, nuts and grapes. Select species and cultivars that are appropriate for the site it is being planted. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/homegarden/planting/
This compilation is a partial overview of the lists I reviewed. Check out the January seasonal landscape checklist for your area to see which tasks you need to do. Then bundle up, get your garden tools, and go outside (preferably on a sunny day!) to do the necessary winter maintenance chores in your garden. You and your landscape will be rewarded for your cold weather efforts come spring.
Denise Godbout-Avant has been a UCCE Stanislaus County Master Gardener since July 2020./h3>
The adult beetles are small (1/8 inch), slender, black beetles with dull yellow wing bands. The larvae are white, short-legged grubs. They are especially attracted to overripe, broken, fermenting, and dried fruits, and are common in orchards, drying sheds, and on fruit trays. The adults lay their eggs on ripe and rotting fruits of all types. They may also infest grapes before they have been completely dried and made into raisins. Fig varieties that have large "eyes" (openings at the blossom ends of fruits) are most affected; fig varieties such as 'Mission' and 'Tina' have small eyes, and are less infested by the beetles.
A complete life cycle of the dried fruit beetle may vary from a minimum of 15 days in the summer to several months in the winter. In winter, both adults and larvae survive in decaying cull fruit of any kind. The pupae generally overwinter in the soil.
Sanitation is the best way of controlling dried fruit beetles. Eliminate potential breeding sites by harvesting ripe fruit promptly and picking up fallen fruit as soon as possible. Keep cull fruit in tight garbage cans or garbage bags until disposed of. If you dry fruit, you should thoroughly clean your drying trays after each use.
You may want to try trapping to reduce dried fruit beetle infestations. To do this, place several overripe peaches in a bucket, then coat the insides of the bucket with 90-weight oil, Tanglefoot, or a similar sticky material. Once the buckets are hanging in the tree, the fermenting peaches attract the beetles, and they become trapped in the sticky material. This method will give you partial control only.
Ed Perry is the emeritus Environmental Horticultural Advisor for University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) in Stanislaus County where he worked for over 30 years.
- Author: Elaine Lander
While you are outside gardening or inside doing your spring cleaning, you may have recently found small, round, speckled beetles you've never seen before. We've had several questions this past week about insects crawling around windowsills, found on screens, or noticed on outdoor plants, or fuzzy, oblong insects on carpets or rugs. What are they? While there are many insects starting to emerge from their winter rest, if you are finding small beetles like these, they could be carpet beetles!
Carpet beetles are pests of homes, warehouses, and museums. In California, there are 3 species that damage fabrics, carpets, and stored foods including the varied carpet beetle, Anthrenus verbasci. The beetles are round like lady beetles (“ladybugs”), but much smaller in size. Varied carpet beetles are about 1/10 inch long, with black, white, brown and dark yellow patterns.
Carpet beetles adults feed on pollen and nectar of flowers. They often fly into homes from flowers in the landscape or may be accidentally brought indoors on cut flowers. A few adult beetles inside your home are typically not a problem. However, if you find larvae, the fuzzy immature beetles on fabric, carpet, or other natural materials in your home, you may need to manage the infestation.
See the UC IPM Pest Notes: Carpet Beetles for more identification, prevention, and management information.
Take our Pest Management in Vegetable Gardens class to learn how to identify pests and manage them using less toxic solutions. You'll also learn how to recognize beneficial insects, too.
Where: On Zoom. You will receive a link the morning of the class.
When: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Register at: http://ucanr.edu/vegpests/2021
Instructors: Rho Yare & Anne Schellman
To confirm your plant has hoplia beetles, inspect a flower and you may also spot this culprit (or three) hiding inside. The beetles are small, brown, and their undersides look like they've been dusted in gold. If you hold one in your hand, they will “play dead” and not move so you can examine them.
The best way to manage hoplia beetles is regularly handpicking or shaking them off the flowers into a bucket of soapy water and then disposing of it. This can help reduce beetle populations in the future. You can also fill white, 5-gallon buckets with water and a few drops of detergent. The white color may attract the beetles which will fall into the bucket and drown. Luckily, their populations begin to dwindle by June. You can read more details about these methods in the UC IPM Pest Note: Hoplia Beetles.