Rodent Awareness Week (October 18-24) is a campaign created by the National Pest Management Association to educate the public about the potential harm associated with rats and mice. In addition to damage to structures and property, rodents can transmit disease to other animals and humans.
As the days get shorter and the temperatures begin to cool, now is the time to practice weed management for annual cool-season weeds. It's also not too early to consider management for weeds that emerge in springtime.
Using integrated pest management (IPM) methods can help reduce the presence of most weeds. In lawns, good practices such as proper watering, mowing, and fertilizing can help maintain healthy turfgrass. Likewise, in landscapes, hand-weeding, cultivation, and use of mulches can be effective in controlling weeds. More specific information about these and other IPM practices can be found in our Pest Notes publications on
We don't often find flies such a popular topic of conversation, but given recent events, we'd like to seize the moment to share some science-based information about their status as both pests and beneficial insects.
Flies can be nuisance insects both indoors and outdoors. There are many species of flies in California with some being more problematic than others. In UC IPM's publication Pest Notes: Flies, the authors provide information about identification, habitat, damage, and management of several common flies including house flies and face flies.
You may be surprised to learn that some flies are actually beneficial insects. Many flies in the...
Sooty mold is a black fungal growth that looks like a layer of soot covering the leaves of a plant or a sidewalk. The aptly named disease is common in gardens and landscapes, appearing wherever a large infestation of plant-sucking insects are found. Sooty mold grows on honeydew, a sticky substance excreted by plant-sucking insects.
While sooty mold doesn't actually damage plants or other surfaces, a thick growth of the fungus can block light to plant leaves, reducing photosynthesis. This can lead to stunted growth and premature leaf drop.
The key to reducing sooty mold is management of honeydew-producing insects,...
Most of us have experienced itchy skin from a biting insect at least once in our lives. Insects and spiders such as mosquitoes, ticks, mites, bed bugs, fleas, and head lice can and do bite people. But have you ever felt like something bit you, but you didn't see what did it? This happens to all of us from time to time, but some may feel like they are getting bit constantly, are itchy, or have the sensation that bugs are crawling on them or underneath their skin. Yet they can't find the bugs. Because the insects may be too small or too fast to catch, it might be hard to convince others of the problem.
This unexplained itching feeling can be very bothersome to those experiencing it and can lead to stress. The issue is addressed in...