Many areas in California have experienced a hot and dusty summer, perfect conditions that favor spider mites! These tiny arachnids are plant pests whose numbers can get very high during the warm months of June through September.
Spider mites damage plants by sucking cell contents from leaves. If you see plant leaves with light dots on them (stippling) that turn yellowish or reddish and drop off, and/or large amounts of fine webbing on leaves, twigs, and fruit, your plants might have spider mites.
Spider mites look like tiny, moving dots that will move around rapidly when disturbed. To correctly identify these pests, use a 10x hands lens to view...
Many retail nurseries and garden centers sell lady beetles for controlling aphids in gardens and landscapes. Gardeners often ask, “Does releasing lady beetles really work?
University of California research has demonstrated that lady beetle releases can effectively control aphids in a limited landscape or garden area if properly handled and applied in sufficient numbers. However, because of inadequate release rates or poor quality, lady beetles often fail to provide satisfactory control; other low toxicity aphid management practices such as hosing off or insecticidal soap or oil sprays may be more effective. Here are some things to consider if you decide to try lady beetle releases:
If you grow roses, you might be noticing damage on the flowers caused by hoplia beetles (Hoplia callipyge). Hoplia beetles, which are common between March and May, especially in the Central Valley, feed on the blossoms of light-colored roses and other flowers in your landscape.
Hoplia beetle adults are small, reddish-brown scarab beetles that are often found resting inside a blossom. If you hold one in your hand, you'll notice that most of the body is a beautiful, iridescent silvery green color in the sunlight.
These beetles may also occasionally be found feeding on other plants with light-colored petals.
Some people believe they have the rose chafer or Japanese beetle in their landscape, however...
Catchweed bedstraw. It's that weed that tugs at your clothes while you pass by or attaches to your dog or cat's fur. It's also known as the “Velcro plant” since it easily clings to anything that touches it.
In the garden, catchweed bedstraw competes with landscape plants for nutrients, water and light. Once mature, it can reach 6 feet long and be problematic when it smothers desirable plants. It can also make it difficult for gardeners to harvest produce.
Catchweed bedstraw is a winter or summer annual in California. The best control is to physically remove it as soon as it appears so it does not spread. For tips on how to manage this weed in your landscape, please visit the
- Author: Niamh Quinn
In October 2016, the University of California Cooperative Extension, Orange County, in association with the Pest Control Operators of California, Target Specialty Products, and Univar, hosted a three-day West Coast Rodent Academy for pest management professionals. The event was held at University of California's Agricultural and Natural Resources South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irvine, CA.
At the academy, participants learned about rodent identification, rodent disease, sanitation, monitoring, trapping, and urban rodent surveys. Participants were provided with opportunities to learn about good environmental stewardship practices and provided with updates on the laws and regulations concerning trapping and the use of...