- Author: Lauren Fordyce
Plentiful rainfall in California this spring created an ideal environment for many plants to thrive, including wildflowers, trees, and shrubs that desperately needed the water. However, other potentially harmful species also benefited from the unusually wet weather. Of particular concern are poisonous plants which are growing abundantly in parks and wildlands this year. These plants pose health risks to people, especially children, and pets. Being able to identify poisonous plants and understand available control options is critical for the safety of people who encounter them. While several poisonous plants grow in California, a few of the more common are detailed below along with information on how best to remove or manage...
- Author: Luca Carmignani
How can weed control help with wildfire preparedness?
Wildfires are part of California's ecosystems, and they do not have to lead to the destruction of structures and livelihoods. Each of us can contribute to improving wildfire resilience, from individual homeowners and businesses to entire communities. Managing the vegetation and landscape around our homes can play a crucial role in preventing the spread of fires and sources of ignition.
Given the large amount of rain in the winter of 2022-2023, you might have experienced a surge in annual grasses and fast-growing plants that cover most of the ground around your home and community. In my area, I observed invasive species like wild oats and mustard growing.../h2>
- Author: Mackenzie Patton
The Invasive Pest Spotlight focuses on relevant or emerging invasive species in California. In this issue we are covering brooms, a group of invasive shrubs.
Invasive Broom facts
Brooms are upright shrubs in the legume family that typically produce small, yellow, pea-shaped flowers. Shrubs range from 3 to 10 feet tall. They produce flowers from mid spring to summer and produce seed pods in late summer. All brooms are prolific seed producers, with a single shrub producing as many as 2,000 to 3,500 pods containing up to 20,000 seeds.
While brooms are attractive plants, they grow in dense stands that outcompete many native plants. These dense stands are highly...
- Author: Lauren Fordyce
The cool, wet spring that California has experienced this year comes with many benefits, but also some drawbacks. For the false chinch bug, a small insect commonly found in grassy or weedy areas, this year's weather may result in a population boom. For those who live near grassy areas, it could mean hundreds to thousands of these insects invading homes and other nearby structures.
False chinch bugs are a common springtime pest. They overwinter in unmanaged areas and often feed on winter weeds, like mustard. As spring plant growth increases, so do populations of false chinch bugs. When spring weeds die back, the false chinch bugs will then move to landscape plants and crops to feed. They are usually only a pest of...
- Author: Karey Windbiel-Rojas
Weed management in landscaped areas can be challenging. Weeds may need to be controlled for public safety, fire reduction, aesthetics, and elimination of harborage for other pests. While many nonchemical options for controlling weeds exist—such as physical removal with tools, steam, flame or steam devices, grazing animals, and others—there are some situations that may require the application of herbicides.
For decades, glyphosate has been a common active ingredient used to control weeds in both agricultural and nonagricultural settings. However, there has been significant public concern about the use of glyphosate and other herbicides due to their potential...