“Aphids are really bad this year!” This is what we've been hearing on social media and from many home gardeners. Aphids can curl leaves, stunt plant growth, and make a mess by the sticky honeydew they exude. Some aphid species create galls which can also damage plants. Low to moderate aphid infestations usually don't damage plants but if you do have more aphids this year, there are many options for controlling them.
Aphids in landscapes and gardens can be managed by a number of different methods, including biological control. Biological control is when naturally occurring beneficial insects, mites, or other organisms (also called natural enemies) reduce a pest's abundance by eating or parasitizing them.
While some may find them cute, both the Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) and the Eastern fox squirrel (S. nigeri) are actually invasive species in California. They are two of four species of tree squirrels found throughout the state. Regulations regarding management of tree squirrels is complicated, so it is important to be able to identify squirrels to species level.
While we are staying home during the pandemic, insects are most definitely not!
In fact, you may have seen different types of insects swarming over the last few weeks. Swarming is a reproductive behavior where certain insects leave their colonies in droves, mate, disperse, and establish new colonies. Most of these swarms are not successful and end up dying, but for those that are successful, spring is an optimal time for insect colonies to find new homes.
Honey bees are one type of insect that can swarm at this time of the year while looking for new nesting locations. A large number of bees may appear frightening, but most spring swarms of the European honey bee are very docile and unlikely to sting. Our
As you practice social distancing during COVID-19, you may find yourself spending more time in the garden. As we move into nice weather, we are sharing a few gardening tips for pest management.
Check for signs of powdery mildew on fruit trees, landscape ornamentals, and vegetables. Symptoms can vary by plant species but common symptoms include white powdery spots developing on both sides of the leaf, leaves that turn yellow or brown and fall off, twisting and distortion of leaves and shoot. Prune out small infestations and remove infected material to reduce spread.
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