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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Many parks, recreational areas, and outdoor venues in California are home to yellowjacket wasps (Vespula spp.). Yellowjackets are commonly attracted to human food items, creating a serious nuisance and a potential stinging threat. If found, nests (usually underground) can be effectively treated with targeted insecticide applications (e.g., dusts containing pyrethroids). However, baiting could be a feasible alternative method to suppress yellowjackets over a wide area, especially if nests cannot be located. Currently, only one active ingredient (esfenvalerate) is registered for use within bait in California to control yellowjackets,...
Western drywood termites (Incisitermes minor, Figure 1) are an important pest of structural wood in California, causing millions of dollars in damage annually. These termites are very cryptic, hidden in their galleries within wood members (pieces of wood), and only emerge during swarming. As a result, wood damage usually goes unnoticed for a long time.
Control options are generally categorized as either whole-structure treatment (heat treatment and fumigation) or local treatments (insecticide injection into the wood, high-power microwaves, electrocution, and other techniques).