Gophers are well-known and certainly unwelcome pests in landscapes, gardens, lawns, and athletic turf. More correctly called pocket gophers, these rodents mostly remain hidden underground in tunnels and feed on plants from below, sometimes pulling whole plants into their tunnels. They prefer herbaceous plants but will eat a wide range of vegetation.
A single gopher can destroy a landscape quickly, so control measures need to begin as soon as the gopher is detected. Mounds of fresh soil are usually the first indication of their presence. Effective integrated management of pocket gophers relies largely on exclusion measures and trapping, although poison baits are also available.
Read more about gophers, their behavior, and...
- Author: Karey Windbiel-Rojas
Originally posted August 26, 2016; edited July 10, 2018
Have you seen big green beetles in your California yard or garden? Or beetles feeding on your roses or other plants? There are many kinds of beetles commonly found in our landscapes, but the Japanese beetle is not one of them.
Many people think they've seen the Japanese beetle, a small scarab beetle with metallic green wings with white spots on the margins. However, Japanese beetles are generally not found in California.
The Japanese beetle is an exotic and potentially invasive pest for which the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is conducting eradication efforts to limit its spread.../h2>
Dandelions are broadleaf plants easily recognizable by their bright yellow flower and puffball of white tufted seeds heads. While this plant is appreciated as a food or herb by many, for equal numbers of others it is regarded as a weed when found growing in lawns, ornamental plantings, and athletic fields throughout the year.
For helpful nonchemical and chemical management solutions to help you control this weed, read the newly revised Pest Notes: Dandelion by UC Cooperative Extension Advisor John Roncoroni.
Wet weather is favorable to mushrooms, which are sometimes called toadstools. Mushrooms are the visible reproductive (fruiting) structures of some types of fungi. Although the umbrella-shaped fruiting body is the most common and well known, mushrooms display a great variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Some other fruiting bodies encountered in lawns include puffballs, stinkhorns, and bird's nests, descriptive names that reveal the diversity of forms among mushrooms. But regardless of shape, the purpose of all fruiting bodies is to house and then disseminate spores, the reproductive units of fungi.
Many people become concerned when mushrooms appear in their lawns; however, most mushroom-producing fungi in lawns are merely...
You may be seeing long-legged, flying insects in your house lately, bouncing around the walls, ceilings, and corners. Many people call these “mosquito hawks” or “mosquito eaters,” but unfortunately, they are not predators of mosquitoes.
These flying insects are actually adult crane flies and although annoying to find in the home, they are basically harmless and won't help with any mosquito problems.
Many reports claim these adult European crane flies (Tipula paludosa) bite or sting, but this is false. Most adult crane flies, which superficially resemble large mosquitoes with very long legs, eat very little, if at all. Adult crane flies live for only a few weeks, and when they find their...