Two species of Blatta cockroaches can be common peridomestic pests in California, including the familiar oriental cockroach (B. orientalis) and a relative newcomer, the Turkestan cockroach (B. lateralis, Figure 1). Adults of both species are large (usually one inch or more in length) and conspicuous insects that harbor and breed outdoors within moist crevices around structures, such as subsurface utility ports, voids associated with concrete expansion joints, and soil cracks formed at junctions of landscape and hardscape elements (Figure 2).
From these harborage sites, cockroaches venture out at night to feed on a wide variety of...
- Author: Tunyalee A. Martin
Whether you're having a backyard barbecue or enjoying outdoor activities as the weather warms up, it's important to protect yourself from mosquitoes and their bites. Not only can these buzzing insects be a nuisance, certain mosquito species can transmit West Nile virus and other public health threats in California.
Late spring rains followed by warm, sunny days can create the perfect mosquito breeding habitat. Mosquitoes need very little standing water to lay eggs that can hatch in as little as one day. So remember, drain after the rain to fight biting mosquitoes!
What should you do to protect yourself? If...
Soil solarization is a method home gardeners and farmers can use to manage soilborne pests such as weeds, disease pathogens, nematodes and insects. Solarization can reduce help reduce pesticides used to control these pests.
Soil solarization is simple: prepare the site, water it a bit, then cover the soil with clear plastic for an extended period of time to allow the sun to heat the soil to temperatures lethal to a wide range of pests.
Learn more about this process in our recently updated Pest Notes: Soil Solarization for Gardens & Landscapes, by authors Jim...
- Author: Rick Vetter
If you were to ask an audience of more than a few people if they or anyone they know has ever seen or been bitten by a brown recluse spider in California, many hands would be raised. This is quite remarkable because the brown recluse spider has NEVER established breeding populations in California!
The myth of the brown recluse has been generated and sustained by:
- Physician misdiagnoses (where many skin lesions of diverse non-spider origin are blamed on a non-existent spider)
- Media articles that report claims of horrendous bite injury without proof of spider involvement
- Misidentification of harmless brown spiders as brown recluses by the general public as well as "authorities" who lack...