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Garden Pest Control
The key to common lawn pest control is identification. Once you have properly identified the pest, you can choose the best method or appropriate measure of control.

A Spring Rose Insect Watch

rose insect

Rose Midge

Rose midge is an insect that can injure roses as new growth occurs. The larvae of this insect are maggots, and its feeding can affect both flower buds and foliage. Affected flower buds darken in color, shrivel and droop. Leaf damage appears as incomplete expansion, dark discoloration, wilting and even death. However, severe bud damage can occur with little or no leaf damage. One way to manage this insect is to remove affected buds since they can harbor midge maggots. Gardeners can also treat with a labeled insecticide as soon as affected buds are noticed. Several generations of this insect can occur in a season, so continue to watch for signs of their damage and prune out affected buds and/or reapply insecticide as needed.

thanks to Ohio State University Horticulture & Crop Science

Common Arborvitae Pests

A friend was complaining that her arborvitae's have brown tips and many have fallen off. She asked how should she react? If this isn’t a time of drought, there could be a number of things happening.

Arborvitae's, like all evergreens, will loose some of their foliage just naturally every year, usually in the fall.  If you see this happening on the inside near the trunk don’t worry.

Healthy Arborvitae

If this is occurring with brown spots or you notice the foliage turns yellow first and then brown you probably have aphids.  Aphids are tiny little bugs with pear shaped-bodies a little smaller than a pencil tip.

Aphids

Aphids

Aphids are extremely small. You may have to use a magnifying glass to see them.

Or it could be leaf miners. Leaf miners are tiny little bugs, red with black heads.

Leafminer

They eat and set up camp to hibernate through the winter and in spring they will morph into gray moths.  These two pests are common.  You can spray in either case with an insecticidal soap. Only once every 5-7 days.  Too much soap can cause burning so use with prudence.
Often times the home remedies work just as well as the chemicals you’d buy in the store and often they’re made with things you have in the cupboard so they’re relatively safe.

A simple insecticidal soap recipe:
Mix
3 level tsp soap powder
1 Gallon warm water
Pour into a spray bottle and LABEL IT! And keep out of reach of children.

Rose Bush with Yellowed Leaves

I had a problem with aphids in my previous home on my Rose bushes. Rose aphids were destroying my beautiful long stemmed rose bushes. If you grow roses you know how disappointing that can be. I would get a beautiful early season blossom but the fall blossoms which had become standard no longer came to bare. The rose aphids came along in June and destroyed the foliage cutting off the supply line of the sunlight. The leaves turned yellow and eventually fell. These were green, pear-shaped and only visible through a magnifying glass. I discovered them on the underside of the leaves. I unfortunately found them too late. But the following season, I watched with vigilance and sure enough, they came back. The soap insecticide formula was enough to kill the infestation. I had a powder formula I had purchased from a gardening center, but there were too many small children and pets near by that may have been at harm with exposure to the chemicals.Here's what I used from previous post:

A simple insecticidal soap recipe:
Mix
3 level tsp soap powder
1 Gallon warm water
Pour into a spray bottle and lable the bottle. And please, keep out of reach of children.

Yellow Patches in My Lawn

You do everything right. You water, fertilize and mow with a methodical approach yet you find these circular yellow spots on you lawn. More than likely you have chinch bugs. Here is an adult chinch bug: a.k.a. cinch bug. It's commonly mispelled, and arguably just as annoying as the bugs themselves.

Well, here's a way you can test and verify if these pests have invaded. Take a teaspoon of liquid detergent, dish or laundry, and mix it with a quart of water. Then remove both ends of a tin can to give you a tin tube. Push one end of the tin tube into the ground, about 2-3 inches. Then pour about 1 cup of the solution into the can. Wait about 5-10 minutes and watch for anything climbing or floating to the surface. You may be surprised at what you see coming up.

They tend to infest when there is a thick thatch (see mowing techniques), poor nitrogen content and lack of water. They usually appear during dry spells. They'll colonize in the hottest and dryest parts of your lawn. It may be difficult to distinguish drought damage from chinch bugs, but the "can" test will tell the tale.

Make your own insecticidal soap; also known as "cinch bug removal" procedure

Here's a simple, cheap and very effective home remedy for chinch bugs. Drop 2 TSP of dishwashing liquid into 1 gallon of water preferably in a watering can with a sprinkler head, for even distribution. Pour the soapy insecticide over the suspected or rather infected area. Then place a white cloth, something close to flannel or terri, over the area you just saturated. Wait about 15 minutes. The chinch bugs will come to surface and cling to the cloth. Grab the cloth and dump it into a bucket of soapy water. Then hose down the area with water to dilute the soapy insecticide.

Another Method

Another option would be to make the insecticidal soap I mentioned above and add 4 teaspoons of isopropyl rubbing alcohol. (This step helps in penetration.) Pour it into a spray bottle that you have labeled explicitly and spray the infected areas every 3 days for 2 weeks. This should take care of the little pests.

Commercial insecticidal soaps are much safer to use than the homemade recipes. The commercial products are made to kill certain and specific insects while not harming beneficial insects. They are biodegradable and they break down within a week or two so as not to harm plants or the environment. Scott's Ortho makes a Bug-B-Gone insect killer for lawns that will work great; just follow the instructions.

To follow up and keep them from returning make sure your thatch layer never gets thicker than 1/4 inch, keep your lawn moist and well watered and try to avoid over fertilizing. I'll say it again among these pages; once a year is really all that's necessary. More on fertilizing here and here .Make your own insecticidal soap; also known as "cinch bug removal" procedure

Here's a simple, low cost and very effective home remedy for chinch bugs. Drop 2 TSP of dishwashing liquid into 1 gallon of water preferably in a watering can with a sprinkler head, for even distribution. Pour the soapy insecticide over the suspected or rather infected area. Then place a white cloth, something close to flannel or terri, over the area you just saturated. Wait about 15 minutes. The chinch bugs will come to surface and cling to the cloth. Grab the cloth and dump it into a bucket of soapy water. Then hose down the area with water to dilute the soapy insecticide.

Another option would be to make the insecticidal soap that I mentioned above and add 4 teaspoons of isopropyl rubbing alcohol. This step helps in penetration. Pour it into a spray bottle that you have labeled explicitly and spray the infected areas every 3 days for 2 weeks. This should take care of the little pests.

Commercial insecticidal soaps are much safer to use than the homemade recipes. The commercial products are made to kill certain and specific insects while not harming beneficial insects. They are biodegradable and they break down within a week or two so as not to harm plants or the environment. Scott's Ortho makes a Bug-B-Gone insect killer. It works for lawns that will work great; just follow the instructions.

To follow up and keep them from returning make sure your thatch layer never gets thicker than 1/4 inch, keep your lawn moist and well watered and try to avoid over fertilizing. I'll say it again among these pages; once a year is really all that's necessary. More on fertilizing lawns can be seen on this page and more tips can be seen here .

 

 



 

 



 
 
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