Creeping Garden Thugs do a lot of Damage

It’s likely you don’t need an introduction to snails and slugs, the bane to most gardeners. Loosely related to octopi and oysters, they glide along on their muscular foot, secreting mucus to facilitate movement, leaving their trademark glistening trail behind.  With similar biology, the snail carries an external shell while slugs have evolved without one. …

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The Ants Come Marching In

Ants on your artichoke plant? Your leafy vegetables?  Your house plants? They’re a prime indicator that sucking insects are feasting on your plants.  There’s a group of soft-bodied insects — aphids, mealybugs, soft scale and whiteflies that feed by sucking juices from plants. The direct damage they inflict on the plant can cause spotted, bleached, …

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Bats get a Bad Rap!

October is Bat Appreciation Month.  So, why would a whole month be devoted to these odd-looking creatures?  It has nothing to do with Halloween or vampires.  It’s more about getting to know these mysterious flying superheroes that help our environment, and aren’t as scary as you might think. Often having the undeserved reputation of nighttime …

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Good or Bad Guy Chomping Your Tomatoes?

If you notice a quarter of a tomato plant missing overnight, but you can’t figure out what’s causing it, look closer!  A master of disguise, the tomato hornworm may be the culprit! These are enormous caterpillars – up to four inches long!  Their striping pattern makes them hard to spot despite their size. One tell-tale …

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These Pests Love Hot, Dry, And Dusty!

Along with the warm, sunny days of summer comes a scourge of pests – spider mites.  These little arachnids, related to spiders, look like tiny moving dots. The eight-legged, oval shaped adults live in colonies, primarily on the under-surfaces of leaves and a single colony may contain hundreds of individuals. They overwinter as mated females …

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What’s Jumping in That Rose?

Ever stick your nose to inhale the perfume of a rose, and see teeny-tiny bugs jump?  Likely you’ve just met some flea beetles.  Named for their well-developed hind legs, they jump like fleas when disturbed. While these insects can be a nuisance to roses, they don’t do any real damage. They’re more commonly found on …

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Do you Really Need that Fertilizer?

Your garden is growing like crazy as we head into summer. Is it time to feed the lawn, the tomatoes and veggies, roses, and other flowers? Before you haul out bags, boxes, or bottles of plant food and sprinkle, spread, or pour them on, consider whether you really need to.  Are the products beneficial to …

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