From Across the Field – 6/25/2020

Dealing with Landscape Pests

Had a chance to go back to southern Ohio for Father’s Day and I can report that it is just as hot and humid down there as it is here other than the have had about an inch more rain in the past month. I spent Saturday with my brother at a large farm machinery consignment sale. The used equipment market has appeared to gain some strength as things sold very well, and higher than I would have anticipated.

Here locally everyone is dealing with dry conditions. I was in a barley field where the cracks in the ground were large enough to swallow a cell phone. After a week with many calls regarding Army Worm, it appears that they are on the tail end of the caterpillar cycle. I have set Western Bean Cut Worm traps across the county and will begin monitoring the flight of adult moths this week.

If you are raising a garden, the key to keeping wildlife out is not to let them in the garden in the first place. Once they get in, they will try even harder to return. There are two ways to keep out wildlife: exclusion and repelling. The best way to exclude is with a fence. It can be permanent type fence, or if you are in an area without restrictions and children, an electric fence can work as well. The type of fence used will depend on the wildlife that causes issues such as raccoons, deer, or birds.  Repelling tends to be less successful and you need to keep one step ahead of the wildlife. There are repellent sprays that can be used which makes the crop less tasty like pepper type sprays. You can also use things like pie pans, noise makers, fake predator animals, or even a barking dog. The problem is that wildlife quickly figure things out, so you need to keep one step ahead.

For those readers in Washington Township, I have received a couple of call regarding Gypsy Moth caterpillars. If you suspect these invasive pests are in your landscape, let me know. Gypsy moth caterpillars are easily identified by the blue and red dots along the back, and are extremely damaging to oak trees.

I read last week that a homeowner found the Asian Longhorn beetle in South Carolina for the first time in that state. It is the most devasting non-native pest that has ever arrived in North America. These beetles attacks twelve types of trees that grow in our area and its favorite is the maple tree. This is a large beetle that makes a hole almost the size of a dime. If you suspect damage, please give me a call. It has been found in Southwest Ohio, has been isolated and eradication efforts continue. It has been successfully eradicated in other parts of the country so hopefully it will be controlled. I’ll end this week with a quote from Charles Dudley Warner: “What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it.” Have a great week.

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