Solitary Wasps

Midsummer is the season of solitary wasps. These wasps are called solitary because they do not build large colonies like paper wasps or yellow jackets. They are predators and prey on spiders, crickets, cicadas and other insects. Solitary wasps paralyze their prey and drag it to a burrow. They lay an egg on the paralyzed... Continue Reading →

Tips for Japanese Beetle Control

Japanese beetle season is here! The first beetles of the season are beginning to feed and soon defoliated plants – in some cases entire trees - will appear. So, what’s the best strategy for managing them?   Below are some tips to help minimize damage in your landscape. But first - realize that when Japanese beetles... Continue Reading →

Handling Pesticides Safely

Pest control depends to a great extent on how well you achieve thorough coverage of all plant parts - flowers, leaves, the undersides of leaves, and fruit.  New label directions now give flexibility in the amount of water used to dilute pesticides.  Using the highest amount of water you can often gives the best coverage.  Spray plants until... Continue Reading →

Make Your Landscape Bee-friendly

Honey bees and other bee species, such as bumblebees, orchard mason bees, and leafcutter bees are very important pollinators of flower and crops.  In the home garden and orchard, gardeners are aware how important bees are for fruit and vegetable production.  But in recent years many gardeners have noticed declining bee numbers in their gardens... Continue Reading →

Controlling Cucumber Beetles and Squash Bugs With Fewer Insecticides? Yes, it’s Possible!

Cucumber beetles and squash bugs are two serious insect problems of the cucurbits – cucumber, summer squash, winter squash, pumpkin, watermelon and zucchini.  They are both difficult to control, but new research gives an option to reduce their numbers using low-chemical control. The Culprits Cucumber beetles and squash bug adults both cause damage through their feeding.... Continue Reading →

2020 – The Year of Lantana

This year the National Garden Bureau  features Lantana as its annual flower of the year.  In the 18th century,  lantana was a popular greenhouse plant in Europe and breeding efforts were extensive, resulting in hundreds of available selections. The most commonly available species, Lantana camara, is a tender plant winter hardy to zone 8. Although lantana is not... Continue Reading →

Controlling Oystershell Scale in the Landscape

Oystershell scale is a very secretive little insect that usually goes unnoticed.  But despite it’s tiny size, this insect can cause significant damage in trees or shrubs.  Some gardeners aren’t even aware the insects are present as they prune out dead branches the insects have killed. If you had branches die on a rose, dogwood or lilac... Continue Reading →

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The brown marmorated stink bug is a nuisance as well as a destructive pest and, like its name implies, puts off a nasty odor when crushed. This nonnative invasive pest has been in Nebraska since 2012. The damage the BMSB causes is from its needle-like mouthpart that punctures, resulting in sunken bruised areas on fruits.... Continue Reading →

Oak Twig Girdler Causes Dead Twigs in Trees

Every summer an unusual type of insect makes an appearance in many landscapes.  Actually, there is a small group of insects, called twig girdlers or twig pruners, that cause similar damage in a variety of trees. But fortunately, these insects are not a serious problem and their activity doesn't have serious consequences for the trees. But... Continue Reading →

Time to Scout for Bagworms

If your landscape has a history of bagworm problems, it’s time to start looking for them. Nebraska Extension entomologist Jonathan Larson says “Bagworms are some of the best architects in the insect world. These caterpillars take materials from the plants they live in and construct a tough bag to dwell in as they grow.” The insects and... Continue Reading →

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