Milkweed Bugs

Recently, you may have noticed a new orange and black insect on your milkweed. Although it may resemble a boxelder bug, it is actually the large milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus. Usually found in groups on the stems, leaves and seed pods, their presence may seem ominous; however, they are harmless…

What’s Eating My Rosemary?

For the last few weeks I’ve been asked what’s causing the webbing on the branches of rosemary plants brought to the diagnostic lab. The answer is the caterpillar or larval stage of the southern purple mint moth (Pyrausta laticlavia). The tiny larvae produce conspicuous amounts of webbing on leaves and…

Buying a Good Garden Hose

While it’s back-to-school for many of us, whether we’re the student or the parent, this time of year produces seasonal sales! Needing a new garden hose, one of my neighbors asked me which one was the best “deal” among options available to them. While listing any personal preferences you have,…

It’s Hot! It’s Humid! It’s Summer in the South

What do our plants “think” about this weather? Are they looking a little limp? Edging toward the door when it opens and cool comes spilling out? Or do they seem to bask in our conditions, looking more lush and sultry with each day of excess temperatures and sauna-like conditions? Much…

Smart, Safe Pesticide Use

Summer has arrived in full force with rising temperatures, which means pests may start causing problems in our gardens and landscapes. It is very important to know how to safely use and store pesticides. The identification of beneficial insects versus pests should always occur before purchasing any pesticides as these insects…

Time to Plant a Butterfly Garden

It is almost the perfect time to plant a butterfly garden, so start planning now. In the next few weeks, the soil will be warm enough for annual seeds, such as Mexican sunflower and zinnia, to germinate. Choose a sunny location for the needs of both plants and insects. Proper…

How Do I Know If My Plant Is Really Dead?

Reading the Drought Monitor for the next few months isn’t the most uplifting material, but then again, the situation in our landscapes may not be as dire as we think. In particular, the question asked, debated, and referred to friends, neighbors, and even “experts” – is it (tree, shrub, etc)…

Lawn Burweed – Preventing this Prickly Pest

“Last spring, I noticed our family dog almost tip-toeing through the yard. He acted like something was pricking his feet. When I walked in the same area, I realized that he wasn’t just acting!! Whatever it was pricked my feet too! On closer inspection, I found this weed that had…

There’s a Mouse in the House!

Small, furry, and fast, there’s nothing quite like being visited or invaded by a mouse or mice. Many people still call it a “house mouse”, as if it were a special breed of mouse that lived only in houses. The fact is there are several varieties of mice (plural of…