No. 12/October 8, 2022

Last Issue for 2022
This is the last issue of the Home, Yard, and Garden Pest Newsletter for this year. We plan to publish the first issue of 2023 in mid-April. As always, your suggestions for improving this newsletter are welcome. Thanks for your interest and input this year.

Spruce Spider Mite
As temperatures begin to fall, conditions may become favorable for spruce spider mite (Oligonychus ununguis). Spruce spider mites are typically active in spring and fall when temperatures are cool and become inactive during the hot summer months. Active mites will feed on various needled evergreens including spruces, pines and junipers. In the fall, mites will feed on first-year needles and needles from previous years.

Fall Control Options for Viburnum Leaf Beetle
Viburnum leaf beetle (Pyrrhalta viburni) larvae feed on members of the Viburnum genus causing significant defoliation. While the larvae are active in May and June, there are some steps that can be taken in the fall to reduce or prevent injury the following year.

Instead of Raking Leaves, Try Mulching Them into the Turf
There are many things to enjoy about fall, but raking leaves is probably not high on your list. It’s a labor-intensive process of collecting the leaves into piles, bagging them, and then hauling them to the curb or off-site. The process repeats until the last leaf is down. Mulching the leaves back into the lawn is a much easier method that has gained acceptance. Mulching is also an excellent way to recycle leaves and return nutrients to your lawn and garden.

Poisonous Plants in the Vegetable Garden
Poison hemlock and wild parsnip may come to mind when thinking about poisonous plants. They both gained considerable media attention this summer for the immediate health risks associated with direct exposure to these plants. White snakeroot seems to be in abundance this fall. Although with this one, the risk isn’t touching the plant but rather consuming tainted milk from dairy cows who fed upon this plant. Many are cautious around these plants, but what if these plants are allowed to grow and then die back in an area that will be used to produce vegetables? Are there long-term risks associated with these and other poisonous plants that once grew where vegetables are grown and harvested?

Index 2022
The following is an index to the pests and other topics addressed in the 2022 Home, Yard, and Garden Pest Newsletter. Each Item is followed by the issue number in which it appeared.