No. 1/April 11, 2016

First Issue for 2016
Welcome to the Home, Yard, and Garden Pest Newsletter for 2016. We provide information on insect pests, diseases, weeds, and other pests of professionally maintained trees, shrubs, turf, and flowers in Illinois. It is written for the professional arborist, landscaper, lawn care professional, golf course superintendent, and garden center operator.

Spruce Spidermite
Conifer feeding mites including spruce spidermite, arborvitae mite, juniper mite, and pine mite are active at this time of year. They should be feeding through mid-April in southern Illinois, through April in central Illinois, and mid-May in northern Illinois.

Mosquitoes and Zika Virus
Zika virus has been in the news through the winter and several cases have been found in people in Illinois who apparently picked up the virus during foreign travel. This leads to concerns about the health of landscape workers and others this summer when mosquitoes become prevalent.

2016 Season at the University of Illinois Plant Clinic: Celebrating 40 Years of Diagnosing Plant Problems
Welcome to the 2016 Plant Clinic Season! We are open year round to serve your plant diagnostic needs. 2016 marks our 40th Anniversary, so make sure to stay connected with us on Facebook ( to celebrate.

Modified Growing Degree Days (Base 50°F, March 1 through April 7)
Insect development is temperature dependent. We can use degree days to help predict insect emergence and activity. Home, Yard, and Garden readers can use the links below with the degree day accumulations above to determine what insect pests could be active in their area.

Mild Winter Favors Brown Marmorated Stink Bug; Increased Number of Reports
This past winter, the reports of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) continued to come by phone, and email well into February. We've seen an increase in populations in several areas of Illinois over the past year. Northeastern Illinois and Madison/St. Clair counties continue to be hot spots of activity. However, we are still receiving reports statewide, and have confirmed BMSB in several new counties.

Nimblewill, Muhlenbergia schreberi, is a warm-season perennial grass, thriving in summer's heat, but like zoysia and bermudagrass, looking straw brown from late fall thru spring. It's one of the last warm season grasses to green up, often causing worries that areas of the turf have died.