No. 8/June 18, 2018

Modified Growing Degree Days (Base 50°F, March 1 through June 14)
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 in this article with the degree day accumulations to determine what insect pests could be active in their area.

Flying "Brown Moths" Near Flowering Trees
Lots of questions about the "brown moths" that have been very active around sunset across several central Illinois towns this week. These are armyworm moths. Armyworm moths migrate from the south each spring. They mate and lay eggs in grass and weedy areas.

Japanese Beetles on Ornamental Plants
Adult Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica) have emerged in Illinois and are beginning to feed on ornamental plants.  Japanese beetle adults have a broad host range, feeding on over 100 plants including linden, buckeye, rose, crabapple, apple, grape and raspberry.  They may feed on the foliage, flowers and fruits of their host plants, skeletonizing leaves so only the leaf veins remain.  Beetles tend to feed on and damage the upper portions of plants which can lead to heavy damage in the tops of trees. 

Brown Patch
Weather conditions in many parts of Illinois have been conducive to the development of brown patch on turf. This is a fungal disease caused by Rhizoctonia solani. Brown patch outbreaks occur during hot, muggy weather when night temperatures are above 68°F, overnight dew periods exceed 8 hours, and daytime temperatures are in the 80s and 90s. The disease is capable infecting all cool-season turfgrass species. Tall fescue and perennial ryegrass are the more severely damaged landscape turgrasses. The disease tends to be most damaging on dense, highly fertilized turfgrasses.

Making Pesticide Applications in School/Community Gardens
Nothing tastes better than produce you have grown. Before you can harvest and share your bounty, you may have to manage pests which can reduce your yields. Insects, diseases, and weeds can be controlled by various methods. Pesticides are an important tool in pest management; in order to use pesticides legally and safely, there are a few things you must know. You may need to obtain a license to apply pesticides from the Illinois Department of Agriculture per the Illinois Pesticide Act. This fact sheet will help guide you to determine if you need one.

Home Pesticide Remedies--Use with Caution
Home horticulture remedies come in all kinds of special recipes passed down from one gardener to the next. Some of these recipes include coffee grounds to repel ants, mint to keep mice away, dawn dish soap to remove aphids, and even using coyote urine to repel raccoons from a sweet corn patch. And if you want to know, it can be bought on Amazon! These might be considered snake oil to some and to others a saving grace.