No. 16/September 26, 2018

Spruce Spider Mite
Now that temperatures are beginning to fall in Illinois, conditions are becoming 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. 

Minute Pirate Bug
Minute pirate bugs or insidious flower bugs tend to be more prevalent in our backyards when the farmers start to harvest in late summer to early fall. Some people call these minute pirate bugs, no-see-ems, which is inaccurate.  No-see-ems are tiny black gnats that feed on blood; these guys are true bugs. However, they definitely feel like they are feeding on blood. Many Illinoisans would put minute pirate bugs in the same category as mosquitoes and chiggers for their annoying habit to bite you.  They probe your skin with a short beak to determine whether you are food. The pinch-like bite is surprisingly painful for such a small unnoticeable insect. While insignificant to some people, others may develop welts and red marks.

Biscogniauxia Canker and Diedback
Biscogniauxia (pronounced Bisk-o-nee-ox-e-a) canker and dieback is a disease that takes advantage of stressed and weakened host trees.  Outbreaks of the disease occur following stress events.  These events may include growing seasons with intense heat, prolonged drought, or any injury to a tree's root system. While the disease is capable of infecting a variety of tree species, oaks within the red oak group are particularly susceptible. Over the past several years, I have observed numerous pin oaks in central Illinois succumb to this disease.

Household Hazardous Material Collection Events Scheduled for Fall 2018
Fall can be an excellent time for cleaning up your chemical storage area. Now is the time to get rid of any old or unwanted pesticides while this growing season's use is still fresh in your mind. The household hazardous material collection schedule has been released to the public.