No. 11/September 13, 2019

Insects on milkweed in the home landscape
Throughout the summer I receive messages from landscape professionals and gardeners asking about insects on milkweed. Often people want to learn whether the insect they’ve encountered is a pest and sometimes they ask whether that insect may be a threat to monarch caterpillars they wish to encourage in the landscape. There are a plethora of different insect species that live on milkweed ranging from tiny aphids to large butterflies and voracious mantids. Here are some of the most common insect species on milkweed throughout the summer

Ragweeds in Lawns and Landscapes
If you suffer from pollen allergies this time of year, you are likely familiar with the ragweeds. Both common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) and giant ragweed (A. trifida) are typically found in waste areas, fields, and rural roadsides. This year, however, I have seen common ragweed on more than one occasion happily growing in mowed turfgrass in an urban setting. I could maybe understand if it were growing in a rural lawn. Still, this is not a common lawn weed. To make matters worse, the ragweed was IN BLOOM. Take that, allergy sufferers! It’s growing close to the ground where you aren’t even looking for it.

Seedy Facts
One of the best management practice in the home landscape is not allowing annual weeds to flower and set seed.  The story goes a bit deeper than that in terms of why that is so important.

Hackberry Island Chlorosis
Island Chlorosis is a common disease of hackberry. While I am never surprised to see this disease, its occurrence seems to be a bit more noticeable this year. Symptoms appear as a rather interesting blocky mosaic pattern of yellow, cream, and light green spots intermixed with healthy green tissues. The lesions are delineated by veins, giving them an angular appearance.

Accidental Pesticide Poisonings- Don’t let Look-alikes Fool You
Pesticides can be beneficial in many ways.  However, they can also pose a human health hazard when not properly handled or stored. An average of 130,136 calls to poison control centers was reported from 2006 to 2010, with an average of 20,116 cases (17.8%) treated in health care facilities annually. A report written on Human Exposures to Pesticides in the U.S. found that an average of 23 deaths occurs each year with pesticides as the underlying cause of death, mostly due to suicidal ingestions. While ingestion is not a common route of pesticide exposure, it can result in the most severe poisoning. Additionally, children are at a higher risk because they often ingest a higher dose of pesticide (amount of pesticide per pound of body weight.) In 2008, pesticides were the ninth most common substance reported to poison control centers, and approximately 45% of all reports of pesticide poisoning were for children.