No. 1/April 22, 2013

First Issue of the Year
Welcome to the Home, Yard, and Garden Pest Newsletter for 2013. This newsletter is published during the growing season to help ornamental horticulturists manage pest problems as they occur. Arborists, landscapers, lawn care personnel, golf course employees, garden center operators, and other professionals are the target audience of this newsletter.

Why Did the Worm Cross the Street?
Large numbers of earthworms have become obvious on sidewalks and streets with the heavy rains this week. Although it is well known that earthworms leave their burrows during heavy rains, we are unsure why they do it.

Spruce Spider Mite
Spruce spider mite and other mites that occur in the spring on needled evergreens such as pine mite, arborvitae mite, and juniper mite are susceptible to control with miticides at this time. They will remain susceptible to control through at least the end of the month in southern Illinois, mid-May in central Illinois, and late May in northern Illinois.

Phenology and Insect Management
Have you ever heard sayings such as "plant corn when oak leaves are the size of squirrels ear" or "apply crabgrass preventer when forsythia are blooming"? Sounds like old folk-lore but actually there is a science behind these statements. Phenology is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how they relate to seasonal/environmental changes.

The Midwest suffered greatly during the summer drought of 2012, as the drought caused many problems ranging from vastly reduced yields of staple crops, to the decline, and sometimes death of ornamentals. For Illinois, the drought has ended as no portions of the state are currently listed under the U.S. Drought Monitor. The lasting effects of the 2012 drought will likely be seen for years to come.

Plant Clinic Sample Submission: The Importance of a Sample Quality and Detailed Information
The first step towards correcting any plant problem is the accurate identification of the cause. A plant problem could potentially be caused by a variety of unfavorable growing conditions, cultural practices, insect pests, and plant pathogens. Some of these problems may be easily diagnosed or identified on site. Others may require the assistance of an expert or specialized equipment and methods only available in a Plant Diagnostic Laboratory.

Star-of-Bethlehem Control Options: When You've Had Enough of the Spring Flowers
I'm a big fan of spring bulbs and their resulting flowers, but I recognize that not everyone is. Sometimes, a seemingly decent plant can find itself in a location where it is not wanted. It can be labeled as a "weed". Gasp! This is a sad story for everyone (and every plant) involved.