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    Emerald Ash Borer Symposium

    The emerald ash borer (Argilus planipennis) is an East Asian beetle that is a lethal threat to ash trees across the Northern Plains. To assist communities, parks, and conservation districts in preparing for this pest, a one-day symposium on emerald ash borer and other exotic threats will be held on the campus of South Dakota State University Tuesday, March 10.

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    Email Samples Submitted During November

    The proliferation of camera phones and digital cameras has resulted in many tree owners taking pictures of their tree or pest problems and submitting them electronically. I call these e-samples and I post the more interesting one on this website so readers can see what is going on in South Dakota. This is the time for the various insects and spiders to show up in homes and two interesting samples have come in during the past couple of weeks. The first is a spider, the Parson spider Herpyllus ecclesiasticus.

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    SDSU WEEDS Group at the Fair

    The SDSU WEED project will be at the fair to answer your questions again. This year the feature will be the amaranth “pigweed” species. There is a lot of confusion on what species we have in the state and how we can control them. This is your one stop location to get your questions answered by the experts.

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    Herbicide Damage to Fruits & Vegetables

    Each year in early summer, many gardeners as well as commercial fruit and vegetable growers begin to notice distorted leaf growth on crops such as tomatoes, potatoes, and grapes. Most commonly, the cause of the distortion is due to herbicide application to a nearby field, lawn, road bank, or other area, that has drifted to these very susceptible crops. Phenoxy-type herbicides, such as ones containing 2,4-D, are most often the culprit. These herbicides are absorbed by the plant and transported to its growing points, and can cause damage at just 1/100 of the label rate.

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    Know Your Mosquitoes To Protect Yourself

    Cool springs tend to delay the buildup of mosquito populations. Yet some sporadic rainfall events of late will provide optimum conditions for some mosquito species. Mosquito trapping efforts across the state in the last seven years showed that there are over 20 species of mosquitoes occurring in South Dakota, yet only two species dominate the surveillance data: Aedes vexans and Culex tarsalis.

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    Sod Webworm in South Dakota

    Sod webworm moths are emerging throughout South Dakota. Although these pests are common during the fall, the number of moth sightings and population densities in the Western half of the state are higher than normal. The particular species being found is the vagabond sod webworm. Unlike several other webworm species found in the United States, vagabond sod webworms rarely cause much damage and the adult moths are no more than just a short-term nuisance.

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    Rose Sawfly Damage Exacerbated by Heat

    Rose sawflies are also called roseslugs and are in the order Hymenoptera. Despite their common name, they are neither flies nor slugs. The larvae resemble caterpillars. They are small and light green with a tan head capsule. The larvae feed on the surface of the leaves, and do not chew through the whole leaf. This results in ‘windowpane’ injury or skeletonization of the leaves.

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    Earwig Management at Home

    The wet conditions in the Southeast portion of the state this spring resulted in a large number of earwigs showing up in homes and gardens. Earwigs are very distinctive and are often feared by onlookers due to the pincer or forceps appendages present at the end of their body, but they are not harmful to humans. The pincers (called cerci) are used for defense, but earwigs do not seek out humans to attack.

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    Houseplants 101: 7 Reasons Your Houseplant is Not Thriving

    So, you want to grow a house plant? Maybe you received a beautiful orchid as gift from a friend, or your mother-in-law has given you her beloved snake plant to take care of while she spends the winter in Florida. You may even be interested in growing a plant in your home purely for your own enjoyment. Whatever the reason, you are having doubts about your ability to care for this plant properly, as your past record is less than stellar. Remember what happened to the last plant that you tried to grow?

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    Houseplant Pest Problems Likely to Increase

    Many gardeners like to save some plants from Jack Frost by bringing some plants in from the flower garden or moved some of those container gardens indoors. Others took cuttings of their favorite plants, get them rooted and continue to enjoy them on their windowsills over the winter. Whatever you like to do, it probably means that your limited indoor gardening spaces will become more heavily populated with plants than they were during the summer months. As plants are more closely packed together, the greater the likelihood that pest problems may spread from one plant to another and also a plant that had a minor pest problem outdoors, may suffer a more significant infestation inside the home.

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    Earwig Management at Home

    The wet conditions in the Southeast portion of the state this spring resulted in a large number of earwigs showing up in homes and gardens. Earwigs are very distinctive and are often feared by onlookers due to the pincer or forceps appendages present at the end of their body, but they are not harmful to humans. The pincers (called cerci) are used for defense, but earwigs do not seek out humans to attack.

    Read More »

    Millipedes Moving In?

    Recent rain events coupled with decreasing temperatures are shaking things up outside. This is the time of year when insects and other arthropods that normally make their homes outside, start to move around and look for shelter. The critter that is causing the most calls so far is the millipede; which is an arthropod, but not an insect. Millipedes are helpful decomposers when outside and feed on decaying organic matter. They are commonly confused with centipedes, which are predaceous.

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    Email Samples Submitted During November

    The proliferation of camera phones and digital cameras has resulted in many tree owners taking pictures of their tree or pest problems and submitting them electronically. I call these e-samples and I post the more interesting one on this website so readers can see what is going on in South Dakota. This is the time for the various insects and spiders to show up in homes and two interesting samples have come in during the past couple of weeks. The first is a spider, the Parson spider Herpyllus ecclesiasticus.

    Read More »

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