Thursday, October 29, 2009


10/29 QUESTION: Last fall my house was invaded by large numbers of ladybugs and wasps. Can I do anything to prevent that from happening this year or else how do I get rid of them?

ANSWER: First, for the lady beetles (aka ladybugs): They are seeking sheltered places to live out the winter. An easy answer is to make sure all cracks and crevices in your house are sealed. Any inside the house may be vacuumed up and disposed of. More details can be found at  Lady Beetles.  Next, for the paper wasps: Like the lady beetle, the queen wasps are looking for winter shelter. Also, like the lady beetle it is a benefical insect in our gardens as it preys on other pests. Again, having your house properly sealed would keep them out. If any are in your house, they are not likely to sting unless you step on one and could easily be killed by a rolled up newspaper. A few chemical controls are listed at  PaperwaspsAs always, read the label, follow the directions and be mindful of the cautions listed.

10/21 QUESTION: I know the fire ant was imported to our area, are there any 'new' bugs we should be on the lookout for?

ANSWER: Yes, unfortunately there is. It is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.
Read the Pest Alert by S. Bambara, M. Waldvogel & S. Frank
"It is official. The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, has been identified in North Carolina. First detected about two weeks ago in the Winston-Salem area, there has been another report in the coastal plain region. Originally found in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 2001, it is now established in many states across the country especially along the east coast. It is an easy traveler in things like motor homes. There is a long list of hosts, both ornamental and agricultural from maple and birch to pecan, peach, apple and cucumber. Adults emerge from overwintering about April. All instars have deep red eyes. Early nymphs are red, then almost black, and finally brown in color as adults. They are typical stink bugs in most ways and damage fruit and foliage with their feeding (proboscis) and saliva. There is a single generation in northern states. To add to their annoyance, they like to overwinter in protected places such as structures. This is where you are most likely to first notice them." For more information and images see the insect note: Stink Bug.

10/16 QUESTION: I have seen large white grubs crawling on my driveway and sidewalk. Will they damage my lawn?

ANSWER: You also may notice soil deposits on the surface of the lawn overnight. The grubs are Green June Bug grubs. They feed on decaying organic matter in the thatch and root zone of many grasses. The grubs are not eating the grass roots. More information may be found by reading  Junebugs.

10/2 QUESTION: This week's question arises from samples of a weed brought into the Extension Office for identification which was found growing in lawns in the area. Take a look at this image of  Virginia Buttonweed which you also may have in your lawn. The homeowners wanted to know what could be done to eliminate it?

ANSWER: The best way to control broadleaf weeds in your lawn is to maintain a healthy, dense lawn to discourage weed growth. Proper mowing, watering, and fertilizing is key. You can obtain a calendar of what to do and when based on your type of lawn from the Extension Office. Herbicides recommended at Turf Files are repeat applications of products containing 2,4-D, clopyralid, dicamba (Millennium Ultra) or fluroxypyr (Spotlight), or combinations of these chemicals. Apply in spring and repeat when regrowth occurs, usually in 4 to 6 weeks. Follow directions as listed on the product.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Thanks to everyone who came out today to purchase daylilies. We sold out earlier than expected. More daylilies will be available at our Annual Sale next May. The money we received all goes back into making the Arboretum even better.