What will be Bugging You
To date, some Horticulturists predict lots of bugs this growing season due to all the recent mild weather while others predict fewer bugs due to the mild weather followed by the recent sub-freezing temperatures of this past week. What’s a homeowner to think and do?? Tom Turpin, an Entomologist Professor at Purdue states that insects have been on earth for 350 million years. All of these pests have evolved since then making today’s bugs pretty used to us and our environment allowing them to survive any extreme temps that they get exposed to. Insects, like plants produce their own anti-freeze in the Fall protecting them from the elements. Their only risky period for survival can occur in mid spring after they switch back to their normal body fluids that replaced the anti-freeze. This would be a very rare occasion. It’s also worth noting that less than 1% of all insects are considered harmful and a danger to man or our landscapes. The vast majority of insects and disease can be called a nuisance that can cause a few foliage holes or other deformations to our plants. Nature was not designed to be perfect, nothing in life is. So now you can relax knowing all the bugs will be back regardless of the cold or warm temperatures.
How ‘bout the critters
Critters were also around before man. All of the land being used to provide our homes and other neighborhood amenities once was the natural home for the critters whose future generations we have around us now. I personally think they accepted the take-over of their land with a good attitude, considering we took over their environment. Critters believe that some of your plants, fruits and vegetables should be shared with them. I personally believe they’re right, after all, we took their land. It’s mostly a guy thing to feel violated by an unwelcome guest who persists on making tunnels in our lawn, steals tomatoes, and eats a few flowers. Some of us do feed the birds but get upset when the squirrels help themselves. Where’s theirs; where’s the equality?
Most if not all the products available for critter control will offer some protection, but for only short periods of time. These products have to be continually reapplied to continue to be effective. The most permanent way to rid your yard of ground moles is trapping (www.themoleman.com). There are some effective products that can keep deer out of your landscape up to 90 days. These products include This One Works™, Liquid Fence™, and Milorganite™. Since deer don’t hibernate, you must continually rotate these products year round. Some products work on taste while others on smell. Rotate each type every 30 days. Too much trouble? Learn to co-exist.
Bugs and Critters Some “Did you know’s”
Did you know the best way to rid your yard of Japanese Beetles is to give your neighbor a beetle trap. They attract all the beetles in the area to that trap while only collecting about 50% of the beetles in the bag. The rest stay in your neighbor’s yard. Soil drench the plants that are vulnerable with Imidacloprid just one time in spring for full season protection.
Did you know electric bug zappers only get about 30% of the bugs they attract? Encourage these to be placed in other yards in your neighborhood as well.
Did you know it is illegal to trap and relocate raccoons and opossums to another property? Hire a professional trapper.
Did you know when a critter picks a fruit or tomato; leave the partly eaten evidence in place. When they return, they’ll keep eating that one.
Did you know course builder’s sand placed on top of your soil around your Hostas and other vulnerable plants will stop the slugs? Spread sand on your beds in early April.
Did you know you can stop rabbits, cats, and other critters by using sweet gum balls that fall from a sweet gum tree as mulch around your plants? They won’t walk on the spinney seeds.
Listen to Denny 8-10am Saturdays on Realtalk 1160AM
Contact Denny McKeown, owner of Bloomin Garden Centre in Blue Ash, at www.bloomingarden.com