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Showing posts from February, 2013

Pest Management Continues to Evolve - Biological Controls

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

At a recent conference on high tunnel horticulture we received an update on biological control from Carol Glenister, the president of IPM Laboratories. IPM Laboratories supplies and supports the successful use of healthy beneficial organisms for the biological control of pests.

nhm ac uk
Photo 1: Parasitoid Wasp Encarsia formosa

ipm UC Davis
Photo 2: Parasitoid Wasp Encarsia formosa

Encarsia Biological Services AU
Photo 3: Life cycle of parasitoid wasp Encarsia formosa

Forestry Images
Photo 4: View of a leaf surface with evidence of parasitoid wasp Encarsia formosa activity
Photo 5: Parasitoid wasp Eretmocerus spp.
Photo 6: Small lady bird beetle Delphastus spp.

Carol has coined the term "guardian plants" that function in the following ways: 1) are more attractive to the pest species than the crop being grown i.e. 'indicator' or 'trap' plants, 2) provide forage for natural en…

Tomato Blossom End Rot - Facts & Control

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

In anticipation of spring tomatoes, please consider your tomato systems and avoid one of the scourges of gardening - tomato blossom end rot.

Michelle Grabowski
Photo 1: Blossom End Rot

Michelle Grabowski
Photo 2: Blossom End Rot

Symptoms of blossom end rot

Water soaked areas at the blossom end of the fruit usually appear when the fruits are one third to one half full size (Photo 1). This enlarges and darkens as the fruit matures (Photos 2 & 3).

Michelle Grabowski
Photo 3: Blossom End Rot

These large sunken lesions dry out flatten and become black and leathery. Typically the first fruit are most severely affected, and later developing fruit can be unaffected.

Causes and the role of calcium

Blossom end rot is a "physiological disorder" induced by a localized calcium deficiency in the fruit. The incidence of the disorder is usually not due to a lack of calcium in the soil, but rather due to factors affecting the uptake and tr…

Pavement Ants in Homes During Winter

Jeffrey Hahn, Asst. Extension Entomologist
Winter is not a time when you typically expect to encounter ants in your home. However, it happens more often than you might think. One of the more common ants found in homes and other buildings is pavement ants. This ant is 1/8th inch long and is reddish brown, although it can range in color from light brown to dark brown to almost black. With magnification you can see that this ant has a two-segmented petiole (the waist between the thorax and the abdomen) and two short spines projecting from the thorax.

Jeff Hahn
Photo 1: Pavement ant worker. Note the two-segmented petiole and two small spines on the abdomen.
Pavement ants like to nest in the soil under or besides objects, such as stones, bricks, sidewalks, and driveways. They can also nest under the concrete slabs of homes as well as in wall voids. They typically nest near a heating source which allows the ants to be active during winter. They can follow pipes that go through slab to move up i…