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Showing posts from July, 2013

Spotted wing Drosophila found in Minnesota again

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist

One of the bigger garden questions last year was whether we would see spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) again in 2013. SWD flies are invasive insect pests that damage a variety of thin-skinned fruit crops, such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, plums, blueberries, and grapes.



Jeff Hahn
Photo 1: Female spotted wing Drosophila on blackberry. It lacks the dark spot on its wings that males have.


Unfortunately the answer is yes. The University of Minnesota and Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) have detected and confirmed the presence of SWD in Minnesota this year. The fire confirmed report of SWD this year occurred on June 27 when a male SWD was found in a vineyard in Dakota County. SWD was then verified on July 3 in summer raspberries in Rice County. There have also been fly specimens suspected to be SWD in several other counties not only in the Twin Cities area, but also in Greater Minnesota. You can go to the MDA website to c…

Observations from a Pollinator Garden

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

I just returned from a two week absence from my garden due to training and a vacation, and I was anxious to see how things had progressed.





Karl Foord
Photo 1: Leaf with holes created by leaf-cutter bees

The first thing I saw was an 'Autumn Blaze' maple volunteer on the edge of my sidewalk. Normally this would be simply a weed to pull, BUT in this case the maple leaves told an interesting story. The holes in the leaves were clearly the work of leaf-cutter bees (Megachile spp.) (photo 1). Notice that the holes cut by the bees have two different shapes. One shape is a circle (photo 2) best for plugging nesting holes, and another shape is oblong best for lining nesting holes (photo 3).




Karl Foord
Photo 2: Round holes for plugging tunnels



Karl Foord
Photo 3: Oblong holes for lining tunnels

And sure enough the leaf-cutter bee was found working a flower on Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta) (photo 4).




Karl Foord
Photo 4: Leaf-cutter bee…

Fruit and Vegetable Pest First Detector Workshop at Arboretum

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist



Jeff Hahn
Photo 1: Spotted wing Drosophila is one of the pests attendees will learn about at the Fruit and Vegetable Pest First Detector workshop.
It is not too late to sign up for the Fruit and Vegetable Pest First Detector Workshop. If you have an interest in fruits and vegetables and want to learn more about new and emerging invasive pests and pathogens that are threatening Minnesota, then consider signing up for this half day program. This workshop, put on by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the University of Minnesota Extension, is scheduled for Wednesday, July 24 at the MacMillan Auditorium at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Check in starts at 8:00 a.m. and the program begins at 8:30. The workshop ends at noon.

This workshop is appropriate for anyone with an interest in fruit and vegetables, including home gardeners. Attendees will learn how to identify invasive pests and distinguish them from common look a likes. They wil…

Ready or Not: Here come Japanese beetles!

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist



Jeff Hahn
Photo 1: Japanese beetles were first reported in Minnesota this year on July 5.

Japanese beetles have just recently started to emerge; watch for them in your gardens and landscapes. If you find just a handful of these insects, you can easily tolerate any damage they cause. If higher numbers are found, there are steps you can take to protect your plants from them although some damage is likely to occur regardless of what you do.



Jeff Hahn
Photo 2: Japanese beetles that were handpicked off of raspberries

There are a couple of non-chemical methods you can consider. When practical, handpick the Japanese beetles from plants. This is best done early in the morning and late in the evening when Japanese beetles are less active. Have a container of soapy water with you so that beetles that are brushed or picked off the plants can end up in it where they are killed. For smaller plants, consider using a fabric barrier, like cheesecloth, arou…