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Showing posts from December, 2013

Cold weather-loving cockroach discovered in U.S.

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist


Lyle Buss, University of Florida
Photo 1: Japanese cockroach, male (left) and female (right)
Earlier this month, the Japanese cockroach, Periplaneta japonica, was confirmed for the first time in the U.S. in New York City.This cockroach is originally from Japan and other parts of Asia.Although it is not known how this cockroach arrived in the U.S., it is possible that it may have been transported in the soil of ornamental plants.
This cockroach is fairly large, growing up to 1 3/8th inch long.It is generally brownish black to black in color.The male has wings which just extend past the end of its abdomen while the wings of the female cover only about half of its body.The Japanese cockroach is closely related to the American cockroach, P. americana, a long time pest of the U.S.
The Japanese cockroach can live inside buildings like other pest cockroaches.What is unusual about this species is that it is tolerant of cold weather; they have been observed…

Do-it-yourself bed bug control: What does and doesn't work

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist


Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota
Photo 1: Bed bugs are a serious insect problem today.

After an absence that lasted for decades, bed bugs have become a significant pest problem in our lives again.Unfortunately, they are usually very challenging and costly to control.Still, the most effective solution to eliminate them is hiring a pest management company to treat them; they have the experience and understanding of bed bugs to effectively control them.
However, residents can become frustrated with controlling bed bugs (and its cost) and may resort to a variety of do-it-yourself solutions.Unfortunately, many of these methods are not only ineffective but can make the problem worse and be potentially harmful to people and pets.
The following is a list of what research has shown to be effective and ineffective in bed bugs control.


What does not work? Insecticides purchased in hardware stores, retail variety stores, grocery stores,
pharmacies, and other pl…

Minnesota's Native Holly

K. Zuzek, UMN Extension

Photo 1: Winterberry, November 11, 2013
Mention holly during the month of December and we all think of cut holly branches adorning homes during Christmas season. But our native holly, called winterberry or Ilex verticillata, is just as ornamental outdoors in our early winter landscapes because of its colorful and abundant fruit (Photo 1).

Winterberry is native throughout the eastern United State (Photo 2) and in Minnesota it is usually found growing in forested wetlands in the eastern half of the state along with larch, willows, and speckled alder. You may also see it growing along lakeshores and ponds or in acidic sandy soils with high water tables.




USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Plants Database

Photo 2: Native range of Ilex verticillata

Although there are over 400 species of holly (Ilex spp.) worldwide, less than a dozen species are commonly used as landscape plants. Winterberry is one of these species. Approximately 35 cultivars have bee…

EPA Pesticide Labeling Changes to Protect Pollinators

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has instructed the manufacturers to change the labels on those chemicals that have been designated as Pollinator Toxic Pesticides (PTP). One educational piece that has been released describes the changes (Exhibit 1). The label will contain a Bee Hazard Icon to alert users that this is a PTP (Exhibit 2).

The old label language for pesticides toxic to bees was as follows:


"For crops in bloom, do not apply this product to target crops or weeds in bloom."

The new language is as follows:


"Do not apply (product) while bees are foraging. Do not apply (product) to plants that are flowering. Only apply after all flower petals have fallen off."

The language is more extensive for commercial users and lists conditions under which one might apply chemicals even though bees are present. The main difference between old and new labels appears to be the last sentence stating that…

Protect Your Young Trees from Rabbits

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

I noticed rabbit damage on my Frosty Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis 'Frosty') (photo 1). I was again reminded of the fact that I did not wrap or protect my young apple trees last winter (photos 2 & 3). Remedy (photo 4).


Karl Foord
Photo 1: BEFORE - Frosty Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis 'Frosty')

Karl Foord
Photo 2: Zestar! Apple (Malus domestica Zestar!)


Karl Foord
Photo 3: Chestnut Crabapple(Malus 'Chestnut')

Karl Foord
Photo 4: AFTER - Frosty Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis 'Frosty')

If you have young trees don't forget to protect them from rabbits. Two articles have been previously published on this topic.

Rabbits and trees and shrubs

and Trees - Protecting from Rodent Damage