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Showing posts from March, 2014

Current Insects: April

Be on the watch for these insects in April

Insects in and around Homes
Ants
    °  carpenter
    °  cornfield, pavement, pharaoh, yellow, thief, odorous house,field, acrobat
    °  winged ants: carpenter, pavement, yellow, false honey
Beetles
   °  carpet beetles
   °  lady beetles, multicolored Asian 
   °  larder beetles 
   °  see also stored product insects below

(True) Bugs
°boxelder bugs
°hackberry psyllids
° western conifer seed bugs

Cockroaches
   °  German, brownbanded, American, Oriental
   °  Pennsylvania wood cockroaches (found indoors or outside in wooded areas)

Flies
° blow flies
° cluster flies
   °  fruit flies
   °  fungus gnats
   °  moth flies
   °  phorid flies (also called humpback flies)

Springtails

Stored product insects
   °  Indianmeal moths
   °  flour beetles, sawtoothed grain beetles, cigarette beetles, drugstore beetles etc.

Wasps (including yellowjackets)

Non-insect arthropods
° spiders
° house centipedes
° pseudoscorpions
  ° millipedes
  ° sowbugs

Insects in Gardens
•  Andrenid …

Winter Burn on Minnesota's Evergreens

K Foord UMN Extension
Photo 1: Browning


K Zuzek UMN Extension
Photo 2: Bleaching on 'Green Mountain' boxwood


J Weisenhorn UMN Extension
Photo 3: Snowline winter burn

Evergreen trees and shrubs provide a lot of interest in our landscapes during Minnesota's long winters. Boxwood and rhododendrons are examples of the few broadleaved evergreens grown in Minnesota. Most of our evergreen species are narrow-leaved conifers - pine, spruce, arborvitae, juniper, hemlock, and yew - that have needles or scales for foliage. Unfortunately all of these species can be injured by winter burn and the winter of 2013-14 is proving to be no exception. Winter burn injury has been observed on many evergreen trees and shrubs. As we move from late winter into early spring and temperatures continue to increase, more of this damage will probably appear and existing damage will become even more dramatic.

Symptoms of winter burn are browning (Photo 1) or bleaching (Photo 2) of foliage, partic…

Snow fleas are conspicuous but harmless

Jeff Hahn, Extension Entomologist


Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota
Photo 1: Snow fleas during late winter.

As temperatures warm and snow melts during later winter, a curious insect is sometimes observed. Snow fleas (Hypogastrura nivicola) are small (about 1/10th inch long). But because they are black and typically congregate in large numbers, they are very conspicuous against the white background of snow. From causal observation, snow fleas can look like black pepper. Additionally, they jump which helps to correctly identify them. Watch for snow fleas especially around the base of trees.

Their ability to jump leads some people to believe that these insects are true fleas. However despite its name, a snow flea is a type of springtail and does not bite people. Springtails are wingless and move by walking and jumping. They are very abundant although people usually don't notice them (except of course for snow fleas). They are often found in leaf litter and in the soil wher…

Keep an Eye out for Pests on Houseplants

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

I have a Meyer lemon (Citrus × meyeri) which goes outside in the summer and struggles through the long Minnesota winter. This is a wonderful plant with fragrant blossoms and nice fruit. I noticed a lot of very small white cottony blobs on the stems and leaves as well as some scale insects. I believe I have California red scale (Aonidiella aurantii). According to Whitney Cranshaw in his Garden Insects of North America this scale affects many ornamental plants and can be a serious pest of citrus. The adult females are round, reddish orange, and have concentric rings on the cover. Young stages produce some cottony filaments of wax around their body; later stages form the more solid cover.

This scale insect has a fascinating life cycle that features a sessile female and a winged male (Exhibit 1).

I clipped a citrus leaf and examined it under the dissecting scope. I found a sessile female (photo 1) and when I turned her over several crawlers e…