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Showing posts from August, 2015

EAB now found in Scott County

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist

(The following information is taken from an August 25, 2015 news release from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture)

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced today that emerald ash borer (EAB) was confirmed for the first time in Scott County. The MDA received a call through their Arrest the Pest information phone line (888-545-6684) alerting them to a suspicious ash tree on private property in Prior Lake. An onsite visit confirmed an EAB-infested tree.

Scott County becomes the 10th county in Minnesota to verify EAB, joining Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, and Ramsey counties in the metro area; Chisago County north of the metro and Fillmore, Houston, Olmstead, and Winona counties in southeastern Minnesota.

Scott County will be put under an emergency quarantine and will eventually join the above counties in a state and federal quarantine. A quarantine helps prevent the spread of EAB by restricting the movement of ash products includ…

Yellowjackets are conspicuous now

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist

There have been a lot of question about yellowjackets lately. These insects are at their peak numbers now and nests that people didn’t realize were present are now being discovered. While in most cases people are seeing yellowjackets, there is a tendency to call all stinging insects "bees" which can be confusing. Different approaches are taken for control depending on whether yellowjackets or honey bees are present.

The first step is to verify which insect is present. A yellowjacket is about ½ inch long (this can vary some), black and yellow or white, and relatively slender with few hairs. A baldfaced hornet, a type of yellowjacket, is a little larger, about 5/8th inch long, and mostly black. Paper wasps may also be found; they are generally brown with yellow marking, a slender body with long legs and measure from 1/2 to 1 inch long. Honey bees are about ½ inch long brown and black, relatively slender but have more hair.

If yo…

Got Rust? Send in a sample

University of Wisconsin Turfgrass Rust Research 
In 2013 the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Sod Producers Association (WSPA) and Sod Growers of Mid America (SGMA), initiated a series of experiments investigating the reasons behind increases in rust injury to cool-season turfgrass observed over the past several years. The project includes 4 primary experiments:

Use of molecular and morphological means to identify rust species associated with turfgrass found in sod production, home lawns, athletic fields, and golf course management from around Wisconsin, the Midwest, and the country.Determination of inherent resistance to the multiple rust species in multiple genetic families of Kentucky bluegrass.Inclusion of varying amounts of tall fescue mixed with Kentucky bluegrass and the impact on rust development.Impact of nitrogen source and fungicide timing on rust development.
As part of the rust species identificatio…

Strawberry root weevils just a nuisance

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist

People have been reporting small, dark colored insects in their homes during July and August. A strawberry
root weevil is a pear-shaped, dark brown or black insect with a short snout. It also has rows of punctures on its wing covers. Strawberry root weevils can crawl but they cannot fly.

Identification is very important because in a lot of cases, people have been concerned that these creatures are
ticks. The pair of antennae is a similar length as the legs and gives the appearance that the insect has eight legs. In the past strawberry root weevils have also been sometimes confused for bed bugs.

Strawberry root weevil larvae feed on the roots of a variety of plants, including, arborvitae, spruce, and strawberries. The adults sometimes accidentally enter homes and other buildings. It is common to find them sinks, tubs, basins, and other sources of moistures. They do not cause any damage and are just a nuisance. In most cases, people see on…

EAB found in Chisago County

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced on Thursday, August 6 that emerald ash borer (EAB) was confirmed in Chisago County by the Washington County border near Manning Trail. Two adults were discovered on a purple EAB trap. When a follow up visit was conducted, an ash tree with tunneling consistent with EAB was found adjacent to the trap.

The specimens were sent to the USDA for confirmation (standard procedure when EAB is found in a county for the first time). Assuming the beetles are verified as EAB, Chisago County is likely to be put under quarantine sometime next week. A quarantine helps prevent EAB from spreading outside of a known infested area. It is designed to limit the movement of any items, including ash trees and ash tree limbs, as well as all hardwood firewood, to help reduce the spread of EAB

Chisago County becomes the ninth county in Minnesota to confirm EAB, joining Anoka, Dakota, Fillmore, Hennepin, Olmstead…

Seeding your lawn this fall? Here are some considerations (Part 2 of 2)

Previously I wrote about the different renovation options for fall seeding of lawns and about the various attributes of cool-season lawn grasses.  This week I wanted to discuss the mixtures and blends of grass seed that are on the consumer marketplace.  If you’ve ever walked into your local big box store or garden center looking for grass seed, the different products available can be fairly intimidating.  To be honest, I often have a difficult time finding the right mixture, because it only takes one bad ingredient to produce a poor quality lawn.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at several categories of grass seed mixtures that are available to you. Midwest Mixtures, Northern Blends, Sun and Shade Mixtures Many companies sell seed mixtures under these names.  Generally, these mixtures will contain a large percentage of Kentucky bluegrass, with perennial ryegrass and strong creeping red fescue included.  For existing average quality lawns this is a good mixture of species, and cha…