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Showing posts from August, 2017

EAB found in Martin County

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) reported earlier this week that emerald ash borer (EAB) was confirmed in Martin County in the south central area of the state on the Iowa border. Because the nearest infested areas in either Minnesota or Iowa are several counties away, the infestation is the result of someone moving infested ash into the county.

EAB was first found in Minnesota in 2009. Since then, it has spread and is now found in 16 counties.  EAB is a very destructive invasive insect that threatens all native ash in the U.S. Ash is a very important resource in Minnesota where about 1 billion ash trees occur, one of the highest numbers of ash trees in the country.

People can greatly reduce the chance for EAB to spread by buying their firewood locally and avoid transporting it. Burn it where you buy it. It is equally important to observe any quarantine restrictions for the movement of any ash products that may occur in your cou…

Add fall color and benefit butterflies by planting native grasses

Contact: Diane Narem, Horticulture Researcher, dmnarem@umn.edu

Although summer may be coming to a close, it’s not too late to add some charm and color to your
garden this fall with some perennial native grasses. Native grasses can liven up a planting with their interesting shapes and seasonal color changes and benefit multiple types of wildlife, including butterfly and moth species.

According to U of M Extension Horticulturalist Mary Meyer, native grasses require one month of good growing conditions to establish in the fall. This means you can safely plant grasses until mid-September. Extra watering may be necessary during hot or dry spells in the fall. Container plants with well-established root systems are the best choices for fall plantings.

“Many grasses are just beginning to flower in August," Meyer said. "They will soon start their fall color change, so August and early September can be peak season for native grasses".

Not only do they add beauty to your landsca…

Cicada killers common now

Jeffrey Hahn, University of Minnesota Extension

A large solitary wasp called a cicada killer, Sphecius speciosus, is common in many areas of Minnesota now. It ranges in size from 1 – 1 ½ inches long. It has a black abdomen with yellow bands, a reddish brown thorax with reddish brown legs and amber colored wings.

Some people mistakenly believe they have found a European hornet which is also a large wasp. However, European hornets are social insects living in nests they usually build in tree cavities; they can also be found within homes and other buildings. European hornets do not occur in Minnesota.

Cicada killers nest in the ground, typically in well-drained, light soil exposed to full sun. They are a solitary wasp, meaning that there is only one wasp per burrow. However, cicada killers are gregarious, so there are typically many of them in a small area.

These wasps prey on cicadas. Cicadas are stout, winged insects that are common during the summer. A cicada killer uses …