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Showing posts from November, 2017

Watch out for food infesting beetles

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist

This is a time of year when beetles, like flour beetles, sawtoothed grain beetles, drugstore beetles, and cigarette beetles, can infest a wide variety of dried food products, including (but not limited to) flour and other grain-based products, dried fruits, nuts, spices, such as dried red pepper, as well as dry pet food. These beetles are small, 1/10th - 1/8th inch long, and brown. They can range in shape from slender to stout and oval.

When these beetles are found in a home, the best control is sanitation. First find out what they are infesting. Because they are able to feed on many items, be sure to make a thorough inspection. Start in the kitchen and check all food items for their presence. However, don’t forget about any susceptible items that may be stored in other areas on your home, e.g. pet food. Throw out any infested food material that you find. Keep in mind that there can be more than one infestation source so don’t stop look…

From the MDA: Update on Palmer amaranth

Reprinted from Minnesota Noxious Weeds - Palmer Amaranth

In September 2016, Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) was initially discovered and confirmed in Minnesota. To date, isolated populations have been documented in first year conservation plantings in Yellow Medicine, Lyon, Douglas and Todd Counties. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), University of Minnesota Extension, USDA, landowners and other partners are working to eradicate these infestations before they can spread to new areas.  Efforts to this point have been very successful.  MDA is also working closely with other state, county and federal agencies, the MN Native Seed Industry and several non-profit organizations to regularly sample and test seed sold in the state for presence of Palmer amaranth.

Why the concern? 

Palmer amaranth is a fast growing weed native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, and has spread east and north through a variety of pathways including contaminated seed, hay, li…

Pollinator-friendly landscape? Share on Instagram!

Do you have a pollinator-friendly landscape? Did you see a plethora of honeybees, native bees, flies, butterflies and other pollinators in your yard and garden this past summer? Share pictures of your landscape with other pollinator enthusiasts on Instagram @flowers4pollinators

Not sure how your yard and garden measure up for pollinators? Take the survey "How Pollinator-friendly is your landscape?" and find out!

MDA Weed of the Month: Oriental bittersweet

By Emilie Justen, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 11/07/2017
November’s Weed of the Month, Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), is a woody vine with colorful red fruit. It was brought to North America from the Asia and used as an ornamental plant. The attractive vines have been used for wreath decorations and in floral decorations; unfortunately, the plant has escaped cultivation and has become invasive in residential and natural areas in Minnesota.

Oriental bittersweet spreads by several means. The persistent red fruit is consumed by birds, which spread the seed to uninfested areas. People trained to look for Oriental bittersweet may look for places where birds perch. The areas beneath the perches may have Oriental bittersweet seedlings, juvenile vines, or mature woody vines and would be a place to target control efforts. Humans also spread Oriental bittersweet infestations by physically moving the plants. Oriental bittersweet was commonly propagated and sol…