We have received several samples from evergreens showing symptoms of "winter browning." Winter browning results from a combination of freeze/thaw cycles, rapid temperature changes, and cold temperatures as evergreens continue to lose water as they photosynthesize over the winter. See the Horticulture and Home Pest News March 8, 2006, for more information.
We received two interesting galls. Western pine gall rust is a fungal disease that causes round galls on branches of Scots pines. See this week's article.
Many wasps form galls in oaks, especially shingle oaks. We received a large gouty oak gall from a shingle oak (see picture below). See Extension bulletin IC407 for information on insect galls
We have been receiving samples of wood cockroaches. These cockroaches live outdoors, but warming temperatures cause them to wander. Please see our Insect Information Notes for more information on wood cockroaches.
Speaking of warmer weather, I am starting to notice more multicolored Asian lady beetles crawling around my windows. These are beetles that have been overwintering in my house since fall. Homeowners can also expect to see boxelder bugs crawling about as well if they had had high populations last fall. These insects did not reproduce in the walls. They have just been waiting for warmer weather.
Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on April 9, 2008. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.