Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Update - May 21, 2008


  • Tick specimens sent to the clinic for identification have been numerous the past few weeks. Remember to check for ticks soon after returning indoors. Ticks have to be attached for more than 24 hours before disease transmission becomes possible, so finding and removing them promptly greatly reduces the chance of contracting Lyme or any other tick-borne disease. For assistance identifying ticks see the Entomology Department image website and ISU Extension pamphlet PM2036, Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in iowa.


  • Bed bugs are a rare problem in Iowa, but they do occur as recent samples indicate. Bed bug populations have seen an increase across the US in the past decade. This could be due to a number of factors including an increased use of insecticide baits, insecticide resistance, and movement with travelers and used furniture. Bed bugs are not known to transmit disease. Some people have an allergic reaction to the bites, usually similar to mosquito bites. Bed bugs are about the size of a tick and gather in harborages near where people sleep. See the University of Kentucky extension bed bug pamphlet for information and photos.

Plant Diseases

  • We received a sample of leaf spot and melting out disease of turf. On stressed turf and susceptible cultivars it can become a severe problem. For information on this disease please see our pamphlet.

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 May 21, 2008. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.