The following are highlights and updates about samples and questions recently received in the Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic:
Another sign that spring has sprung is the presence of giant water bugs in lawns and landscapes as they move from pond to pond. Giant water bugs live in rivers and streams throughout the USA where they feed on small aquatic animals. They have large front legs for capturing their prey, and feed by using a short blunt beak. They are harmless to people, pets, property and crops, though they can bite if handled carelessly. Giant water bugs are attracted to lights at night and since they are strong fliers they can be found considerable distances from water. See more about giant water bugs at BugGuide.net.
Giant water bugs can be found in the landscape nearly any time of year after being attracted away from the aquatic habitat by bright lights.
Conifers still dominate the plant samples we are receiving. Diseases diagnosed in the past few weeks include dothistroma needle blight and diplodia tip blight on Austrian pines and brown spot needle blighton Scots pines.
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