The following are highlights and updates about samples and questions recently received in the Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic:
The past few weeks we have received a lot of Bur oak blight samples. Bur oak blight is a relatively newly recognized disease in Iowa and nearby states that is a problem mainly for older Bur oaks that are on upland sights. For more information on bur oak blight please see this HHPN article.
We also received a sample of gray leaf spot on turf. It is a sporadic disease that we cannot recall seeing in the past decade. Please see this information from Purdue University for more information.
Baldfaced hornet nests become noticeable in the fall because they have reached their maximum size in the fall, and because the camouflage provided by the summer foliage is falling away. See our online article for information about collecting and preserving a hornet's nest.
The common fruit flies become increasingly annoying in the fall of the year. The occasional fruit fly is likely an accidental invader carried in with produce from the garden. But a large, consistent problem indicates the fruit flies are breeding indoors and fruit on the countertop is never the source. Look for a slow-moving or seldom-used drain as described in our online article.
You gotta love the praying mantis. For reasons we can't explain, this has been another good year for spotting this unique, easily-recognized insect in central and north-central Iowa.