July 15, 1992
Our two perennial household accidental invaders of mid-summer are active now, causing annoyance and discomfort for invaded home owners. The strawberry root weevil (SRW) and imported longhorned weevil (ILHW) are well- known pests of summer. Both are approximately 1/4 inch long with long antennae and legs. They have a small narrow thorax and head, and a large, globose abdomen, thus having a body shape roughly the same as an incandescent light bulb (at least that~s how Dick McClure, Fremont County Extension Director, described it!).
The dry weather in May and June caused large, noticeable populations of several kinds of aphids, including leafcurl ash aphid, maple aphids, oak aphids, and bean aphid on euonymus. The greenbug is also on this list of current troublesome pest species.
The greenbug feeds on sap from over 60 species of plants in the grass family. Major hosts are corn, small grains and turfgrasses, including Kentucky bluegrass, annual bluegrass, fescues and perennial ryegrass.
Plum pockets is caused by the fungus Taphrina communis. Symptoms of plum pockets include the production of abnormally large, misshapen, hollow fruit. Infected fruit eventually turn brown, wither and fall from the tree. Once infected, the fruit cannot be treated. Effective control of the disease can be obtained by spraying an appropriate fungicide in the autumn after the leaves have fallen, or in the spring before buds begin to swell. Recommended fungicides include chlorothalonil, lime-sulfur, Bordeaux mixture, or a fixed copper fungicide.
In years past it was said that, when driving through Iowa, you could see at least one grain elevator from almost every location in the state. In 1992, on the other hand, it's almost impossible to be out of view of a wilted or dying elm along the state's roadsides. Mortality of American elms and other native elms due to Dutch elm disease is the highest in many years. The disease is visible in fence rows, along rivers and streams, and in urban yards. Trees of all ages have been affected.
Most herbs can be cut and used fresh throughout the growing season. They can also be harvested, dried, and stored for use during the winter months.
Liatris or Blazing Star is a native prarie plant as well as a popular perennial plant in many gardens. It's long lasting blooms make excellent cut flowers, either dried or fresh. In the garden the flowers attract butterflies. The flower spike opens from the top downward. This is unusual because most flower spikes open at the bottom first and work upward.