June 27, 2007

Masked Chafers and Japanese Beetles Have Emerged


Tis the season and the adult beetles of the annual white grubs have emerged. Several callers have mentioned swarms of "millions" of beetles either emerging up out of the ground or swarming around the lights at the softball diamond or street corner.

The majority of June beetles seen at this time throughout the state are the masked chafers. This small member of the Junebug (scarab) family is about one-half inch long and nearly as tall as it is wide. The color is straw-tan to light brown and there is a dark brown "mask" across the face.

No Newsletter Next Week


There will be no Horticulture and Home Pest Newsletter next week. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July! For the remainder of the year we will publish the newsletter weekly for three weeks in July, twice in August and then monthly from September to December. Here are the expected publication dates: August 8 and 22, September 12, October 10, November 7 and December 5.

Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Update - June 27, 2007


Samples with the following problems have been seen in the Clinic recently:


Anthracnose on maple

Botryosphaeria tip blight on oak

Dutch elm disease

Heartwood Rots of Trees


The sulphur shelf fungus (Laetiporus sulphureus) has been fruiting on the trunks of trees on ISU campus, and in the woods elsewhere. Their large bright yellow and orange overlapping fruiting structures mark them as one of the most colorful of the wood rotting shelf fungi that fruit on living or dead trees. "Well ok," you might say. "We are happy to have such a lovely fungus recycle the wood from a dead tree, but what does it mean to have a shelf fungus fruit on a living tree? Should we be concerned? Is there anything we can do for the tree?

Woollybears in the Garden


The woollybear is a common and well-known caterpillar. Though most people have one kind of woollybear in mind, there are as many as 8 different species in the U.S. that could legitimately be called woollybears because of the dense, bristly hair that covers their bodies. Woollybears are the caterpillar stage of medium sized moths known as tiger moths.