March 9, 2001

Lady Beetle Traps

The Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis), is a common and widespread wintertime household pest across all of Iowa and most of the United States. Large numbers of these insects invade homes during the fall and remain active over the winter, especially in late winter when temperatures warm and days get longer. Ladybugs do not feed and cannot reproduce indoors; they have not multiplied indoors although it must seem that way to homeowners who have been inundated with them.

Winter Damage to Trees and Shrubs

This season's cold, snowy winter has been difficult for plants, wildlife, and humans. Extensive damage to landscape plants has been observed across the entire state.

Wildlife Damage

Symptoms: The deep snow and extended period of snowcover have posed serious problems for wildlife in the state. Denied access to food on the ground, rabbits and deer have been forced to feed on unprotected trees and shrubs in windbreaks, home orchards, and landscape plantings.

Winter Stresses on Trees and Shrubs

Winter 2000/2001 has been the coldest and harshest winter in many years. Several conifer samples showing symptoms of winter browning have come into the Iowa State University Plant Disease Clinic. Winter conditions like this year's can cause damage in several ways. Some symptoms you might see are needle browning (sometimes yellowing), cracking or death of the bark and animal feeding.