May 14, 1999

Ants in Lawns

There are many species of ants that occur in lawns and other turfgrass areas. Most ants do not require controls and are considered beneficial. The ants found in Iowa lawns are not biting or stinging pests. The fire ants of the southern U.S., well known for their aggressive behavior and painful stings, are not present in Iowa.

Ants in the lawn occasionally become a nuisance by constructing mounds or small hills in the lawn or by invading the home in search of food. These mounds may be unsightly, may cause lawn unevenness, and if large, may smoother out the surrounding grass.

The Planting and Care of Gladioli

Gladioli are popular summer-flowering plants. They are valued for their long flower spikes which are excellent as cut flowers. The individual flowers bloom successively from the base to the top of the spike. Flower colors include white and shades of yellow, pink, red, and purple. Many flowers have brightly colored throats. The foliage is sword- shaped.

See the Sawflies

Right now is the time to check pine trees for European Pine Sawfly larvae. These grayish-green "worms" feed in clusters on the old needles of mugho, Scots and red pine trees and shrubs. Each larva has 2 light stripes and 1 dark stripe on each side of the body. The legs and head are shiny black. Full-grown larvae will be 1 inch long by Memorial Day weekend. Then they will disappear for another year.