May 16, 2012
This week we have seen and heard of several oak trees with blister-like growths and deformities on leaves.
Giant ichneumons have been seen gathering on trees in the past week. They get their name from being in the wasp family Ichneumonidae and because they are big! Ichneumonid wasps are parasitic on other insects and considered beneficial as they serve as biological control agents on some insect pests. The female wasp lays her eggs in or near another insect, the egg hatches and the wasp larva consumes the other insect. Basically picture the movie "Aliens."
The following are highlights and updates about samples and questions recently received in the Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic:
Coming into the office on the morning of May 15 brought to mind the movie line, “they’re ba-a-ack!” This time, though, it was caddisflies, not poltergeists.
Caddisflies were in a pile on the sidewalk and on the glass of the Scott County Extension office door, attracted by the outside and vestibule lights. See the photos below. Their appearance, like many things this year, seem to be about 2-3 weeks earlier than usual.
The garden peony is a popular, long-lived perennial that provides abundant flowers in spring and attractive foliage throughout the growing season.