October 8, 2004

Minute Pirate Bugs

If you spend much time outdoors enjoying the beautiful fall weather you may encounter a minute pirate bug. You will know you have met the pirate bug when you feel a painful bite, look to see what got you, and see a small black bug walking across your skin. Your first thought will be that this little bug couldn't have hurt that badly, but trust me, it was that little pirate bug that bit you.

November Garden Chores

Fall is a beautiful time of year. Fall is also time to prepare the garden for winter. The following chores should be completed in November.


Modern, bush-type roses (hybrid teas, floribundas, and grandifloras) require protection during the winter months. Iowa's low winter temperatures can severely injure and sometimes kill unprotected roses.

Seasonal Needle Loss on Conifers

At this time of year, it is common for people to worry about their white pine and arborvitae trees. After a summer of appearing green and healthy, the inner needles of these evergreens are suddenly turning yellow or brown. Many people assume that the trees are sick or dying. In fact, though, these plants are simply losing some of their older needles in a natural--and completely healthy--part of their life cycle.