Timely Tips for Backyard Gardeners
October 19, 2012
A weekly publication for Backyard Gardeners by
Ohio State University Extension
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Not the Only Regulated Insect Species
The phrase, “Don’t Move Firewood, It BUGS Me!” has become well known over the past few years due to the intense focus on the invasion of the Emerald Ash Borer. This tiny little insect, and its devastating effects, led to a whole new set of plant and plant material regulations and the quarantine of all 88 counties in the state.
Just a reminder that although the emerald ash borer quarantine has been expanded and movement of regulated items within Ohio and outside of Ohio in the identified contiguous area is now allowed, there are other quarantines within the state that we need to remember – the ALB quarantine in areas within Clermont County and the gypsy moth quarantine.
Although the ALB quarantine only affects areas within Clermont County, the Gypsy Moth has a much wider impact, with 51 counties coming under quarantine regulations. In Extension’s Heart of Ohio EERA that includes: Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Knox, Madison, Morrow, Perry and Pickaway counties, only Madison and Pickaway Counties don’t have a gypsy moth problem.
Regulated articles under the quarantine are; Trees and woody shrubs (including cut X-mas trees), logs, pulpwood, slab wood, firewood, wood-bark chips, outdoor household articles (tables, benches, chairs, doghouses, birdhouses, feeders, planters, utility sheds, grills, garden equipment, playhouses, sandboxes, recreational vehicles, boats, trailers, tents, and any other product or article that may carry a life stage of the Gypsy Moth.
So before you load up that trailer load of firewood and start hauling it across the state be sure you know what regulations are place and do your part in reducing the spread of another invasive species. The Ohio Department of Agriculture website has further quarantine and regulatory information on both the Gypsy Moth (http://www.agri.ohio.gov/divs/plant/gypsy/gypsy-index.aspx) and the ALB (http://www.agri.ohio.gov/topnews/asianbeetle/)
The Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle is Back . .
The multicolored Asian lady beetle is an important predator that consumes aphids and scale insects on trees, shrubs, and agricultural crops. During the spring and summer, the immature and adult lady beetles consume large numbers of plant-feeding pests, thereby reducing the need for pesticides. In spite of their important role in nature, multicolored Asian lady beetles can be seasonal pests in and around homes, particularly from late autumn until early spring.
Nuisances. Homeowners often express concern and aggravation with these nuisance pests. During late autumn, homeowners complain that multicolored Asian lady beetles cluster on the sides of houses; "crunch" under foot; get into food and drinks; alight on hands, arms, and other parts of the body.
Home Invasion. The multicolored Asian lady beetle seeks protected hibernation (overwintering) sites in and around buildings. Multicolored Asian lady beetles seek protected sites where they can hibernate. Some may overwinter underneath siding, roof shingles, landscaping timbers, or leaf litter. Others readily slip through cracks and crevices and come indoors, where they make themselves at home. They may cluster together in corners of porches, attics, soffits, wall voids, door or window frames, or dark, undisturbed areas within buildings. The beetles can form large, hidden aggregations in secluded dark locations inside homes, commonly in attics and basements.
On warm sunny days during the winter, they tend to move about and fly within living spaces and to windows. During the spring, these lady beetles are particularly noticeable in houses when they leave their hibernation sites and attempt to make their way outdoors.
Stains and Odor. When lady beetles are disturbed, they defend themselves by exuding a yellow-orange body fluid, which is their blood. The blood has a foul odor and can permanently stain walls, drapes, carpeting, etc. Thus, do not crush or swat lady beetles so as to minimize their defensive behavior.
The best management recommendation is to prevent multicolored Asian lady beetles from entering the home or building. Preventive measures should include a variety of non-chemical pest-proofing tactics. Take measures to exclude these lady beetles before late autumn when they begin to seek overwintering sites in structures.
Do not use pesticides to treat landscapes surrounding infested homes and buildings in an attempt to control lady beetles. Lady beetles are attracted to structures from distant areas and thus are unlikely to be impacted by the pesticides.
Outside the Home
Pest Proofing: Multicolored Asian lady beetles and many other insects can slip through gaps of about 1/8 inch. If lady beetles have been getting into your home, cold air also is entering in the winter and hot air in the summer. It is important to seal cracks and openings in your home before lady beetles have found their way into your home.
Exterior Pesticide Treatments: These chemical treatments involve an appropriately labeled repellent, long-lasting pesticide to help prevent pest entry. The pesticide typically is applied to outside walls and siding, as well as around eaves, attic vents, roof overhangs, and doors and windows. Pre-test a small area to ensure that the chemical treatment does not cause staining or discoloration. Many pesticides are labeled for use only by certified, licensed applicators.
Timing is very important, and outdoor preventive treatments should be done prior to overwintering attempts by the lady beetles. If the chemical is applied after the first cold snap of autumn, lady beetles that already have congregated indoors will be unaffected. If applied too early, the chemical may degrade and lose its effectiveness against the lady beetles.
Inside the Home
Mechanical Removal: Swatting, smashing, or crushing lady beetles is not a good idea because their body fluid can leave a permanent stain on carpets, curtains, walls, etc. Lady beetles will stick to duct tape or similar sticky tape, which then can be discarded. Although it may be practical to remove small numbers of lady beetles using sticky tape, vacuuming is a much more efficient and rapid technique.
"Bag 'em!!!" Using a Vacuum Cleaner: An effective way to minimize problems with large numbers of multicolored Asian lady beetles is to use a vacuum cleaner or shop-vac to "bag" the beetles. The beetles can be captured inside a knee-high nylon stocking that has been inserted into the extension hose or wand and secured in place with a rubber band. As soon as the vacuum cleaner is turned off, be sure to remove the stocking so that the captured beetles cannot escape. As you remove it, the rubber band closes around the stocking, effectively "bagging" the lady beetles. You then can discard the contents of the stocking.
Interior Pesticide Treatments: Pesticides used indoors against multicolored Asian lady beetles have very limited impact, because large numbers of these insects typically hide in inaccessible areas. Residual pyrethroids appear to be the most effective, but only when the beetles are sprayed directly or when they crawl over treated surfaces.
Pie Pumpkins Are Plentiful
Pie pumpkins are any one of several varieties of pumpkin grown for eating rather than decorative purposes. Generally, pie pumpkins are smaller and denser than decorative pumpkins. Recipes calling for pumpkin may use canned or fresh pie pumpkins, but should never have decorative pumpkins used as a substitute.
In North America, decorative pumpkins are carved into jack-o’-lanterns in honor of Halloween. Pumpkins bred for this purpose are usually meant to be very large, mostly hollow and flat-bottomed for stability. The side effect of the large growth is that the flesh of the pumpkin is usually watery and bland. Although the seeds inside decorative pumpkins are excellent for toasting, the flesh should not be eaten, as it is usually tasteless. Common varieties of decorative pumpkin include Howdon, Biggy, and Connecticut field.
The most obvious use for these pumpkins is to bake the autumn favorite pumpkin pie. To make the pie, cut the pumpkin in half and remove all seeds and stringy “guts,” then bake until completely soft, usually about one and a half hours. In a blender, combine the pumpkin with cream, eggs, brown sugar, and spices. Typically used spices include cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. Pour the blended mixture into a single pie-crust and bake 40-50 minutes.
Pie pumpkins are an excellent source of beta-carotene, calcium and potassium. For vegetarians, it can make an excellent replacement for meat in winter stews and soups. Many people consider pumpkin pie to be the essence of fall, reminding them of crisp falling leaves, cool evenings and the approaching holidays. Any pumpkin recipe can be a source of comfort and warmth, but be sure to use the correct type of pumpkin to achieve a richly flavored result.
Forest Food for Wildlife Workshop
The Knox County Extension Office will be hosting an all day workshop entitled, “Forest Food for Wildlife- Enhancing Mast Production” on Friday November 2nd, 9-3 pm, at the Knox County Health Department, 11660 Upper Gilchrist Rd., Mt. Vernon, OH.
There is a $35 registration fee, due October 26th. For further details and to register, go to the following website (http://woodlandstewards.osu.edu/classes/events/forest-food-wildlife-enhancing-mast-production) or contact Kathy Smith at 614-688-3421 or email at: email@example.com.
Most woodland owners show some interest in promoting wildlife on their properties. One of the key components for wildlife habitat is providing a variety of 'mast' for them. Learn all about hard and soft mast and how to promote this important food source for wildlife. During our discussion of a variety of mast producing species and their different nutritionals values, we will focus on management strategies that will improve mast production and attract wildlife to your property.