Memories of my year at K-State always go back to the final couple of weeks on campus. Our class was preparing to take the Woody Plant Material exam where students learned botanical names, genus and species of plants. On our lab exam, TA Ted Bilderback asked us to correctly identify a Cottonwood tree. On that warm, sunny spring afternoon, a convertible drove by and the driver yelled out, ‘It’s a tree!’ Ted responded that if the students were so smart they would take Woody’s. The next thing out of the kid's mouth was, ‘IT’S A POPULUS DELTOIDES!’- correctly identifying the tree. Ted was speechless.
Another memory was in the Entomology lab where the bagworms hatched out of their bags in mid-May, just before school was out. It was a bit early for the eggs to hatch outside, but with the warmth inside, they hatched. Now, in late May, I always look for the hungry small bags starting to consume mass quantities of foliage - mainly conifers, however they aren't too particular if need be. I’ve seen them on deciduous trees, roses, and other shrubs, too. With up to 1,000 eggs per bag, it doesn't take too many bags to do damage on landscape plants.
For controlling bagworms, we have many tools. I prefer ferti-lome Green Spinosad (same formula, but formerly labeled 'Natural Guard'). The ready-to-spray ferti-lome Green Spinosad controls bagworms, spider mites, tent caterpillars, and other chewing insects and is easy to apply. It can be used in the vegetable garden, lawn, and flower bed and is listed for organic use. The best time to treat for bagworm larvae in most areas is from late May until mid-June. This is when the hatching larvae are most susceptible.
With all of the moisture recently, we've been seeing ants around our office, and my dog Coulter has been scratching. I’ve sprayed ferti-lome Indoor Outdoor Multi-Purpose Insect Spray around the office and on Coulter. This product controls many residential and garden insects for up to four weeks. It's perfect for use in the fall and winter when insects like spiders and crickets come inside, and controls fleas and ticks on dogs for up to 14 days. Now the ants are gone and the office AND Coulter are happy!
If you have any pesky insects that are bugging you, feel free to bring in a picture or a sample in a zipper bag, and we'll get you set with the right product!
Your friend in the garden,
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center