With the change in temperature, homeowners are outdoors for fall cleanup and other chores.
Earlier this week, the rains curtailed some of those outdoor activities. However, rainy weather has not curtailed many insects and pests. Some seem to be activated by the recent rains. Many people have called about how to deal with pests and other questions which you may have an interest. Here are a few:
Question: We have these little, brown bugs all over the side of our house. They look like small, brown lady bugs. What are these insects and can I control them?
Answer: These are kudzu bugs and they are moving out of soybean fields and congregating on structures that include homes and school buses. The kudzu bugs' fall movement indoors is similar to what we've experienced since the 1990s with the Asian lady beetle. Preventive insecticidal sprays are not recommended. Homeowners can spray to kill the insects with household insecticides primarily around windows, door frames and soffits. Choose any common exterior insecticides labeled for application to outside of buildings. Visit www.clemson.edu/cafls/departments/esps/factsheets/household_structural/kudzu_bugs_hs50.html for more detailed information about kudzu bugs.
Question: Leaves are falling on my newly seeded lawn. Is it critical that I remove these leaves?
Answer: Fescue will never become established without ample sunlight. You need to remove leaves as carefully as you can without disturbing emerging grass seedlings. Keep emerging grass properly irrigated to maintain growth.
Question: After the rain, fire ants have exploded in our yard. What can we do to eliminate them?
Answer: Ant hills can be eliminated immediately with insecticidal drenches. However, the queen will quickly move to another location to establish a new mound. Use fire ant baits around the mound, being careful to not disturb the mound during the application. Baits work well, but control is not immediate. Visit www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/O&T/lawn/note145/note145.html for more detailed information on fire ant control.
Question: There is an interesting row of trees at the Salisbury Farmers Market near the sidewalk. What are these trees?
Answer: The trees are Chinese pistachio (Pistacia chinensis). According to Lynne Raker, city planner for the Salisbury, the trees are well adapted to the harsh growing conditions for street trees. They were planted in 2004 and are doing quite well at this site.
Darrell Blackwelder is the County Extension Director with horticulture responsibilities with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County.