To determine if you have spruce spider mites, hold a piece of
white paper under a branch and shake the branch. The mites will
look like moving dust specks on the paper. Many times, there
will be some fine webbing, like spider web, visible on the
needles as well.
Spruce spider mites can be controlled with sprays of
acequinocyl, bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, insecticidal soap or summer
oil spray. The soap or oil sprays will require a second
application about a week later to give good control. These mites
normally remain active until mid-May, but the cool conditions
thus far may extend their life cycle this year.
Other spring pests are also indicated by the saucer magnolia.
During the bloom stage, going on now, the ash plant bug, fall
cankerworm, spring cankerworm, Fletcher scale, leaf crumpler,
eastern tent caterpillar, juniper webworm and Zimmerman pine
moth are susceptible to control. As we get to the petal fall
stage, European pine sawfly, gypsy moth, hawthorn mealybug,
honeylocust pod gall and willow aphid become susceptible to
Mow the grass
as it is needed. To do away with catching or raking grass,
try to remove no more than one-third of the leaf blade.
control is just around the corner for many weeds. Look at
early May for control.
is largely unsuccessful in the spring because of large grub
size and a short life cycle. Look to August and September
for grub control.
active, but controlling the grubs won't help much now. Look
to a noose or scissor trap, or one of the soft baits with
poison for control. We actually have a couple of traps for
"rent" this year.
The average last killing frost date
is about May 5 for our area, and many gardening charts use
May 10 for planting tender crops in our area.
The West Central Region has designated April 19-25 as
Extension Week. Logan County has had Extension since February of
1918. It began with a "Farm Advisor" named Elmer Ebersol, who
began selling memberships in the county for the combined
Extension and Farm Bureau system that remained in place until
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Early projects included establishment of the county Pure Bred Live
Stock Breeders' Association, Pure Bred Beef Cattle Breeders'
Association, Pure Bred Dairy Cattle Breeders' Association and the
Pure Bred Swine Breeders' Association. Soybeans were a new crop at
that time, and their planting was being encouraged. Of course,
soybeans were used mainly for hay in their early years. Spring wheat
was the predominant wheat crop of the time, and there were several
thousand acres of oats. Farm labor was a major concern of the time,
and labor placements were a major focus of Extension. The first soil
survey of the county was also begun.
The 4-H program began about 1920, with the first 4-H clubs
focusing on specific projects of swine and corn. Later in 1923 there
began a push for home economics-based clubs, and the push was on to
identify volunteer leaders. Home economics was added a few years
later with the first "Home Advisor." Focuses were on running a
household and home food preservation.
Logan County added an aggressive Community Resource Development
program in the late 1970s. This program was responsible for many of
the communitywide surveys done in the early '80s, and these surveys
even led to removal of the city parking meters around the Lincoln
square and municipal parking lots.
Extension continues to evolve as needs of residents change.
Horticulture programming became more prevalent in the 1980s;
nontraditional youth programs such as school enrichment and special
interest clubs began in the 1980s; and the Family Nutrition program
started in the 1990s. Web pages began to be a communication medium
in 2003, and today there is an average of about 15,000 hits per
month on county Web pages.
Extension Week helps us remember where we have been and to focus
on being of value to local citizens. Extension has always been
blessed with many exceptional volunteers, and today is no exception.
There are over 100 volunteer leaders in the 4-H program, and many
others serving on committees and councils for various programs. If
you are interested in volunteering, please feel free to contact the
office at any time.
University of Illinois Extension, Logan County]