Foundation sprays, beetles and lawn diseases
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[August 03, 2011]
Foundation sprays -- If you have been
following a foundation spray program all year, keep it up. If you
haven't been, it is probably time to start. The foundation spray
program is your first line of defense against nuisance pests in the
house. It cuts down on crickets, millipedes, spiders, ants and many
others that find their way inside.
To accomplish a foundation spray, you would select a material
such as permethrin or bifenthrin to begin with. Then spray the
foundation and the adjacent foot or two of soil or plant
material with the spray mixture. Both these products are cleared
on most types of plants. Foundation treatments should be applied
every seven to 15 days, depending on the temperatures. The
materials break down quicker in hot weather.
treatments won't prevent everything from getting in the house
and certainly won't kill things already in the house. For
insects already in the house, you have a few options. The first
is mechanical control. This is fancy language for something like
a fly swatter, shoe, vacuum cleaner, flypaper or glue boards.
The next is chemical control. This basically means aerosol cans
inside the house. The most common ones are for flying insects or
ants, although many of the flying insect killers now have
permethrin in them and can last quite a while.
We are still experiencing a large number of beetles in the
garden. This includes not only the Japanese beetles, but also
the recently emerged western corn rootworm beetles. These small
black and yellow striped beetles are of concern around
cucumbers, melons and pumpkins since they can carry a wilt
It is a good idea to treat your vining crops with Sevin,
permethrin or bifenthrin on a weekly basis. It is important to
concentrate on the new runners to help prevent damage from
squash vine borers.
The numbers of Japanese beetles seem to be declining
somewhat. Of course, there are still plenty in many areas, but
the population should continue to decline until the last of them
are finished off by frost. As favored food sources are consumed,
less likely plants may be attacked. This may mean a recheck of
things around the landscape. I've recently seen them on
marigolds and some limited feeding on red maples. These plants
are in the less preferred categories.
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It has been a banner year for diseases in many plants. The lawns
are starting to show some of the diseases as well. Conditions have
been ideal for many of the fungi that cause us problems. Humidity
makes an ideal environment for many diseases, but there are some
that like drier conditions. Dollar spot, brown spot and rust have
been noted in area lawns.
There are treatments available for diseases in home lawns, but
they can be rather expensive and time-consuming. Treatments would be
applied on a seven- to 14-day basis throughout the season. It isn't
recommended for homeowners to treat diseases in the lawn. The
recommendation is to let nature take its course and then do some
reseeding if needed.
The disease needs a susceptible host, the right environment and
time to cause us problems. If you do some reseeding, use a newer
variety with good disease resistance. This attacks the susceptible
host aspect. Also, keep your turf growing well to prevent weakened
grass plants from being more susceptible. The diseases will only be
present during certain weather, and as the weather changes, the
diseases will go away.
University of Illinois Extension]