Asian ladybugs, millipedes, boxelder bugs, ants and termites are
just some of the things that can "bug" you. The only one in the
short list that can do real damage is the termite. If you have a
termite problem, it is recommended to consult a professional to
handle the matter for you. For the other pests, a nuisance is what
If you've already removed the resting places such as
leaf piles, firewood stacks and similar places, we are probably
ready for the foundation spray. Foundation sprays of permethrin or
bifenthrin are the standbys. Simply spray the foundation of the
house and the adjacent foot of soil. In severe cases, you may need
to expand the soil treatment area. The larger the barrier, the more
effective it is.
I mentioned ants and termites earlier. Swarming time for both
insects is about the same, and they are really looking to start new
colonies because they have outgrown their old ones. This is the
reason for the winged insects. The wings allow the ants or termites
to cover larger areas to start their new colonies.
The differences between ants and termites are several. Termites
are always blackish in color, while ants may be black or other
colors. If you have winged insects that are not black, you don't
have termites. Next, look at the body shape. Ants have a constricted
"waist," while termites don't have that classic hourglass figure.
Antennae and wings are the other two body parts to look at. Antennae
on ants are elbowed, basically in an "L" shape, and those on
termites are straight. Both ants and termites have pairs of wings,
but termite wings on the same side will be of equal length, while
ant wings are of different lengths on the same side.
Ants can be controlled on the outside of the house with the
foundation treatment mentioned. Inside the house, bait stations that
don't immediately kill the ants (allowing them to take the bait back
to the colony) are effective. However, you have to wait about a week
before you do anything else. Inside the house, it is only
recommended to use aerosol cans or pre-mixed spray bottles labeled
for indoor use. If you use the bait stations, wait the week before
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One group of problems showing up is galls. Galls are swelling of
leaves, twigs or other plant parts. Most are caused by mites or
wasps. They damage the plant parts, and the plant responds with a
gall. In the case of leaves, the swelling is actually leaf tissue.
This is something I like to refer to as similar to you getting a
mosquito bite. The damage comes in and a swelling occurs. There is
no way to get rid of it without tearing a small hole in the leaf.
The maple leaf bladder gall will be easily spotted on silver
maples in the area shortly, as will oak leaves in the red oak group.
Probably the shingle oak has taken the honors for most galls this
year. Oak trees probably have more galls than any other group of
trees. Several samples have also been brought in of the stem types
Fortunately, the oak galls are usually not the type to kill
tissue beyond them. However, the galls aren't the most pleasant
things to look at. That is the main thing -- they are unsightly.
There is no cure for galls, as they are caused by insects before
you see the swellings. The timing would be impossible to try to
prevent the insects.
We are on the
early end of the time period (April 25 to May 10) for planting
tender vegetables such as snap beans, sweet corn, New Zealand
spinach and tomato plants
May 10 begins the time for planting
warm-loving vegetables such as squash, melons, cucumbers and
sweet potato slips. This is also a "more assured" date for
planting annual flowers.
University of Illinois Extension]