By Frannie Miller
This post has been provided by the Extension Entomology e-Newsletter.
This week as I have been out in my own yard and garden I have noticed an abundance of different types of caterpillars. Identification of caterpillars can be difficult because so many of them look really similar, but often if you know what plant they feed upon it will give you a clue.
The first image is of a caterpillar sent to me by a friend asking what it was. She found it feeding on her pansies, which were a hold over plants from spring. These caterpillars are known as pansyworms. They usually grow to be 1 ¼ inches long with a characteristic deep-orange color with black striped sides which feature spines. These caterpillars will take bites out of the leaves, but the resulting variegated fritillary butterfly will add color to the garden.
Panysworm image: Courtesy of Cheryl Boyer
Then I found a few yellowstriped armyworm caterpillars feeding on some of my flowers. I picked them off as I did not want them to feed on those particular plants, but allowed them to feed elsewhere. These caterpillars turn into a somewhat drab grayish-brown moth.
Yellow Striped Armyworm
Finally I spotted a mass of small caterpillars feeding on sunflowers in the garden. The sunflowers were not ones I plants and had come up as volunteer so I have decided to let the caterpillars eat on these plants. It is difficult to for me to identify the exact species from a picture, but they will turn into some sort of checkerspot butterfly.
I have chosen to not use any insecticides to control these particular caterpillars, but options such as Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki (Btk) and spinosad can be used when caterpillars are small. If you are going to use these products, remember to read and follow the label.
Sometimes we don’t notice the caterpillars until they are larger and hand picking may become the best control option.
By Brooke M. Garcia
Happy National Pollinator Week! National Pollinator Week occurs every year around mid-June. This year, June 22-28th, 2020 is dedicated to celebrating pollinators and promoting how we can protect them in the landscape and/or environment. What can you do this week to protect or promote a pollinator?
Here are some ideas to show your support:
- Plant native plants in the landscape
- Educate employees on pesticide safety
- Display pollinator artwork and outreach materials in your office lobby
- Highlight Pollinator Week in a newsletter, blog, or magazine
- Host a nature walk or pollinator expert lecture
Use the hashtag #pollinatorweek to promote pollinator week, events and resources shared.
For more information about National Pollinator Week, you can visit the official website.
Visit our K-State Pesticide Safety and Integrated Pest Management Facebook page to stay tuned with educational topics related to pollinators, pesticide safety, and IPM.
I saw some brown patch recently – in late September/early October!
In the meantime, our warm-season grasses are slowing down, and all the cool, cloudy, rainy weather this week may trigger some large patch in zoysiagrass.
Pathogens will take advantage of conducive conditions whenever they occur. Here are some great updates from my excellent turf pathology colleague Dr. Lee Miller, next door in Missouri:
Thank you for your engagement with the K-State Turf Team! To help us further improve this program, we would like to gather your responses to the questions below. This project is a research study regarding our blog and social media resources as well as some general questions about Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
The survey includes 13 brief questions, and we anticipate it will take about 5 minutes of your time.
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You can fill out the anonymous survey by clicking here:
Many plant pathogens like to survive the winter in infected crop debris. One example is iris leaf spot.
Here is a zoom – the black spots are structures where the fungus produces spores:
So what can we do? Here are some tips from the Horticulture News (http://www.ksuhortnewsletter.org/):
Iris are known for a couple of common problems: a fungus disease known as iris leaf spot and an insect named iris borer. Though both cause problems in the spring, now is the time to start control measures. Both the fungus and eggs of the borer overwinter on old, dead leaves. Remove dead leaves and cut back healthy leaves by ½ this fall to reduce populations of these pests. Also remove other garden debris from the iris bed. This can significantly cut down on problems next spring. (Ward Upham)
Another disease that lurks over the winter is peony leaf blotch (also known as red spot or measles) and you can find info on that disease here on the Common Plant Problems website.
(Photos by Megan Kennelly)
Kansas Turf Conference in conjunction with KNLA
December 4, 5 & 6, 2018
Kansas Expocentre, Topeka
Mark the date to attend the Kansas Turfgrass Conference in conjunction with KNLA on December 4, 5 & 6 in Topeka.
The conference is an excellent way to learn about turf, nursery and landscape management, visit with old friends, network with new ones, and see all the latest equipment and supplies from local and national vendors.
The conference has been approved for Commercial pesticide recertification hours:
- 1 Core hour
- 3A – 7 hrs
- 3B – 7 hrs
- International Society of Arboriculture CEUs and GCSAA education points will also be available by attending the conference.
Download a copy of the program, get exhibitor information, or register online
Moderate days and cool, dewy nights have increased dollar spot pressure. Check out these photos in our research plots.
Here is an untreated plot:
Here is a cleaner plot:
There are many great tips about fungicides for managing dollar spot starting on page 15 of this document:
In terms of varieties, like other universities, KSU does a lot of screening of new breeding lines and existing cultivars. In our research plots we like to have big blocks of different cultivars for different reasons. In my fungicide trials, often I like to use susceptible varieties to make sure we get strong disease pressure. For other types of studies we like to use more resistant varieties when developing reduced-input integrated management strategies.
Here is an example of two varieties out on one of our research greens. They have not been sprayed, and they are not in use at the moment, but they show the striking differences in susceptibility:
I also noticed a tiny bit of lingering brown patch on our putting green. When we switch more solidly into cool fall weather that should fade into nothing. Ah, fall! Let’s have more nights in the 50’s!
If you squint hard, you’ll see the big brown patch circle among all the dollar spot: