Thursday, June 30, 2011

Kudzu Bug Found on Soybeans in Henderson County

Kudzu bug has moved into soybean fields in Henderson County in the past few weeks, some of which were flowering. So far, kudzu bug has been relatively easy to kill with insecticides (except with neonicotinoid insecticides), but will often reinvade. A preliminary economic threshold, based on Georgia data, is one bug per sweep with large nymphs present, or three bugs per plant with large nymphs present. This is the threshold that we will be using in our state until more information is gathered. Like stink bugs, this insect seems to invade the field edges first, so be sure to scout entire fields.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Protect Your Skin While in Your Garden

There are many positives in gardening, but we must think of the dangers associated with spending too much time in the sun unprotected. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Be sure to follow these simple suggestions below each time you spend time in your garden.
  • Limit sun exposure to early morning or late afternoon
  • Make sure you wear proper protection with a wide brim hat and sunglasses
  • Always, always wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks
  • Most dermatologists recommend all parts of the body that are not covered by clothes should be adequately protected with broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher every two hours while outside.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Farm City Day 2011 - Demonstrators Needed

The Annual Farm City Day Festival is schedule for October 1st, 2011 in Jackson Park. This event boasts attendance each year of over 10,000 Henderson County residents eager to learn about farming, animals, and community. If you would like to participate, we are looking for non-profit organizations to showcase their cause and local agriculture supporters to demonstrate a trade. Contact Karen at 828-697-4900 or Diane at 828-697-4891 for more info. Click here for our website

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cicadas, The Next Class

Periodical cicadas were a big hit this spring across most of North Carolina. It is now time for the annual cicada to make its appearance. Already spotted, are the larger green annual cicadas that appear every year in low numbers.

By now, most of you are familiar with cicadas. Every summer the chunky brown nymphs crawl from under the ground and perform a transformation as dramatic as the change of a chrysalis to a butterfly. Though the individual life cycle may last several years for the annuals, the entire population does not emerge in synchrony as do their famous earlier periodical cousins. You should now be able to enjoy their daytime buzzing and still hear yourself think.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lightning Bugs - Now Showing in NC

For the first time in several years, most of North Carolina has had a reasonable amount of rainfall in the spring. This year the lampyrids (lightning bugs) seem to be off to a good start. Lightning bugs are beetles. Fireflies are, coincidentally, also beetles!

Lightning bug adults produce a heat-free source of light through a biochemical reaction. The light flashes are used to attract mates. Different species have different flash patterns and are active at different times during the evening.

What does this have to do with pest management? One of the many great aspects of lightning bugs is that the larvae of some species are predatory on snails and slugs!

From: Steve Bambara, NCSU Extension Entomologist

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tips for Effective Ant Baiting

Baiting for ants has some advantages over other types of insecticides. First, baits can work when the nest cannot be found or it is inaccessible for treating with other chemicals. Second, baits pose less of a risk to children and staff by reducing the risk of possible contact with a toxic chemical. Third, baits can kill the entire colony whereas most insecticides sprayed on a surface kill only the workers that contact it.

Remember, baits are effective only if they are eaten and not all baits are equally attractive to different ant species. Make sure the bait you use is acceptable to the ants. Place a small amount of bait where you see ants foraging and then watch their reaction for a few minutes. If the ants show no interest in the bait, try another bait until you find one that they readily feed on. Once you find a bait that is acceptable to the ants, several other factors determine its effectiveness, including:

* Sanitation - Baits work best when there are no other food sources available to ants. Keep areas clean so ants are not "distracted" from locating and feeding on the bait.

* Proper placement - Bait should be placed in known or suspected areas of ant activity. Be sure that bait is placed out of the reach of children, pets, and wildlife. Never place bait directly on countertops where food is prepared or in an area where it will get wet and/or contaminated.

* Quantity - Make sure you put out enough bait and that it remains fresh. If the ants carry away all of the bait, then they may leave the area and go elsewhere before enough bait is spread within the colony. Ant species that are capable of producing large colonies, such as the Argentine ant, will most likely require more than one application of bait.

* Durability - Baits will eventually become unacceptable if they are exposed to high temperatures, rain, and sunlight. Check baited areas for signs of ant feeding and replace baits that are no longer acceptable to the ants.

* Patience is important to successful baiting. Most ant baits are slow-acting. You may continue to see ants for a week or more after baiting. It is important that the ants are able to return to the nest with the bait so it can be fed to other members of the colony. Do not disturb or kill the foraging ants.

* Remember, if you determine that chemical control is needed to successfully control the ants, never spray in areas baits have been applied. If the baits are contaminated, the ants will avoid the bait.

Click here for an "Ant Baiting Decision Tree" developed by Jules Silverman, Charles G. Wright Professor of Structural Pest Management, at North Carolina State University. You may use the baiting tree as a tool in determining what actions to take in order to successfully bait for ants.

From: Patty Alder, Training Coordinator, NCSU Department of Entomology