Hydrangea Wood Borers

Hydrangea Wood Borers tunnel through the inside of stems, branches, trunks and larger roots, damaging the vascular system that is essential for the transportation of food and water for the plant. This causes wilting and yellow of leaves as well as branch and stem dieback. In small numbers they are easy to control simply by pruning back affected wood to healthy tissue. In large numbers … Continue reading Hydrangea Wood Borers

Vole Problems in Ornamental Gardens, Lawns, Orchards and Vegetable Gardens

Voles are small mouse-like rodents that can be highly destructive to lawns, ornamental gardens, vegetable gardens, orchards, forests and some field crops. They tunnel around underground creating an elaborate network of tunnels from which they use to feed on roots, tubers, and bulbs. Above ground they feed on seeds, berries, fruits, vegetables, herbs, grasses and other vegetation. In the fall they switch to eating the … Continue reading Vole Problems in Ornamental Gardens, Lawns, Orchards and Vegetable Gardens

Lily Beetles

Lily Beetles (Lilioceris lilii) are a damaging pest insect for lily (Lilium spp.) growers. The pest chews on the leaves, flowers and stem leaving them looking ragged. If the pest numbers are high enough complete defoliation can occur. Early detection and vigilance are key to managing this pest naturally. Damage to Plants Both the larvae and the adults feed on mainly Asiatic lilies and fritillaries. … Continue reading Lily Beetles

Four-lined Plant Bug

Four-lined Plant Bugs (Poecilocapsus lineatus) are small and fairly attractive insects, but they are capable of quickly creating extensive damage to many herbs and ornamental plants in the garden. This is largely due to the powerful digestive enzymes contained in their saliva, which is injected into the plant tissue while they are feeding. Most of the damage occurs to the newest growth, on the tips … Continue reading Four-lined Plant Bug

Cut Worms in Home Gardens

Cutworms are a destructive pest insect of a wide variety of plant material. Many home gardeners have encountered them in the vegetable garden, where they chew through the stems of their seedlings, cutting them off near the soil line. There are hundreds of species of cutworms and appearances can vary, as well as habitat, food preferences and life cycle. There are however several general characteristics, … Continue reading Cut Worms in Home Gardens

Slugs and Snails in the Ornamental Garden

Most people are familiar with these slimy pests, that cause extensive damage to gardens, both ornamental and food. Slugs and snails while thought of as insects to most gardeners, are actually invertebrate animals known as Molluscs or mollusks (along with oysters, clams and squid). They have been around for about 500 million years (BYJU’S, (n.d.)) with about 85,000 known species (Wikipedia, (rev.  9 April 2022)). … Continue reading Slugs and Snails in the Ornamental Garden

Japanese Beetles

Japanese Beetles (Popillia japonica) are a highly destructive and invasive pest, both in the adult and larva stages. The larvae, are white grubs that feed on the roots of mainly grasses. While the adults feed on the leaves of over 300 types of plants, skeletonizing them. The adults are able to fly up to 8 km (5 miles) with a good wind, in search of … Continue reading Japanese Beetles

Willow Leaf Gall Sawfly

What Are Galls? Galls are unusual growths or deformities of plant tissue caused by an organism; be it insect, nematodes, fungi, bacteria or viruses. The presence of these organisms initiates an increased production of normal plant growth hormones and these plant hormones cause localized plant growth. The gall-making organism feeds inside the gall. The appearance of the gall is unique to the gall maker and … Continue reading Willow Leaf Gall Sawfly

Spongy Moth aka. Gypsy Moth

The spongy moth (Lymantria dispar), is an invasive and highly destructive pest. When their numbers are high the larvae can completely defoliate trees, even forests. Formerly known as the gypsy moth, it was renamed by The Entomological Society of America in Feb. 2022. This species has a few sub-species including: Lymantria dispar dispar, Lymantria dispar asiatica, Lymantria dispar japonica, Lymantria umbrosa, Lymantria postalba and Lymantria albescens. They are often … Continue reading Spongy Moth aka. Gypsy Moth

Imported Willow Leaf Beetle

The Imported Willow Leaf Beetle (Plagiodera versicolora) is a small metallic-blue-green beetle with an insatiable appetite for willow and poplar trees. Native to Europe, the beetle was introduced to North America in 1915 and is predominantly found in the eastern U.S. and south/eastern Canada. Identification and Damage  Adults: beetles are small, about 4 or 5 mm long ( 1/8″), metallic blue-green in colour, with an … Continue reading Imported Willow Leaf Beetle

Spittlebugs and Frog Hoppers

There are approximately 2500 spittlebug species world wide (Deitz  L. L. et. al., (2008)). Most of these live in the tropics with only about 60 species living in North America (Missouri Department of Conservation, (n.d.)). In Canada they are mostly found along the very southern end of the country. The nymphs are referred to as spittlebugs because of the frothy, spittle-like substance they produce and … Continue reading Spittlebugs and Frog Hoppers

Iris Borers and Bacterial Soft Rot 

Iris borers (Macronoctua onusta), are a species of cutworms that bore through iris leaves down into the rhizomes, causing browning and wilting. Their feeding damage can also cause a disease known as bacterial soft rot, aka. root rot. This bacterial disease, caused by the bacteria Erwinia carotovora, causes the rhizome to rot and become mushy, emitting a foul odour. Iris rhizomes infected with this disease … Continue reading Iris Borers and Bacterial Soft Rot 

Dormant Oil for the Control of Over-wintering Insect Pests

What is dormant oil? Dormant oil is an oil based, low-impact insecticide, that is sprayed on vulnerable woody plants during their dormant season, to kill the overwintering stage of pest insects. The oil used is typically a highly refined mineral oil to which an emulsifying agent has been added, which allows the oil to mix with water. Sometimes cottonseed oil or soybean oil are used … Continue reading Dormant Oil for the Control of Over-wintering Insect Pests

The Many Faces of an Aphid

Many gardeners are familiar with the little green soft bodied insects that feed on the growing tips and flowers of many of their favourite garden plants. Aphids however are actually a very large and diverse group of insects with between 4,000-5,000 species world wide. They come in a range of colours including green, black, brown, red, yellow, purple, gray and white. Size wise they vary … Continue reading The Many Faces of an Aphid

Beneficial Insects In Home Gardens

By: Kimberley Pacholko Jan. 25, 2021 What Are Beneficial Insects? Beneficial insects are deemed beneficial from a human perspective, for their ability to either pollinate plants or to control pest insects. Creating an environment that is hospitable to beneficial insects usually involves refraining from the use of insecticides and other chemicals in the garden, providing a variety of plant material including brightly coloured pollinating plants, … Continue reading Beneficial Insects In Home Gardens