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Horticulture and Home Pest News
Horticulture & Home Pest News is filled with articles on current horticulture, plant care, pest management, and common household pests written by Iowa State University Extension specialists in the Departments of Entomology, Horticulture and Plant Pathology.

Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Update - May 16, 2012

This article was published originally on 5/16/2012

The following are highlights and updates about samples and questions recently received in the Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic:
 
Insects
 
Lots of reports this week of eggs and caterpillars on the sides or homes or indoors.  All those fuzzy brown moths have been laying eggs.  Usually the eggs will be on the house near outdoor lights that attracted the moths.  The eggs are and caterpillars are harmless. See picture below.
 
Bat bugs are possible any time of the year, including now as recent samples would indicate.    Determining bat bugs from bed bugs takes good magnification and experience.  Knowing the difference is critical, too.  Are you going to treat the bedroom or build out the bats?  To find out which you have, send us a sample!
 
Diseases
 
Evergreen with needle browning due to environmental stress (wet or dry weather) and the April freeze.
 
Summer patch and leaf spot (lawn)
 
Fireblight on ornamental bradford pears.
 
White mold on tomato.
 
Oak wilt.
 
Tomato with herbicide damage - tomato are very sensitive to 2,4-D and dicamba and other growth regulator herbicides that are commonly used by homeowners.  Be cautious when treating weeds near tomatoes or using grass clippings as mulch.
 
 

Moth eggs on a house.  Photo courtesy of Steve Odson.