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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 - July 11, 2012

This article was published originally on 7/11/2012

The following are highlights and updates about samples and questions recently received in the Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic.  Visit the PIDC’s facebook page to ask questions and for updates and more pictures.
 
Disease
 
We are receiving quite a bit of samples and pictures of declining and stressed trees. With current weather conditions, urban trees (especially young trees) are struggling to get their root systems established and as a result we are seeing a lot of scorching and yellowing of leaves. But be careful not to overwater! We have also seen some issues with root rots most likely due to excessive irrigation.
 
Besides many declining and stressed trees, we are also getting more oak wilt and verticillium wilt than usual. So far, we’ve confirmed a oak wilt on two red oaks, and verticillium wilt on maple and sumac.
 
Veggies are also suffering from this tough weather. We’ve seen sunscald on several peppers and tomatoes, including several from my own garden. I’m also noticing a lot of blossom end rot on my tomatoes, which is probably due to inconsistent watering practices.
 
We have not seen a lot of leaf spots on veggies, except some angular leaf spot on cucumber. We have confirmed some more verticillium on lettuce and tomatoes.
 
We also received a tomato sample with some weird herbicide drift injury symptoms; the symptoms were only present on stems and no deformation on leaves was seen.
 
Insects
 
Squash bugs are active and laying eggs.  Now is the time to check squash and pumpkin vines for masses of brick red eggs on the leaves and to be ready to treat while the nymphs are small.  See more online at the Clinic website.
 
Bat bug samples have become more common than bed bug samples in the last few weeks. They look almost identical but bat bugs have longer hairs on their bodies.  Bat bugs feed on bats and finding them in the house indicates that bats are roosting somewhere in the house. For information on excluding bats from houses please see this article.
 
 

 Angular leaf spot on cucumber.
 

Sunscald on pepper.
 

Herbicide injury to tomato stems.