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Posts Tagged: Ant

'Ant Man' Brendon Boudinot Off to Do Research in Germany

Ant specialist Brendon Boudinot doing field work at the Southwest research station in the Chiricahua Mountains near Portal, Ariz. (Photo by Roberto Keller, National Museum of Natural History and Science, Portugal)

It's off to Germany for ant specialist Brendon Boudinot. And what an honor and an opportunity!   Boudinot, who received his...

Ant specialist Brendon Boudinot doing field work at the Southwest research station in the Chiricahua Mountains near Portal, Ariz. (Photo by Roberto Keller, National Museum of Natural History and Science, Portugal)
Ant specialist Brendon Boudinot doing field work at the Southwest research station in the Chiricahua Mountains near Portal, Ariz. (Photo by Roberto Keller, National Museum of Natural History and Science, Portugal)

Ant specialist Brendon Boudinot doing field work at the Southwest research station in the Chiricahua Mountains near Portal, Ariz. (Photo by Roberto Keller, National Museum of Natural History and Science, Portugal)

Brendon Boudinot reacts after listening to a question at the Entomological Society of America's Linnaean Games, now the Entomology Games. (ESA Photo)
Brendon Boudinot reacts after listening to a question at the Entomological Society of America's Linnaean Games, now the Entomology Games. (ESA Photo)

Brendon Boudinot reacts after listening to a question at the Entomological Society of America's Linnaean Games, now the Entomology Games. (ESA Photo)

Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment, Innovation

Saving a Spider

A winter ant, Prenolepis imparis, encounters a Phidippus,  jumping spider in an almond tree on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

I did not save a spider yesterday. Did not save one today, either. Well, if I had seen one.... Wednesday, March 14 was "Save a Spider Day" in the...

A winter ant, Prenolepis imparis, encounters a Phidippus,  jumping spider in an almond tree on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A winter ant, Prenolepis imparis, encounters a Phidippus, jumping spider in an almond tree on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A winter ant, Prenolepis imparis, encounters a Phidippus, jumping spider in an almond tree on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A blanketflower, Gaillardia, was a perfect meeting place for this crab spider and a bee,  Halictus tripartitus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A blanketflower, Gaillardia, was a perfect meeting place for this crab spider and a bee, Halictus tripartitus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A blanketflower, Gaillardia, was a perfect meeting place for this crab spider and a bee, Halictus tripartitus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A crab spider dining on a  honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A crab spider dining on a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A crab spider dining on a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 5:00 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Environment, Natural Resources, Pest Management, Yard & Garden

Marek Borowiec's Awesome Social Insects Award

Ant specialist Marek Borowiec collecting ants at the summit of Mt Marojejy in northern Madagascar. (Photo by Kimiora Ward)

Marek Borowiec, who attributes his interest in ants to E.O. Wilson's autobiography "Naturalist," has just won a major award. It's more than major:...

Ant specialist Marek Borowiec collecting ants at the summit of Mt Marojejy in northern Madagascar. (Photo by Kimiora Ward)
Ant specialist Marek Borowiec collecting ants at the summit of Mt Marojejy in northern Madagascar. (Photo by Kimiora Ward)

Ant specialist Marek Borowiec collecting ants at the summit of Mt Marojejy in northern Madagascar. (Photo by Kimiora Ward)

Top 10 pests in gardens and landscapes and how to control them

Download the free booklet at the bottom of the page!

1. Ants

Most people deal with ants around their home at some point. Because most ants live outdoors, focus efforts on keeping ants from entering buildings by caulking entryways. Follow good sanitation practices to make your home less attractive to ants. Spraying ants inside the home will not prevent more ants from entering. Use baits to control the ant colony. Pesticide baits work by attracting worker ants who then take the poison back to the nest where the entire colony, including queens, can be killed. In the landscape, ants protect honeydew-producing pest insects from predators, so use sticky barriers or insecticide baits to keep ants out of trees and shrubs.

 

2. Aphids

Aphids can curl leaves and produce sticky honeydew, but they rarely kill plants and you usually can wash them off with water. When aphid numbers get high, natural enemies such as lady beetles (lady bugs), lacewings, syrphid fly larvae, soldier beetles and others frequently feed on them, eliminating the need for pesticides. Protect these good bugs by avoiding the use of insecticides that can be toxic to a broad variety of insects. Ants protect aphids from these natural enemies, so keep ants away from your garden as well. When pesticides are necessary, use less toxic products such as insecticidal soaps and oils.

 

3. Asian citrus psyllid and Huanglongbing disease

The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and the deadly bacterial disease it spreads, Huanglongbing (HLB), threaten citrus trees in backyards and on farms. There is no cure or effective control method for HLB disease.  All types of citrus—including oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and mandarins—are affected as well as a few closely related ornamentals. ACP and HLB have already devastated the Florida citrus industry, and now that it is in the Western U.S. it is threatening the California citrus industry as well.

 

4. Gophers

Gophers are small burrowing rodents that feed on roots of many types of plants. A single gopher can ruin a garden in a short time, and gopher gnawing can damage irrigation lines and sprinkler systems. In lawns, their mounds are unsightly and interfere with mowing. Early detection is critical to prevent damage. Use both traps and underground fencing to manage gopher problems. Toxic baits are available but can pose threats to wildlife, pets, and children, especially in backyard situations.

 

5. Leaf-feeding caterpillars

Caterpillars, which are the larvae of butterflies and moths, damage plants by chewing on leaves, flowers, shoots, and fruit. Caterpillars in fruit or wood can be difficult to manage because they are hidden most of their life and can cause serious damage even when numbers are low. However, many plants, especially perennials, can tolerate substantial leaf damage, so a few leaf-feeding caterpillars often aren't a concern. Handpicking and beneficial predators and parasites often provide sufficient control. Look for feeding holes, excrement, webbed or rolled leaves, caterpillars, eggs, and good bugs.

 

6. Peach leaf curl

Peach leaf curl is a fungal disease that affects only peach and nectarine trees. Distorted, reddened foliage in the spring is a distinctive symptom. New leaves and shoots thicken and pucker and later may die and fall off. An infection that continues untreated for several years can lead to a tree's decline. To prevent peach leaf curl, treat peach and nectarine trees with a copper fungicide every year after leaves fall. After symptoms appear in the spring, any treatment will not be effective. When planting new trees, consider buying peach tree varieties that are resistant to the disease.

 

7. Rats

Rats eat and contaminate food, garden produce, and fruit, and transmit diseases to humans and pets. Manage rats by removing food and shelter, eliminating entryways into buildings, and trapping. Snap traps are the safest, most effective, and most economical way to trap rats. For Norway rats, place traps close to walls, behind objects, in dark corners, and in places where you have found rat droppings. For roof rats, place traps in off-the-ground locations such as ledges, shelves, branches, fences, pipes, or overhead beams. Ensure traps are out of reach of children and pets.

 

8. Scales

Scale insects suck plant juices and are pests of many trees and shrubs. Infestations can cause yellowing or premature dropping of leaves, sticky honeydew, and blackish sooty mold. Plant parts can distort or die back, depending on the species and abundance of scales. Most plants tolerate low to moderate numbers of scales. Provide plants with proper cultural care, especially irrigation. Encourage scale predators such as lady beetles or lacewings and look for parasite emergence holes in scale covers. Use sticky barriers or insecticide baits to selectively control scale-tending ants. Consider replacing problem-prone plants because most scales are highly specific to certain plants.

 

9. Snails and slugs

These slimy mollusks emerge from hiding at night and chew holes in leaves and flowers of many succulent garden plants and fruit. Management requires a vigilant and integrated approach that includes eliminating moisture and hiding spots, trapping, setting up barriers, and handpicking. Regularly remove snails from shelters you can't eliminate such as low ledges on fences, undersides of decks, and meter boxes. Place traps in your garden and dispose of trapped snails and slugs daily. Reduce moist surfaces by switching to drip irrigation or watering in the morning rather than later in the day. Consider snail-proof plants such as impatiens, geraniums, begonias, lantana, nasturtiums, and many plants with stiff leaves and highly scented foliage such as sage, rosemary, and lavender.

 

10. Weeds in landscapes

Prevent weed invasions in new beds with good site preparation. Keep weeds out with an integrated program that includes competitive plants, mulches, and hand removal. Be particularly vigilant about removing aggressive perennial weeds. You rarely should need herbicides in established landscape plantings. Mulches prevent weed seed germination by blocking sunlight. Remove small weeds by hand before they flower and set seed. Use shallow cultivation or hoeing to remove annual weeds from ornamental plantings. Only use herbicides for special-problem situations before establishing new plantings or for difficult-to-control perennial weeds.

 

To see all of the University of California's Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program's information on home, garden, and landscape pests, visit http://www.ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/menu.homegarden.html

For other short pest “Quick Tips” like the ten above, see http://www.ipm.ucanr.edu/QT/

 To read even more in-depth, peer-reviewed information on many other common home and landscape pests in California, see the Pest Notes series at http://www.ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/index.html

Download your free UC IPM Quick Tips Booklet of the Top Ten Pests in Gardens and Landscapes and How to Control Them with the link below! 

Posted on Friday, June 10, 2016 at 12:30 PM
  • Author: Tyler Ash

Ants and Moths: Think Noon and Night!

A worker Formica moki ant, as seen in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven.

It promises to be a fun and educational entomological weekend at the University of California, Davis! Think noon and night.  Friday noon!...

A worker Formica moki ant, as seen in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven.
A worker Formica moki ant, as seen in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven.

A worker Formica moki ant, as seen in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven.

A white-lined sphinx moth that may be seen Saturday night, July 18 at Bohart Museum of Entomology's Moth Night. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey).
A white-lined sphinx moth that may be seen Saturday night, July 18 at Bohart Museum of Entomology's Moth Night. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey).

A white-lined sphinx moth that may be seen Saturday night, July 18 at Bohart Museum of Entomology's Moth Night. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey).

Posted on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 6:56 PM
Tags: Ant Day (0), ants (0), Christine Casey (0), Elina Niñ0 (0), Greg Kareofelas (0), Jeff Smith (0), Lynn Kimsey (0), moth (0), Moth Night (0), moths (0), Phil Ward (0), Tabatha Yang (0)
 
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