Biological Control: A Guide to Natural Enemies in North America is an outstanding Web site that takes a simple, easy-to-understand approach to the many types of beneficial insects in our environment. It includes helpful information on their life cycles, the pests they attack, as well as photos to help in identification.
Clever Gardening Technique
Safer Woody Weed Control
Sometimes trees and other woody plants get the idea that our fence lines are in need of reforestation. Hackberry, elm, and poison ivy are difficult to pull or dig up and often don't respond to regular strength sprays of common weed killers applied to the foliage. Such applications can damage or kill nearby plants if they drift off target. A good way to control these weeds is to cut them off an inch or two above the soil and then immediately paint the cut surface with a full-strength solution of glyphosate or triclopyr, two ingredients found in several herbicide brands. This puts a minimum of herbicide out into the environment, removes the need to mix chemicals or the threat to nearby plants, and works very well against most species. These weeds are storing sugars for winter and are more susceptible to these control efforts now than they would be in spring.