Northern & Central Midwest

June, 2008
Regional Report

Scout for Japanese Beetles

The beetles are 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch with copper-colored wing covers and shiny, metallic green heads. They skeletonize leaves by eating all the leaf tissue and leaving the veins. They are most active during warm, clear days. They can be controlled effectively by hand-picking in the cool morning when they are sluggish.

Trap Earwigs

Earwigs prefer moist, dark areas and are most active at night. They hide by day in mulch, cracks, and crevices, under flowerpots and boards. Earwigs feed on living and dead plant material and some insects. They can be controlled by rolling up newspapers, moistening them, and then collecting and disposing of them in mid-morning.

Control Mosquitoes

Control mosquitoes by preventing egg laying. Eggs are laid in still water in ponds, pools, puddles, barrels, and birdbaths. Remove old tires, buckets, and other water-holding containers. Change the water in the birdbaths and wading pools at least once a week, and clean out or repair roof gutters so that water does not accumulate.

Replenish Mulch

Now that summer is upon us, be sure to replenish all your mulch. Organic mulch will help keep the soil cooler, reduce water loss, protect trees from lawnmower damage, control weeds, improve the soil as they break down, help prevent disease, and generally make the landscape look better.

Mow Your Lawn Right

Gear your lawn mowing to the rate of grass growth. Once a week may not be often enough. Try not to remove more than one-third of the grass leaves at each cutting. Be sure to let your clippings fall to provide free fertilizer. And don't mow lower than about 3 inches to help with weed control.

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