Western Mountains and High Plains

May, 2013
Regional Report

Control Bulb Flies

Be on the lookout for large, bumblebee-like insects landing on the leaves and stems of your daffodils. These could be the adult narcissus bulb flies laying eggs on the lower portions of the plants. When eggs hatch, the tiny larvae tunnel into the bulbs and cause serious injury. Handpick and remove eggs from the plants. Insecticides labeled for soil or foliage treatment can also be applied to provide control of young, hatching larvae.

Reduce Thatch

The best approach to reducing thatch in your lawn is aeration and proper fertilizing and mowing. Reduce the use of fast-release, high- nitrogen lawn fertilizers, which tend to increase thatch buildup. Beware of promotions of a miracle thatch eliminator that claim to get rid of the thatch buildup in your lawn. This has no proven performance in our region.

Control Miller Moths

The yearly flight of miller moths from the dry plains to greener and blossoming meadows begins now. The moths are in search of nectar from wildflowers. Unfortunately, they often get indoors, creating quite a stir. Should they find their way into your house, trap them by hanging a securely fastened light bulb over a dishpan of soapy water. They'll be attracted to the light and will then drop into the water and die.

Protect Plant from Flea Beetles

Once you've set your vegetable transplants outdoors in the garden, flea beetles have an open invitation to start feeding on the leaves. Flea beetle damage looks like shotgun holes in the leaves of tiny seedlings such as eggplant and broccoli. To control these pests, place a floating row cover over susceptible vegetables. The row cover excludes pests but allows plants to get sunlight and moisture.

Deadhead Lilacs

Once the blooms have faded, deadhead old lilac flowers. This will prevent seedlings from popping up here and there. Now is also the time to thin out some of the oldest wood by cutting it off at ground level.

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