They’re back…. Extension offices and lawn care companies across Pennsylvania have received numerous calls over the last few weeks about a plague of worms.
One morning in 2008, R. Thangavel, a small papaya grower and latex supplier from a village in Tamil Nadu, India noticed a strange white growth on his papaya leaves and fruits. Thangavel had never seen it before but the white moldy substances was Paracoccus marginatus, or Papaya Mealy Bug, an alien invasive pest.
If there's one thing worse than finding a tick, it's wondering whether that tick has passed on Lyme disease. Pennsylvania continues to be one of the leading states for Lyme disease, with between 3,000 to 4,000 new cases every year, according to the State Department of Health.
Insect damage recently found on some area ash trees wasn't caused by the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that's destroyed tens of millions of trees since its discovery a decade ago in Michigan.
Consumer products known as "bug bombs" or "foggers" have been sold for decades for use against many common household insects. However, recent research published in the Journal of Economic Entomology (JEE) shows these products to be ineffective against bed bugs.
A popular publication in the mushroom industry that addresses pests with the most potential to reduce mushroom yield and quality is now available in Spanish for free online.
Corey McCleaf knows the difficulties of growing sweet cherries in Pennsylvania. He sees it every June, when just around the time his cherries start ripening, a freak storm comes through, causing his cherries to crack.
Young bug enthusiasts will have the chance to learn more about insects through Bug Camp for Kids, hosted by members of Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Although May's rainfall was well above normal in the Altoona area, the spring of 2012 has not been nearly as disruptive to area farmers as last spring.
Flies on the farm are not just pesky. They can impact production, spread disease and take a toll on overall animal health. That is why Penn State Extension Specialist Robert Graves says that fly control is a critical point of providing dairy cow comfort.
It’s bad. It’s a tough year to be a fruit grower,” said Andy Muza, Penn State Cooperative Extension educator. Fifteen frost events this spring in western Pennsylvania eradicated blossoms and buds from apples, cherries, peaches, pears and grapes. In some cases, the damage is total; in others, it is variety specific; while in still others, the damage is location-based.
The unusual weather of March and April is a distant memory for farmers as they work around the clock wrapping up their first cuttings of forages and continuing their corn planting.
A national working group of horticultural industry and government representatives is being set up to develop a plan for combating two new Asian invasive insects – the brown marmorated stink bug and the spotted wing drosophila.
"Plants smell," says botanist David Chamovitz. Yes, they give off odors, but that's not what Chamovitz means. He means plants can smell other plants.
Bees and other insects that pollinate plants in the United States have suffered in recent decades from mites, pesticides, pathogens, land development and habitat fragmentation.
Green Industry professionals often find themselves in the field needing immediate access to pest and plant disease information and plant care recommendations. Thanks to a collaborative effort of horticulturists, entomologists and plant pathologists at seven land-grant universities, now there's an app for that.
Snow had fallen by Halloween; in effect, spring arrived by Christmas, and the blossoms were popping by Easter. And despite the atmosphere’s recent flirtations with quasi-normality, the seasonal fast-forwarding trend has continued briskly in the Philadelphia region’s farms and fields, where veteran observers report that the annual bounty of summer fruits and vegetables is a full week to two weeks ahead of schedule.
Berks County 4-H members specializing in working with sheep visited the farm of George and Beth Vamvakias in Boyertown, Pa., on May 8 for a hands-on weed identification exercise.
Home gardeners often find grassy weeds growing in their lawns. These grasses do not match the rest of the lawn grass and make the lawn look patchy. So, what should you do if you find a grassy weed invading your lawn?
Some mosquitoes trapped near Middletown’s waste water treatment plant were infected with the West Nile Virus, Dauphin County officials said.