Blog Archives

Landscape Sanitation: Clean Up for Clean Plants

Autumn has arrived in Kentucky and, as leaves will soon begin to change color and fall from trees, it is time to focus on landscape sanitation. Good sanitation practices can help reduce disease-causing pathogens.  These organisms can survive for months

Posted in Landscape Trees & Shrubs, Landscapes, Ornamentals

Non-Monarch Milkweed Munchers

Monarch butterflies are one of the few insects we could describe as “beloved” by much of the public. Due to their popularity, we have seen an increase in folks wanting to create their own monarch plantings made up of milkweed

Posted in Landscapes

Mapping Brood X Periodical Cicadas in Kentucky

What is happening with cicadas in 2021? 2021 will feature the emergence of Brood X, one of the groups of periodical cicadas that lives in Kentucky. Brood X is a 17-year brood, meaning that the insects that will be aboveground

Posted in Landscapes

Ground-Nesting and Digger Bees

The University of Kentucky Department of Entomology receives several calls a year from growers concerned about ground-nesting or digger bees in their gardens. There are many different species of these bees, and while their sizes can vary, they are generally

Posted in Landscapes, Lawn & Turf

Let Fireflies Brighten Your Evenings

Whether you call them fireflies or lightningbugs, seeing them in the evening is a pleasant reminder that we are moving into the early summer months. It is fascinating to watch their periodic flashes and the patterns they make with their

Posted in Landscapes

Our Friends, the Compost Maggot

Several insects thrive in decaying organic matter, so compost bins usually provide all the resources that they need. Maggots are an important part of the nutrient recycling process. Black soldier fly maggots are among the most disturbing of the “decay

Posted in Landscapes

Pine Sawflies Are Active Now

Time to check for pine sawflies. Second generations of the redheaded and introduced pine sawfly are active now and can cause significant defoliation if not detected early. Female wasps insert their eggs into needles at the top of the tree,

Posted in Landscapes

The Golden Argiope or Common Spider

The golden argiope is one of the more spectacular, and sometimes the most alarming, spider that we see in early fall. They may bite if bothered but are not dangerous. This orb weaver spider makes a flat, wheel-like web with

Posted in Landscapes

Yard Wasps–Beyond Cicada Killers

Velvet ant Cicada killers, velvet ants, and Scolia wasps are among the wasps in lawns now. While these insects are intent on carrying out their daily chores and tend to disregard humans, they can cause painful stings if disturbed. Velvet

Posted in Landscapes

Japanese Beetles Abundant in Some Areas

Japanese beetles are emerging, and there are early indications that populations are well above normal in some areas. Upcoming rain will soften the soil and spur more emergence. When practical, hand removal is an effective way to control this insect

Posted in Landscape Trees & Shrubs, Landscapes


Ohio and Tennessee are reporting above-normal incidences of spittlebugs, so Kentucky may experience that, too. Spittlebug is a name given to the immature stages of species of sap-feeding insects that produce and live within a frothy mass of their own

Posted in Landscape Trees & Shrubs, Landscapes

Slugs Attack Early

Slugs are among the first creatures to become active in spring. They scrape their mouthparts across leaves, stems, and flowers to ingest plant tissue. Shade gardens are ideal habitats for slugs, along with mulched areas containing bedding plants. New transplants

Posted in Landscapes

Spring Awakenings for Some Early Season Insects

Grass Sawfly Wasps Grass sawfly wasps are among the first insects to appear in spring. They often chose to rest on light-colored surfaces. Grass sawfly adults are shiny, black 3/8-inch-long insects (Figure 1) with thin black antennae about as long as

Posted in Landscapes

The Black and Yellow Garden Spider

The black and yellow garden spider (or golden argiope) is a spectacular and sometimes alarming spider that we see in early fall. This orb weaver makes a flat, wheel-like web with silk lines radiating out like spokes from the center.

Posted in Landscapes