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Integrated Pest Management

Periodical cicadas are what? Adult periodical cicadas resting on a hazelnut bush

Periodical cicadas are here…now what?

The long wait is finally over! After spending 13 (or 17, depending on where you’re at) years underground feeding from roots, periodical cicadas have started to emerge (at least in central and southern Illinois). Soon, many places will be awash in cicadas. While this mass emergence may seem...
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Tips for keeping pests out of your home. A group of multicolored Asian lady beetles

Tips for keeping pests out of your home

With the arrival of fall, many of us will be heading outdoors for various activities, from visiting the local pumpkin patch or apple orchard, attending football games, or enjoying fall colors. People aren’t the only thing on the move, though. As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter,...
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How to grow and care for hollyhocks. Dark purple hollyhock flower

How to grow and care for hollyhocks

Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) have been growing in gardens for centuries and remind many of us of our parents’ or grandparents’ gardens. Despite being ‘old-fashioned,’ hollyhocks have had a bit of a resurgence in recent years. Their tall, stately flowers are an impressive sight in the garden....
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Wheel bugs: good bugs with a painful bite. Adult wheel bug climbing from a yellow flower to a brown flower.

Wheel bugs: Good bugs with a painful bite

As we transition from summer to fall and the temperatures start cooling off, many of us will be spending more time outdoors. While enjoying our time outdoors, we often encounter various insets we may not have seen or noticed earlier in the growing season. One such insect is the unusual, and to some...
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Managing squash vine borer in the garden. Colorful adult vine borer moth laying egg on squash stem

Managing squash vine borer in the garden

There are a variety of insects that will feed on squash. One of the more troublesome, and potentially devastating, is the squash vine borer. If you've grown squash and had a runner or two start wilting, there's a good chance you've had an encounter with squash vine borer. Squash vine borers (...
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Not all bugs are bad: Good bugs in the Garden. Parasitoid was and syrphid fly larva in an aphid colony

Not all bugs are bad: Good bugs in the garden

While it may seem like every insect out there is trying to eat your plants, not all the insects you see in your garden are pests. In fact, fewer than 1% of all insects are considered pests, meaning the vast majority are beneficial or, at the very least, benign. While most people are aware of the...
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Interveinal chlorosis on soybean leaves

Noticing Yellow Soybeans

We’re at a point in the growing season where it is still a little early for soybeans to start senescing and turn yellow (dependent on maturity group, planting date, and growing conditions), so it makes you question why are yellow soybeans appearing in fields? There are several factors that can...
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a large tobacco hornworm feeding on a tomato leaf

Hornworm caterpillars on tomatoes

Several different types of caterpillars will feed on tomatoes. The most well-known, and probably most dreaded, are the tomato (Manduca quinquemaculata) and tobacco (Manduca sexta) hornworms. These large (up to 4 inches long) green caterpillars have a prominent “horn” on their rear...
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squash bug nymphs feeding on pumpkin vines

Trouble(s) with Cucurbits

Cucumbers, melons, squash, and pumpkins are collectively known as cucurbits. Because these crops are related, they are afflicted with many of the same pests and diseases. Here are some of the most commonly encountered pests and diseases in cucurbits. Insects Cucumber...
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a green tobacco hornworm on a tomato stem

Trouble(s) with Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the most commonly grown plant in the home vegetable garden. Tomatoes are relatively easy to grow, and there is a wide variety of different types. If you’re growing tomatoes, you’ll more than likely encounter a few pests and diseases along the way. So, let’s take a moment and talk about...
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squash vine borer larva inside of the stem of a zucchini plant

Starting a Garden: Pest Management

As the saying goes, the only things guaranteed in life are death and taxes. If you’re a gardener, you can also include pests to the list of life’s guarantees. Now that it's started to warm up enough to get out and plant the garden, it also means it’s warm enough for weeds, insects, and diseases to...
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Blossom End Rot

Blossom end rot is the scourge of many tomato growers. In addition to tomatoes, it can also be found in peppers, eggplant as well as squash and watermelons. When it comes to tomatoes, it is most commonly seen on larger fruited varieties, with long-fruited varieties (Roma type) being more...
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tomato plant

Common Tomato Diseases

Tomatoes are one of the most commonly grown vegetables in home gardens. While tomatoes are relatively easy to grow there are a few diseases you should keep your eye out for. Two of the most common diseases people encounter are early blight and Septoria leaf spot. Both of these diseases are caused...
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japanese beetle

Living with Japanese Beetles

It's about that time of year, time for Japanese beetles... Japanese beetles are one of the most destructive ornamental pests we have in Illinois. They were first discovered in the United States in 1916 in New Jersey and have been making their way across the U.S. since then. The adults are about a...
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squash bugs

Squash bugs

If you've ever grown squash or pumpkins (or other cucurbits, like cucumbers) then you've likely encountered squash bugs. Squash bug (Asasa tristis) adults are brownish-black and about 5/8 of an inch long. The adults will overwinter in protected areas (under plant debris, around buildings,...
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mosquito on a human arm

Mosquito and Tick Season is Upon Us

I've been seeing mosquitoes and ticks for several weeks already, and as the weather gets warmer they'll get more numerous. Not only are these critters annoying, many are also capable of transmitting a variety of diseases. There are three main types of mosquitoes. The permanent pool mosquitoes,...
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home garden

Pest Management in the Garden

Warm weather has arrived, and our plants are starting to green-up and bloom. That also means weeds, insects, and diseases are starting to become active too. As the saying goes, the only things guaranteed in life are death and taxes, and if you're a gardener, you can also include pests in the list...
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