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Cucumber Beetles

In late summer and fall, cucumber beetles – and similar corn rootworms – are common visitors to squash and cucumber flowers. They are not pollinators, but actually eat the petals, and sometimes the plant foliage. The cucumber beetles are important pests because they also can tramsit diseases. To learn more about all of these beetles, read this article…

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Plant Flowers to Encourage Beneficial Insects

If you plant them, they will come. Planting flowers will encourage many beneficial insects because they need nectar and pollen as adults. But some flowers are better than others for attracting small wasps and flies that are predators or parasitoids of pest insects. To learn more about which flowers are best for natural enemies read this article…

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Squash Vine Borer, Melittia cucurbitae

The nemesis of almost everyone who tries to grow squash in the Midwest, squash vine borer is a difficult problem to control. The larvae of this day-flying moth tunnel in the stems of zucchini, winter squash and pumpkin, causing the plants to wilt and frequently die. To learn more about this native insect pest, read this article…

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Ground Beetles (Carabidae)

There are all kinds of beetles found in gardens. One common type are the ground beetles, which as the name suggests, are typically found under leaves or debris, in cracks in the soil, or running along the ground. Most of these are predators, consuming all sorts of other insects including pests. Learn more about these beneficial insects in this article…

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Garden Spiders

Creepy, crawly critters abound at Halloween and they’re also common in gardens year round. Spiders are good guys to gardeners, since they feed on other insects. There are just a few main groups of spiders that are commonly found in gardens. To learn more about these fascinating arthropods, read this article…

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Earwigs

Many people are repulsed by the sight of an earwig and its intimidating back end. But those pinchers are mostly just for show, and these insects won’t harm people. They are primarily scavengers feeding at night, but they will eat some living plants and may cause damage at times. To learn more about these “icky” insects, read this article…

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Spotted Tentiform Leafminer, Phyllonorycter blancardella

Have you had people ask what those funny stippled blotches on their apple tree leaves are? When held up to the light, the spotted nature of these mines become apparent, and are a diagnostic feature of the damage caused by the spotted tentiform leafminer. If you want to learn more about this insect pest, read this article…

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White-lined Sphinx Moth, Hyles lineata

The white-lined sphinx is a common moth that occurs throughout most of North America. The adult is a fairly distinctive heavy-bodied moth with triangular wings, but you may not recognize the caterpillar as the same insect. With a wide host range and considerable variation in color, it may not be quite as easy to identify. To learn more about this charismatic moth – and its immature stage that just might be living in your garden – read this article…

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Goldenrod Soldier Beetle, Chauliognathus pensylvanicus

You’ve probably noticed elongated, orange beetles roaming about on flowers lately. These goldenrod soldier beetles are the most common species of soldier beetle in our area. They are common at this time of year, feeding on pollen and maybe the occasional small insect. Read this article to find out more about these insects…

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Mighty Mites

Did you know that there are mites that eat other mites? Barely visible to the naked eye, these little predators help keep spider mites and other pests in check. Read on to learn more about this fascinating world of tiny predatory mites…

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