Fall pests are showing up

My dahlias are absolutely beautiful except for the annoying cucumber and other various beetles.

If you have dahlias, zinnias, sunflowers and other annuals and perennials that are in bloom right now, chances are these beetles are chomping on the petals.

There is a whole range of beetles causing damage to these plants, including spotted and stripped cucumber beetle as well as various blister beetles.

They feed on the flower petals and leave holes that are surrounded by dead tissue. The result is a ragged looking flower that doesn’t look good in any arrangement.

They love to hide in deep in the petals of the double flowering dahlias and feed out in public on single-flowered plants.

If you are really annoyed by these, you can spray with any pesticide that controls beetles. Double-flowered blooms may be a little more challenging since the beetles hide deep in the blooms.

Another pesky fall pest is the yellow jacket. At this time of the year they begin foraging for sweets.

If you are having any outdoor events, it’s almost a guarantee that they will be present, especially if you have food or drinks (they love pop)!

Hornet and wasp sprays do the job if they need to be controlled. I don’t usually spray for them unless they are close to the house or back porch where people will be gathering.

If you spray, follow directions on the can for best control. Spray in the evening when they are moving back into the next. Don’t use a flashlight when locating the nest at night as they fly towards the light.

They are beneficial insects as they do a good job eating insects, despite the fact that they are very annoying.

If you are having an outdoor event, use baited traps to attract them away from where people will be hanging out. These baited traps work great.

I know it’s hard but if the yellowjackets come around, avoid the urge to swat them away. This just makes them mad and provokes them. Carefully and slowly walk away or stand still.

Continuing to cause issues in the vegetable garden the cabbage loopers and caterpillars are still feeding on kale, cabbage, broccoli, Brussel’s sprouts and other plants in this family.

I have been spraying and keeping up with them for the most part. The problem with this pest is that there are three different species that feed on plants in the cabbage family and one of the species have multiple life cycles over the summer.

This is just the beginning of the annoying fall pests that will be hanging around our homes and gardens.

Multi-colored Asian ladybeetle, brown marmorated stink bug, leaf-footed bug and many others will be showing up soon.

Prepare your homes by caulking doors, windows and repairing screens!