Broadleaf Weeds; What Are They and How Do Herbicides Kill Them?

Ground Ivy Broadleaf Weeds; What Are They and How Do Herbicides Kill Them?

What Are Broadleaf Weeds?

Broadleaf weeds are weeds like Plantains, Chickweed, Clover, Ground Ivy, and Dandelions. They are a classification of weeds that are not grasslike, and are therefor more susceptible to a different set of chemicals than lawn grass is.  They can be perennial or annual, and treated to removal by hand, with tilling, selective spray of an herbicide, or a broadcast chemical.

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How To: Rid Your Houseplants of Whitefly

whitelfy and larva 300x199 How To: Rid Your Houseplants of Whitefly
Photo Courtesy of : Eran Finkle -
Whitefly can become a nuisance year-round for your favorite indoor plants, and over-wintering outdoor plants inside through the cold weather can sometimes compound the problem by bringing new insects into the house. Pesticides in granular form can take care of this problem for you, but for those of us with pets, children, or the desire to use something less toxic, there are solutions that will help you gain control of your problem. Ideally you will want to eliminate all the life stages of Whitefly that may be living on or around your favorite houseplant and do it quickly.  Adult Whitefly are not only deadly to plants due to their feeding methods, but they are also carriers of plant diseases from one plant to another. [Read more...]

How To Identify ‘Armor’ and ‘Oyster Shell’ Scale

scale 300x224 How To Identify ‘Armor’ and ‘Oyster Shell’ ScaleOne particularly common garden pest wreaking havoc on shrubs in the months of May through August is ‘Armor Scale’, also called ‘Oyster Shell Scale,’ or ‘Wax Scale.’

Identification:

Oyster Shell Scale is a peculiar looking insect, who becomes obvious on your shrubs only after it has begun to create a protective covering over itself. The shell that an active Scale creates can resemble anything from a wad of chewed gum, to a fuzzy ball on the stems and leaves of woody plants.  The white waxy ‘shell’ covering is pliable in early summer months, and emits Honeydew that the insect excretes as it feeds on the sap of a plant. Aged Scale, and dead Scale that have completed their life cycle are dry, hard, and a grey or brown color. They begin to resemble bark before they fall off a plant, but can be pruned out for appearance sake.

Scale are sucking insects, and they and their offspring (called ‘crawlers’) attach themselves to a plant within a few hours of hatching, remaining stationary for the remainder of their life while receiving the nutrients they need from sap.   Female Scale lay eggs inside of their shell, and the ‘crawlers’ emerge in late April or May to wander the plant for a one or two week window in search of a good permanent place for themselves.

While scale in small numbers are not harmful, in large numbers they can kill a plant in several ways.  Large clusters of scale will rob a plant of it’s nutrients, and stop leaf production, killing sections of a plant. Additionally, the sugary Honeydew residue can become a breeding ground for black powdery mold and bacteria, which are deadly to a plant when left unpruned. Heavy Bee and Ant activity around infested plants can be the first indicator of a Scale problem, as the two species are attracted to the Honeydew as an alternate food source.   [Read more...]