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Insects

Facts about Magnolia Scale

A knowledgeable gardener alerted us last week that he had heard reports that magnolia scale was visible in Minneapolis now. This insect has been around Minnesota for several years and it can be devastating to magnolias. It’s sneaky, too, and unless you know what you are looking for, you might not notice it. Here are…

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Japanese Beetles: Have They Left Yet?

Visiting the garden of a friend recently, I was just about to ask that question: Have the Japanese beetles left yet? The answer, however, was right before me: a Japanese beetle purposefully working on the blossom of a rose bush. Darn! According to the U of Minnesota, Japanese beetles generally emerge in early July and…

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Look Who's Back! Japanese Beetles

Our editor took the picture above yesterday in a nice rose garden in the eastern Twin Cities. In case you don’t recognize it (he was not very eager to have his photo taken), that’s a Japanese beetle feasting on these lovely roses. Below is a better photo from a couple of years ago where the…

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Update on the Emerald Ash Borer

Many Minnesotans hoped that last winter’s polar vortex and the nasty cold temperatures it brought with it would push back the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), which is slowly advancing into the state. According to a U.S. Forestry Service study released last winter, EAB larvae start to die when temperatures within trees reach -20 degrees F. …

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How to Create a Bird Friendly Garden

Not too long ago, we came across a pamphlet from the Saint Paul Audubon Society on sustaining songbirds and other wildlife in your garden. It’s not a long booklet, but is full of great ideas for creating bird friendly garden that benefits native insects and other critters, too. The key to sustaining songbirds and other…

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Gardeners and Earth Day

It’s been almost 45 years since the first Earth Day, which will be marked tomorrow with celebrations, conferences and lots of educational events. One of the best ways to help the Earth all year is to keep a garden. Gardens reduce waste, food miles, provide habitat for insects, birds and other creatures and they also…

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Update on the Japanese Beetle

While several weeks later than last year, Japanese beetles definitely have arrived in Minnesota. I saw several on a garden tour last weekend and gardeners on the MSHS Facebook page chimed in that many have been seeing the beetles for at least a week. Jeff Hahn, one of the bug experts at the University of…

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Update on Emerald Ash Borer in Minnesota

During the Minneapolis Spring Home and Garden Show, I stopped by a table with information about Emerald Ash Borer and other invasive and potentially invasive insects. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture had lots of information about the borer, but here are three top things to remember about EAB. 1) Watch for woodpeckers. There’s a long…

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Three More Bad Bugs for Northern Gardeners

Yesterday, we posted about three of the six insects University of Minnesota entomologist Jeff Hahn thinks northern gardeners should watch out for. So, here’s the rest of the list. Japanese beetles. Not surprisingly, this was Hahn’s pick as the baddest bad insect this year. For the past month or so, gardeners have been picking, squishing…

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