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Teardrop shaped tick with a dark brown body and legs and an elongate white patch behind its head.

Ticks Becoming Active in South Dakota

The arrival of spring in South Dakota means warmer weather and more outdoor activities. However, it also brings an increase in tick activity.

Two adult wasps side-by-side. The left is black and yellow and is resting on a green leaf. The right is black, yellow and burnt orange in color and is resting on a piece of wood.

Wasp Activity Is Ramping Up

With their distinctive black and yellow stripes and tendency to hang out in groups, wasps receive attention no matter the time of year. As the weather warms up and spring progresses, you may notice more wasp activity in your yard or around your house.

Two insects. The left is a wasp with a dark head, reddish brown thorax (the segment behind the head), and a black and yellow banded abdomen. The right is a hornet with a yellow head, dark brown thorax (the segment behind the head), and a brown and yellow banded abdomen.

No, It’s Not a Murder Hornet.

By now, you’ve probably read headlines about the Asian giant hornets (aka “murder hornets”) that were spotted in Washington state and across the border in Canada. It is important to note that Asian giant hornets have only been confirmed in a small area of Washington and Canada. These wasps have not been observed in South Dakota or our neighboring states.

Two dandelions side by side. The left has a bee foraging on it. The right has a hover fly foraging on it..

Why Those Dandelions in Your Yard Aren’t So Bad

While research has shown that pollinators, specifically honey bees, can’t survive on dandelion pollen alone, this doesn’t mean that the dandelions aren’t still important for pollinators.

Black insect with a white spot on the back and orange tipped legs and antennae.

A fly? A hornet? Nope, it’s a sawfly!

This spring, there have been multiple reports of people seeing large fly-like insects in their yards. These insects are sawflies, and all reports thus far have been the elm sawfly (Cimbex americana).

Three bees on a wooden box.

Backyard Biodiversity: Nest boxes for native bees

Many of our native bee species are solitary. In order to ensure that these kinds of bees spend more time in our yards and gardens, it is important to make sure we include places for them to nest.

A hand holding a soil sample taken from a soybean field.

Soil Testing Labs

This page contains a list of nearby state or private laboratories that can be used for crop production fields, gardens and lawns.

A sprawling sorghum field ready for harvest

Sorghum Weed Control

Early competition, especially from grass, is critical for successfully controlling weeds in sorghum. There are preemergence as well as postemergence herbicides available for this crop. Early treatment provides the best control of broadleaved weeds with crop stage also being a critical factor for some postemergence treatments.

spruce tree seedling with weeds beneath it

Weeds Around Spruce Seedlings?

I have many producers call wanting a control for the broadleaf weeds coming up around their young Colorado and Black Hills spruce seedlings. At this time of year we are looking at post-emergence herbicides to control weeds that have become established.

an orange lady beetle with nine black spots

Lady Beetles of South Dakota

Lady beetles are one of the most familiar groups of beneficial insects. Farmers and gardeners appreciate them for devouring insect pests. Both adult lady beetles and caterpillar-like juveniles eat pests.