The arrival of spring in South Dakota means warmer weather and more outdoor activities. However, it also brings an increase in tick activity.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Woodpeckers have been seen across the region chipping away at the bark of young bur oak. The woodpeckers can shred most of the bark from young trees, enough that the trees are killed by this injury.
While eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is native to South Dakota, and has many positive qualities, it has become a problem species over large areas of the Great Plains.