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Garden & Yard Issues

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A yellow dandelion growing among fall leaves in a yard.

Fall Lawn Weed Control

Fall is the time to control tough perennial broadleaf lawn weeds. The target weeds in the fall are dandelion, ground ivy, creeping bell flower, field bindweed and white clover.

Left: Common asparagus beetle adult. Right: Twelve-spotted asparagus beetle adult.

Beetles on Your Asparagus: Why You Should Be Concerned

When thinking of asparagus pests, we normally worry about early season feeding on developing spears. However, late summer and fall scouting is important to get ahead of spring insect problems. Two insects we recommend scouting for are the common asparagus beetle and the twelve-spotted asparagus beetle.

Three common aphids. From left: Green peach aphid colony. Potato aphid colony. Foxglove aphid on the underside of a pepper leaf.

Are Your Pepper Plants Covered With Aphids?

During this time of the growing season, it is common to observe aphids on garden plants, including peppers. However, when dense aphid populations are present, they can reduce pepper yields and cause rapid plant health decline.

Orange beetle with black markings on an orange flower

Orange Beetles Are Killing My Flowers, or Are They?

Many gardens are being invaded by orange beetles that have a strong preference for flowering plants. Rest assured, these are soldier beetles and they aren’t feeding on the flowers! Instead, they are actually predators and pollinators.

Black, yellow, and brown wasp in a clear container

Huge Wasps on My Tree! No, Those Still Aren’t Murder Hornets.

Another insect that has been mistaken for the Asian giant hornet (also known by its media-popularized name of ‘murder hornet’) is the horntail wasp. Horntail wasps are wood-boring insects that are harmless to humans, as they do not have venom and cannot sting.

Left: Yellow beetle with a black head and three distinct black stripes on the back. Right: Yellow beetle with a black head and twelve black spots on the back.

What Can I Do About Cucumber Beetles in My Garden?

Cucumber beetles are a common pest in gardens and pumpkin patches during late summer and early fall. They can cause severe injury to cucurbits if large populations are present and are left unmanaged.

Gray tear drop shaped bugs feeding on a yellow squash.

Squash Bugs Are Active and Ready to Kill Your Plants

Squash bugs are a headache for gardeners almost every year in South Dakota. As their name implies, squash bugs feed on squash along with many other cucurbits. Injury caused by extensive feeding appears as wilting and may result in the death of infested plants.

Brown and green insect with clear wings that are folded over its body like a tent.

What’s Buzzing in the Trees?

Each summer we hear a droning buzz that comes from the trees. Many residents of South Dakota attribute this noise to locusts. But that isn’t what is making the buzzing sound! The insects responsible for the buzz are actually called cicadas

Bright yellow insects present on the stem of a milkweed plant.

Are Aphids on Milkweed Really a Bad Thing?

This year, we’ve noticed large populations of aphids on swamp milkweed plants and we’ve identified them as the oleander aphid (Aphis nerii), which is sometimes referred to as the milkweed aphid.

A large wasp on a pink flower.

Giant Wasps Are Invading My Yard! No, They Still Aren’t Murder Hornets.

Every year we receive multiple reports of giant wasps that seem to invade yards and gardens. These wasps aren’t the same as the so-called "murder hornets," but are actually cicada killer wasps.