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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.

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.

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.

Two-stripped grasshopper resting on a leaf in a garden. Courtesy: Ryan Hodnett (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Grasshoppers: When to Manage Them in a Yard and Garden

Grasshopper populations are elevated in Central South Dakota. Some of the concerns regarding these large grasshopper populations is that they are feeding on trees, gardens and almost everything in between.

Shiny green and bronze beetle on green dill plant.

What Are These Shiny Beetles in My Yard and Why Are They Eating Everything?

Japanese beetles are very bad news for anyone with a garden. They are polyphagous insect pests, which simply means they feed on many different host plants.

Green leaves with notches along the edges

What Is Feeding on My Lilac Bushes?

There have been multiple reports of mysterious defoliation occurring on lilac bushes.The defoliation is often described as notches showing up around the edges of the leaves, resembling the edge of a saw blade.

Orange beetle with black stripes and a red head on a green leaf.

Blister Beetles Causing Problems in Gardens

Typically, we don’t see a lot of issues with blister beetle feeding in gardens. However, when they show up, blister beetles can rapidly defoliate plants.

Left: Yellow beetle with black spots present on a green leaf. Right: Red beetle with black spots.

Argus Tortoise Beetle: No, It’s Not a Lady Beetle

Every summer, we receive reports of what looks like a large yellow lady beetle, except that they are defoliating certain plants. It isn’t a lady beetle, it’s the Argus tortoise beetle.

Brown caterpillar with tan head capsule and 3, light-tan stripes running along its back.

Monitor Lawns and Gardens for Bronzed Cutworm Activity

Bronzed cutworms can be an issue for lawns and gardens in South Dakota. In grass, bronzed cutworms will feed and leave small brown circular patches. Large populations of bronzed cutworm can result in severe lawn injury.

grapes growing on a vine in a vineyard

Grape Varieties for South Dakota

Updated list of grape varieties recommended for South Dakota.