Quick Bits

Let’s see how this goes. Four little topics of great or tiny importance. I’ll let you be the judge. I hope you enjoy this.

Ragweed Take a look at this photo. This is the bane of allergy sufferers right now. It grows to be 2 to 12 ft. tall, and it’s most common in ditches and low areas. Note the highly lobed leaves. Its pollen is carried by the wind, hence the great problems with allergies. Contrast that with the lovely goldenrod blooms that you’ll also see right now. Their pollen is heavy and it’s carried by bees. Goldenrod does not cause problems with allergies. This thing in the photo certainly does.

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Cedar elm twigs littering the ground These have been plucked off by squirrels. I wish I could tell you why, but it’s just something they do. It causes no real harm to the tree. Rake or blow up the pieces. It will quickly run its course. No call to action.


Perfect semi-circles cut into leaves It looks like someone took a big hole punch and started cutting on rose, crape myrtle and other leaves. In reality, it’s a species of bee that uses her mouthparts to cut the plant tissue. She then carries the tissue to a dormant water faucet or downspout and builds a nest there. The first time you turn on the faucet, all the dried debris will blow out all over your shoes. She’s not actually eating the leaf tissues, and she’s not there more than a few minutes, so sprays aren’t going to work. No harm is done to the plant anyway, so just learn to marvel at them.


Worms in the lawn This is an armyworm, and Texas is seeing its second generation of them currently. If you have bermudagrass that has suddenly turned brown, these are probably your culprits They’re about 1 inch long and you can see the stripe that runs the length of each side of their body. Control them by spraying your lawn with Bacillus thuringiensis biological worm spray or almost any other general-purpose insecticide. (I posted this same photo and information on my Facebook page three days ago. It has become the most-viewed post I’ve made in 2018. These pests are eating their way across Texas right now. Nurseries and hardware stores are reporting that they’re even out of insecticides.)

Posted by Neil Sperry
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