Pests & Weeds

5 gardening lessons to learn from this ladybug story

February 2, 2016
ladybug larva

by Connie Oswald Stofko Awhile back, some gardeners went to Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg, looking for advice. Every branch of their spirea had been coated with aphids. And if that wasn’t enough, now they had these new insects, ugly things. They brought some specimens in a small plastic bag and showed Teresa...
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There’s a new bug in Western New York and it might eat plants in your garden

December 8, 2015
Brown marmorated stink bug

by Dana Santasiero There’s a new bug in Western New York and there are two main things you need to know about it. First, the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is called a stink bug because when you step on it, it smells. Second, it could eat the plants in your garden. The good news...
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Disease called aster yellows is affecting coneflowers in WNY; get rid of diseased plants

August 25, 2015
aster yellows on coneflower

by Connie Oswald Stofko Margaret Raupp, coordinator of Open Gardens, brought to my attention a couple plant problems  that she noticed around Western New York this summer. Last week we talked about the lily leaf beetle, which is damaging lilies. This week we’ll discuss aster yellows disease, which affects coneflowers and causes the blossom...
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Had damage to your lilies? You might have a new invasive bug called lily leaf beetle

August 18, 2015
red lily leaf beetle

by Connie Oswald Stofko Margaret Raupp, coordinator of Open Gardens, alerted me to a couple of problems with disease and pests that she noticed while touring the gardens. We’ll talk about the first one, lily leaf beetle, today. Raupp said that when she visited an Open Garden in Lockport, the garden of John Taylor...
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Pool owners: It’s time to look for invasive Asian longhorned beetle

July 28, 2015
Pool owners: It’s time to look for invasive Asian longhorned beetle

It’s again time for pool owners to check their filters and skimmers for the Asian longhorned beetle. If you find one, please report it during the fourth annual Citizen Pool Survey being held through Aug. 30 by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). If you don’t have a pool, you can...
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Wet weather brings mildew, blight to Western New York gardens

July 14, 2015
hose reflected in puddle by Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko “The wetness we had early in the season has caused disease issues that will show up the rest of the season,” said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. These issues include mildew and blight. How you handle it depends on the particular plant that is...
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Help a reader: How can you keep squirrels from eating your tomatoes?

June 29, 2015
squirrel eating on roof

by Connie Oswald Stofko A reader sent me this question that I can’t answer, but I hope one of my readers can. If you have suggestions, please leave a comment below. Does anyone have suggestions for deterring squirrels? Every year my friendly neighborhood squirrel gets in my garden eats my tomatoes. He even actually...
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Update: Impatiens might do okay in WNY this year, or they might not

May 6, 2014
Update: Impatiens might do okay in WNY this year, or they might not

by Connie Oswald Stofko If this summer is like last summer in Western New York, you might be able to plant impatiens and have them perform well, perhaps into August, anyway. But there are still a lot of ifs involved, and there are certainly no guarantees. Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate with Cornell University...
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You can help protect bees from toxins; learn more at Honey Bee Festival

April 29, 2014
bee from Buffalo and Erie Botanical Gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko Let the clover and dandelions grow in your lawn. Minimize your pesticide use, too, especially on flowers that are attractive to honey bees. Those are ways gardeners can help with the problem of Colony Collapse Disorder, said Reed Johnson, assistant professor in the Department of Entomology at the Ohio State...
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Two new emerald ash borer infestations confirmed in WNY

April 29, 2014
Two new emerald ash borer infestations confirmed in WNY

Recent detections of trees infested with Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Angola (Erie County) and Fredonia (Chautauqua County), both near the NYS Thruway, remind us that we need to continue to prepare for the eventual spread of this devastating invasive insect, according to Cornell Cooperative Extension. The Chautauqua detection is the first reported find...
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