Category Archives: Insects, Diseases and Other Pests

Azalea Lace Bugs

Queen of early-blooming shrubs, nothing says spring quite like azaleas. And, in case you haven’t been paying attention, azaleas can also say summer and fall, too, with the introduction of the popular reblooming Encore brand of azaleas. And while East Texas provides ideal climate and soil for growing these charming plants, azaleas can also have their share of problems. Azaleas prefer an evenly moist soil during the growing season. A well-drained soil, high in organic matter provided by compost and peat moss, are ideal conditions for growing azaleas…. Read More →

The Fungus Among Us

It has been a great spring for plant growth, and also, if you were a fungal organism, for infecting plant leaves. Leaf spot diseases can vary in severity from year to year, from non-existent to severe – it all depends on the environment. Fireblight on ornamental pear (which has good resistance to this bacterial disease) is a good example  – most years it is non-existent, but this year environmental conditions combined to cause an outbreak. Many plant leaf diseases need mild weather and prolonged rainy spells or heavy… Read More →

Fire Blight on Ornamental Pear

  Last week I got the first call I have been anticipating for several weeks now. The caller began to describe how the leaves on her ornamental or Bradford pear tree were turning black and the tree looked bad. After a few questions, I speculated it was a common disease called fire blight. A tour around town confirmed my initial diagnosis. Quite a few of the ornamental pear trees I observed have the tell-tale signs of fire blight. These signs include new leaves turning black or brown, new… Read More →

Buggy Bug Bugging Folks

I couldn’t think of another word for “people” that starts with “B”, but this little bugger apparently has folks bugged. I’ve gotten a few calls from co-workers, PCO’s and others on this insect that is congregating in large numbers in rural parts of east Texas. It kind of looks like a long chinch bug, and indeed, is a member of the same family of insects – the true bugs. (In the world of entomology, not all insects are bugs, but all bugs are insects). I had no idea… Read More →