Pesky ladybugs are back

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 14, 2010

If you have been dreading the wet winter and not so pleasant spring let me be the first to bring you some good news.

Every day this week should be in the mid 70s with nighttime temperatures falling only into the mid 40s. There is only a slight chance of rain for the week. For spring break, this is as good as it gets in south Mississippi.

Now if you can’t enjoy the great outdoors this week then you can certainly support it. At 5:30 p.m Thursday the Miss-Lou will host its 18th annual National Wild Turkey Federation Banquet at the Natchez Convention Center.

A single ticket for this great cause starts as low as $50 which includes a fun night full of food, drinks, fellowship and great door prizes. Call the extension office for tickets or more information.

Q: Why are lady bugs all over my house?

A: The first things to understand is lady bugs are great if you like gardening, especially if you have problems with aphids and other garden pest.

The bad news is if you have a few of them in your house now there are probably more to come as spring begins to emerge. In the fall they begin searching for warm dry locations to overwinter and if you have a spot leading up to your attic that is small enough for a pencil tip to go through then you are a candidate for an overwintering site.

The good news is once they come out for spring they will all leave and you will be relieved of them. So hang on, you still have several weeks of aggravation ahead but there is an end in sight.

There are some pesticides to help remove them; however if you spray now you will then have dead lady bugs all over your house. So it may be better to let them get out this spring then block holes to prevent the problem from happening again next fall.

Q: What is the best way to control wild onions?

A: If your lawn has a history of wild garlic or onions then it is time now to take action. Wild garlic and wild onions are difficult to control due to their cylinder-shaped waxy leaves and large storage bulbs below ground.

Therefore, to get the best bang from a post-emerge herbicide application the herbicide needs to be applied while the wild garlic is actively growing and has tender tall leaves that have not been cut off with the lawn mower. The best opportunity for controlling this troublesome weed is while your lawn is still dormant, particularly for centipede and St. Augustine lawns that are more sensitive to many post-emerge herbicides.

Recommended herbicides by the MSU extension specialist that have good to excellent activity on wild garlic include imazaquin, the hormonal herbicides such as 2,4-D, MCPP, dicamba, fluroxypyr, etc., and the sulfonyl-urea herbicides such as metsulfuron, sulfosulfuron, and trifloxysulfuron. Always read product labels carefully for safety to turf species and use rates.

David Carter is the director of the Adams County Extension Service. He can be reached at 601-445-8201.