Every winter lady beetles invade my house and leave spots on my ceiling and walls. How can I prevent this from happening again?
Lady beetles in the landscape are considered a beneficial insect because they eat aphid and scale insects.
However, these beetles like to congregate around buildings when they overwinter. Prevent them from entering your home by sealing all cracks and crevices, such as around windows, doors, air conditioners and utility pipes in late summer and fall.
If beetles are spotted inside the home, vacuum to remove them and discard the bag outside. Do not swat or crush beetles. When disturbed they will exude a yellowish liquid which can stain walls, carpeting, drapes and furniture.
I have a row of Italian Cypress trees that were planted this April and two are starting to lose some foliage and turn brown. I see no insects and they are getting plenty of water. Is the problem overwatering?
Mites and diseases could be problems, but our soil does not drain well, and, with your watering, it may be that the soil is saturated, resulting in root death. Dig around the plants and inspect the roots. If they are shriveled and darkened, they are dead. As we enter winter dormancy, cut back on the water to allow roots to recover. You can submit a plant sample to the LSU AgCenter Plant Disease Clinic for a positive identification.
Many of my satsumas are developing a brown skin. What is this and will they turn orange?
The rind color is a result of citrus rust mites. The mites’ damage is superficial and does not affect fruit quality but it does affect the visual appearance of the fruit. Affected fruit will not turn orange.
Every October I see a beautiful yellow plant in a neighbor’s yard and was wondering what it is. The plant is covered with flowers.
Chances are it is a Senna, formerly called Cassia. There are three varieties commonly grown in landscapes and all are blooming now. Senna splendida’s peak flowering is now and likely the plant you are admiring.
Got a gardening question? Write to Bob Souvestre, horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter, at Burden Center, 4560 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809, or email to email@example.com, or call Master Gardeners at (225)763-3990.