Summer pests and problems
Wander through your landscape weekly and look for signs of damaging insects. Catching infestations early allows for easier control. Watch for beneficial insects that are controlling the pests. They may be taking care of the problem for you. Many pest problems can be kept in check with proper plant care; healthy plants are more resistant to damage and disease.
The small lubber grasshoppers seen earlier this year are now maturing into the very large adult grasshoppers that are yellow with dark markings and a red area on their wings. Once they reach this size, chemical controls are of little value. Consider making it a game for children (or yourself) to catch them and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water.
Black spot on roses can cause defoliation rapidly during hot, humid weather. Control it by spraying with a suitable fungicide and by removing and destroying all infected leaves, including those on the ground. Better yet, plant disease-resistant rose varieties.
Compiled by Theresa Badurek, urban horticulture extension agent, UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension Service. For additional landscape and garden information, visit pinellascountyextension.org. Regular tips and information about what's growing in Pinellas are available on Facebook, Grow Pinellas.