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National Seed News

Posted on: 4/4/18

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Posted on: 7/12/17

Every once in a while it pays to stop and think for a minute. It is human nature to see an insect and want to get rid of it. We should rethink that. There are a lot of insects that are harmless. More importantly there are some that help us. Our scouts have been bringing in good guys regularly, including ladybug larvae (fig. 1), a pupating ladybug (fig. 2), and an assassin bug nymph. These insects feed on other insects. Sometimes they do wander into our homes and become a nuisance, but when they are outside, they are beneficial to the gardener. The bottom line is to take a minute to think before you squash or spray an insect. Sometimes they are the good guys.

Source: Morton Arboretum

Photo credits:
1. By Alpsdake (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
2. By Gilles San Martin from Namur, Belgium (Coccinella hieroglyphica pupa) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Posted on: 6/07/17

Viburnum leaf beetle has been known in some eastern states since the early 1990’s. It is a relatively new pest to the Chicago region. A few possible sightings of this pest were reported in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, the beetle was reported across the Chicago region with some regularity. This insect feeds as both larvae and adults and can do extensive damage. If left unchecked it can lead to the death of the shrub.


Adult beetles are fairly nondescript and are easily overlooked. They are brown and about ¼ inch in length, with the females being slightly larger than the males. Close inspection reveals that the insect is covered with fine golden hairs.

The young (larvae) are tiny upon hatching and will only reach about 1/3 of an inch in length at maturity. Feeding damage may be noted before the actual insect is seen. The larvae vary in color from pale green to pale yellow. The body is marked with black dots along the sides and a row of black dashes along the back. As the larvae grow, they will molt and shed their skin, so cast off skins may be noted on the leaves of the host plant.

Egg-laying sites may be seen on twigs from fall until spring. The actual eggs are not visible. The eggs are laid in small holes on the twigs and then the holes are capped with a mixture or chewed wood and excrement. The caps are dark and stand out against the bark of the twig, making them easy to see. They are often in rows.

Posted on: 5/08/17

Selective and Residual Control of Weeds in Turfgrasses

Meso 4SC Select™ generic tenacity is a herbicide that can be used for both pre and post-emergence control of more than 45 broadleaf weeds and grasses in turfgrass. Classified as a group 27 herbicide, Meso 4SC Select inhibits photosynthesis in susceptible plants and is absorbed systemically through leaves, roots and shoots. Meso 4SC Select can be effectively used for weed control prior to and when seeding of specific types of turfgrasses.

  • Provides post-emergent control of tough-to-control weeds
  • Weeds controlled include crabgrass (pre and post-emergent), ground ivy, yellow foxtail, yellow nutsedge and dandelion
  • Can be applied anytime you are seeding including overseeding of established turfgrass, bare ground seeding or during renovation