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National Seed News

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

Posted on: 4/06/17

Posted on: 3/08/17

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Posted on: 7/07/16

That special time of year has arrived. It’s Japanese beetle time. They suddenly seem to be everywhere. We have had reports of adult Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) in several locations in Dupage County. I have even spotted a couple of them as far north as Boone County not far from the Wisconsin border (and that was almost two weeks ago!).

Japanese beetles are up to 1/2 inch long, and have oval, metallic green bodies with coppery brown wing covers. They appear to have five white spots along each side and two additional white spots behind their wing covers. Upon examination under a hand lens, the spots are actually tufts of hair.

Adult beetles feed on nearly 300 different species of ornamental plants with about 50 species being preferred. Highly preferred hosts include rose, crabapple, cherry, grape, and linden. The adults feed on leaf tissue between veins, resulting in skeletonized leaves. Severely infested plants may be almost completely defoliated.

Early infestations of Japanese beetle may be missed since the insects start feeding in the tops of trees. Japanese beetles overwinter as larvae (grubs) about four to eight inches beneath the soil surface. In spring, as the soil temperatures warm to about 55° F, the grubs move upward through the soil to pupate. Adults normally emerge from late June through July. Within a few days after emergence, the females mate and burrow into the soil to lay eggs. Nearly all eggs are laid by mid-August. In sufficiently warm and moist soil, eggs will hatch in about ten days. Grubs feed on plant roots until cold weather forces them to greater depths in the soil for the winter. There is one generation of this beetle per year. Source: Morton Arboretum