Sunday, December 4, 2022

Methods to take care of the little stinkers this winter – Baltimore Solar

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Q: The bugs making an attempt to spend the winter in my residence aren’t a hazard, proper? I’m going to attempt to seal up the place they could be getting in, however there’s already some which have managed to seem inside that might be onerous to trace down.

A: They don’t chunk, aren’t interested in indoor vegetation (although may be drawn to develop lights, as they’re to any gentle supply), and are usually only a nuisance. If not straightforward to seek out, you may allow them to wander round till they expire, after which simply eliminate them. Reside bugs might be vacuumed or caught and launched outdoors to satisfy their destiny. Boxelder bugs, brown marmorated stink bugs, and multicolored Asian girl beetles are the trio of frequent culprits right here in Maryland. Crickets, capsule bugs, and millipedes come inside too, however no less than they don’t fly.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, one of the little stinkers that try to get
into the house in autumn.

Our houses should seem like big boulders to them, basking within the waning daylight and retaining relative heat, riddled with inviting crevices through which they’ll wait out the winter. Our abodes may be particularly enticing since our groomed landscapes don’t have as many pure tree cavities, fallen logs, brush piles, or layers of leaf litter to tempt them as an alternative.

If anybody remains to be puzzled by how they’re getting in, verify your door and window weatherstripping for degradation or gaps, search for torn window screening, and examine vent covers and conduit or pipe entry factors on the outside of the house. Seal any gaps and cracks you can. In the event you use a window air conditioner, take it out for the season or plug-up any entry factors round it.

Q: It looks like there weren’t almost as many acorns this yr. Are our native oaks having issues?

A: Oaks have masting years, the place they synchronize heavy acorn manufacturing, presumably for the needs of overwhelming wildlife that consumes acorns so sufficient survive to begin the following era. (Much like how the mass emergence of cicadas final yr overwhelmed their predators.) Totally different oak species and even completely different native populations of the identical species may be on completely different schedules, and there could possibly be any variety of environmental cues bushes use to determine, so to talk, when it’s a masting yr. Plant fruits and nuts take lots of sources to provide, so taking a yr or two off between manufacturing cycles might be pretty frequent. Maybe heavy fruiting/bearing lately has resulted within the want for these specific bushes to relaxation and recuperate power reserves.

Another however less-likely clarification could possibly be as a result of climate leading to poor pollination throughout their bloom interval this previous spring. Oaks are wind-pollinated and never insect-pollinated, however rain hampers pollen dispersal and late frosts might need broken the pollen or flower clusters earlier than they opened or earlier than they had been pollinated. Possibly peak bloom coincided with uncooperative climate this yr.

The Virginia Division of Wildlife Sources revealed an Acorn Manufacturing Report for 2022 that you simply may discover attention-grabbing. The purple oak group (species of oaks extra intently associated to purple oak and to one another than to white oak and its nearer kin) had a below-average to poor acorn crop this yr within the populations surveyed.

Lack of fruiting on particular person bushes which might be in any other case wholesome usually isn’t a priority with reference to long-term well being. In reality, for some vegetation no less than, generally heavy bloom and seed/fruit manufacturing is an indication of stress and decline. In the event you’re involved about tree well being as a result of different indicators, notably if there may be cover dieback, then we advocate you seek the advice of with a licensed arborist. Whereas they’ll’t all the time intervene to treatment an issue or deal with each ailment, they might help make a analysis and determine sources of tree stress that could possibly be addressed.

College of Maryland Extension’s House and Backyard Info Middle presents free gardening and pest data at extension.umd.edu/hgic. Click on “Ask Extension” to ship questions and photographs.



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