Flyswatter now and caulking later are best defense
against box elder bugs
How can we eliminate box elder beetles from our home
interior? I called an exterminator and was told that there is
nothing that can safely eliminate them. Their advice was to spray
liquid detergent on them. As both my son and husband have allergies
and I have a 16 month old puppy I hesitate to use anything
Why is it so important to eliminate them? They don't bite. They
don't eat during winter. Within the walls, they cause no problem.
They're only inside your house because the hidey holes they found
when they congregated on your sunny outer walls in fall went clear
through to the inside. Swat them or sweep them up, and pitch them
out the door.
Next summer, caulk and close cracks on the outside walls,
especially on walls that are sun-lit in fall.
Gardening Predictions 2003
Things I see in my crystal ball for the 2003 growing
Lots of ashes will come down...
...killed by emerald ash borer. Perhaps the only silver lining
will be if we finally learn to plant a greater variety of trees
along our roads. Ask your city forester about replanting with
golden rain tree, amur cork tree, yellowwood and other less
conventional but street-worthy species.
White pine decline will continue.
So sad, the slow yellowing and death that's happening to white
pines across the Midwest and Northeast U.S. It may be the result of
a combination of factors, from climate warming and drought to the
sudden, extreme cold snaps we had in two winters of the past ten.
We can't be sure of the causes but we can be sure that we're going
to keep losing pines. Start thinking about replacements.
There will be more growing and buying of unusual salad
greens and vegetables...
...spurred by the fast food menu upgrades predicted by marketing
gurus. This will be similar to the increased interest in
landscaping in the 1980's, following high-visibility landscape
upgrades at hamburger chains.
Rock gardening will become more popular...
...since mountain biking (already a multi-billion dollar
industry) and rock climbing will continue to increase in
popularity. More people will spend time up close and personal with
tiny crevice plants while on vacation, then want to grow them at
More people will spend more timein their
...for the calming, restorative effects of gardening that
counteract the continuing threat of terrorism and its fallout.
Master Gardeners all over the State will
...to keep current funding or find alternate means to support
their counties' MSU Extension educational programs, as State
funding dwindles. More Master Gardeners will remember to tell those
whose questions they answer and garden problems they address, that
thanks should be directed to the MSU Extension.
That night-chilled windowsillmay be
...for an overwintering camellia, gerber daisy, freesia, lantana
or streptocarpus. In winter, these species like daytime
temperatures of about 65 and 50's at night to stay healthy and
develop flowering shoots as days lengthen.
If all the leaves fell off the rosemary,
...stop watering it. Leafless plants can't use water. All the
water will do is rot the roots. Keep it in a cool, bright spot and
watch for new shoots. If none develop in two weeks, buy new and
grow it cooler and sunnier than the last one. Then thank your
gifting granddaughter again, this time for helping you learn!
Green thumbs up
to starting something from seed, whether it's one citrus tree in
a paper cup, an acorn in your yard, a dozen tomatoes in a deluxe
seed-starting kit or fifty sweet peas in plastic cell packs. It's
good for the soul to watch things grow.
Green thumbs down
to keeping a houseplant that wants to depart. If it's lost all
its leaves or you fight constantly to keep its pests at bay, give
it up. Visit a greenhouse where you can soak up some sun and garner
suggestions on easier-care indoor plants.
Originally published 1/11/03