By Margaret Bayne, OSU Extension Staff-retired, OSU Master Gardener

September 2018

Yellow Jacket – Photo credit: Oregon Department of Agriculture

Drought driving more yellowjackets into backyards this year. (Kym Pokorny, OSU)

More wasp news– Why are there so many wasps right now, and why do they seem to be getting angrier? (

Bees, Wasps, and Hornets, Oh My! – 2018 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series. (Lynn Braband,

UK heatwave exposes ancient Chatsworth House gardens. (

New invasive ‘aggressive biter’ tick spreads across multiple US states, sparks concern.  (Whew! It’s not in Oregon yet!) (James Rogers,

Genomic study ties insect evolution to the ability to detect airborne odors. (U of Illinois via

Fossils shine light on the history of gall-making wasps (Indefenseofplants)

30 Oregon plant species at risk of extinction. (Kale Williams,

Step inside 12 of England’s most beautiful gardens. (Alex Schechter,

The horticulture industry’s age problem is bigger than you think.  “There’s an age gap in commercial horticulture, a drastic and obvious lack of people under the age of 40.” (Adrian Higgins,

Tiny paragliding beetle that lived with dinosaurs discovered in amber. (

What is growing in my landscape mulch? Possibly Mushrooms, Slime Molds, Bird’s Nest Fungus, or Artillery Fungus. (Elizabeth A. Brantley, Donald D. David and Larry J. Kuhns; Penn State U)

Spinach. Photo: Alex Stone, OSU

The chemistry of spinach: the iron myth and ‘spinach teeth.’(

More discussion and research on barerooting/rootwashing plants– shrubs, woody perennials, and herbaceous perennials.   Learn what WSU’s Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has to say. (Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott,

Conventional and organic product overview for home vegetable gardeners in Tennessee.  While specific to Tennessee this pdf has a lot of helpful info on different pesticides.

NOTE: Master Gardeners only use OSU references for pesticide recommendations, and only refer brand names if included in such references.)

(Natalie Bumgarner, Zachariah Hansen & Karen Vail; University of Tennessee Extension)

Nature really doesn’t like Hard Rock music (but Folk is OK.) (

With a sniff and a signal, these dogs hunt down threats to bees.  “In Maryland, a state employee is training dogs to inspect hives for harmful bacteria — a crucial job as honeybees are sent around the country to pollinate crops.” (Tejal Rao, New York Times)

Fierce weapon: New wasp species with giant stinger discovered in Amazon region.  Ouch! (Bret Mollina,

The botanical artist who translates plant science into beautiful art.   The Smithsonian’s first and only botanical illustrator brings her subjects to life in all their scientific glory. (Leila McNeill,

After 17 years and 1,800 tests, researchers find Cat flea pesticide remains effective. (Ed Ricciuti,

Are there plants that produce nectar that is poisonous to either honey bees or humans? (John Skinner, University of Tennessee;

Insect Identification: Experts and guides to ID that bug you found. Great list of resources! (

Host plants tell insects when to grow longer wings and migrate (Laura Lavine & Scott Weybright, WSU;

Insect invaders: Perils of global trade– Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Spotted Wing Drosophila and more. (David Eddy. Growing

Want to know why your plant is not setting fruit?  Sex and the Single Squash: A study in plant sex, sexuality, reproduction, and seed saving. (John Porter,

Why do tumbleweeds tumble? (Deeplook via

Tropical forests suffered near-record tree losses in 2017. (Brad Plumer,

Beyond dead dirt: healthy soil is aliveMost people would probably be surprised to know that bacterial cells out number human cells in our bodies by 10-to-1 and that just one teaspoon of healthy soil contains more than 1 billion bacteria and fungi (microbes for short). Yuck, right?  Well, not exactly.” (Sara Via, U of MD; Marylandgrows.umd)

How do you name an insect? Bry the Fly Guy explains. (Lish Fejer,

Drought damage. Photo: Dave Shaw, OSU

Another rough year for Willamette Valley trees, Part 1. (Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Extension;

What do Earwigs do with those pincers anyway? (Josh Cassidy,

Pesticides, People, and Pollinators: Answers to tricky pesticide questions for Master Gardeners. (Alicia Leytem & April Strid, NIPC;

How spiders use silk to fly-VIDEO. James Gorman & Christopher Whitworth,

Don’t touch! a scientist’s advice for spotting poison ivy before it ruins your summer. (Blake Farmer,

New research showcases the best and brightest fathers of the insect world! (Adrienne Antonsen,

A host of Hostas.  Hostas are a go-to plant for almost any gardener dealing with shade to part-shade in the garden (Carol Papas, Master Gardener; Penn State University)

How many ant species are there on Earth?  About 20,000 (

Mans’, and now, plants’ best friend:  Dogs can detect agricultural diseases early.  Study shows dogs can sniff out laurel wilt-infected avocado trees well in advance. (

Aloe or Agave?  “Convergent evolution is the process by which unrelated organisms evolve similar traits in response to similar environmental constraints. One amazing example of convergent evolution has occurred among the Aloe and Agave.” (

Huge, hollow Baobab trees are actually multiple fused stems.Young trees, the researchers note, are usually single-stemmed. But as the trees grow, they produce new stems from roots or fallen stems. And over time, those stems grow and fuse with the older ones, producing the mammoth trees now found across Africa.

Camouflaged plants use the same tricks as animals. (University of Exeter, United Kingdom;

Popular OSU publication REVISED for 2018: Vegetable Variety Trials-2017, EM 8777-10 (Brooke Edmunds, Shinji Kawai, Jim Myers, OSU)

How to remove a tick (More tick info at link also).If you find a tick attached to your skin, there’s no need to panic—the key is to remove the tick as soon as possible. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers work very well.” (

Avoid wearing this color if you hate spiders. (Rosie McCalll,

Trees in the rainforest make their own rain.  (Wochitnews, via Youtube)

Six years ago, about four of these butterflies existed. This is how science saved them. (David Goodhue,

Beautiful plant species newly discovered in India; Brachystelma ananthapuramense. (

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a reply

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>