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Name that pest quiz


There are at least 2 different kinds of invasive shot hole borer in Southern California. They target weak, stressed, or dying trees. Look for ISHB infestation on trees by the telltale signs of holes with discoloration and oozing on the bark. ISHB bore through the tree's bark creating tunnels and distributing fungus. When the eggs hatch they eat the fungus. So the combo of fungal distribution and injury to the tree’s vascular system can cause tree death. Control for ISHB: Good cultural control (healthy trees), removal of the host tree, there is treatment but no guarantee.

Norway rat, roof, rat, or mouse?

Just look at that butt, this is a Norway rat. There are many differentiating differences between the Norway rat and the roof rat. Norway rats tend to be larger, thicker, and brownish in color versus the roof rat which is greyer in coloring and slimmer. The tail of the roof rat is longer than the body. Control for Rats/Mice: Good cultural control, snaps, traps, and bait are all options

American roach

There are 5 main different types of roaches in California: German, brownbanded, oriental, American, and Turkestan. This guy or gal is an American roach. These are the largest of the group and are considered major pests. Did you know that they have wings and can fly short distances? American usually originate from drains or sewer systems.
Control: there are many different types of control: bait, gels, granular, and insecticide treatments.


Sap-sucking insects that can attack trees, shrubs, and really any plant. Although they do not move fast some scales can seriously damage their host, while other species do no apparent damage to plants even when scales are very abundant. Correct identification is needed to determine whether treatment is needed. Ants, ants, and more ants, ants love scale and byproducts of scale. So if you are treating the scale you will more than likely be treating for ants as well.
Control: Good cultural control (healthy plants), biological control can be used for scale, they are preyed upon by small parasitic wasps and many predators, and insecticides.

Annual Sowthistle (Sonchus oleraceus)

This year-round broadleaf weed leaves look dangerous but have fluffy white seeds that begged to be blown off like a dandelion. This plant is considered an invasive plant and should be removed.
Control: Hand pulling or cutting prior to flowering. This weed is relatively resistant to many, but not all, common broadleaf herbicides.

Mallow (Malva parviflora)

Mallow, little mallow or cheeseweed is a winter annual or biennial broadleaf weed. This weed typically grows in disturbed areas and can be tough to get rid of because of its mighty tap root. They spread by seed, so get rid of them before they flower.
Control: hand removal of root and all, or herbicide application. Stronger plants can regrow from cut crowns.

Masked Chafer (white grubs)

Oh, no. These can be tough, you cannot even see them causing the damage. They eat the roots and destroy your plants and or turf. Your plants may look drought-stressed or patches of turf start to die off even though there is sufficient water. Another sign to look for is bird activity or animals digging in your plants or turf, these are irresistible snacks. So take a shovel and dig a little to rule these guys out. If you find more than 6 in a square foot treatment is recommended.
Control: aeration can be beneficial, biocontrol (beneficial nematodes or bacteria), and insecticides can be used for control.

Swinecress, lesser (Lepidium didymum =Coronopus didymus)

This broadleaf weed can be a winter or summer annual and then biennial as well, so let's say year-round. Another fun thing is it stinks when cut or crushed. This broadleaf does spread by seed, so removing it before it seeds is beneficial.
Control: You can remove by hand but herbicide application is most effective.


Villa bee fly

Not considered a pest they are actually pollinators. They have elongated mouth parts to help suck nectar from a distance. Adult bee flies drink nectar, but the larvae are parasites of beetle larvae, solitary wasps, and burrow-nesting insects.

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