These things are crawling everywhere!

Millipede Gary Alpert, Harvard University,
Millipede – Gary Alpert, Harvard University,

This is a millipede. See the following information to know how to identify them or read the UGA publication Millipedes and Centipedes for complete identification and control information.

This information taken from the UGA publication Millipedes and Centipedes

Revised by Elmer W. Gray, Extension Entomologist
Original document produced by Dr. Beverly Sparks

Millipedes are often called 1,000-legged worms or rain worms. They are wormlike, with rounded body segments that each bear two pairs of legs. The head is rounded with short antennae. Species can vary in length from less than 1 to 2 or more inches. They are light brown to black in color.

Centipede Gary Alpert, Harvard University,
Centipede – Gary Alpert, Harvard University,

Centipedes are often called 100-legged worms and have one pair of legs on each of their body segments. All centipede species are more or less wormlike and have a flattened body with a distinct head that bears a pair of long antennae. Jaws containing poison glands are located on the first body segment immediately behind the head. Depending on the species, centipedes can vary in length from 1 to 12 or more inches when mature. The most common centipede species found in Georgia are less than 5 inches long. Centipedes vary in color from light yellow to dark brown and reddish brown.

Millipedes can be numerous - Gary Alpert, Harvard University,
Millipedes on a sticky trap – Gary Alpert, Harvard University,

Millipedes and centipedes are not insects. They are actually more closely related to lobsters, crayfish and shrimp. However, unlike their marine cousins, millipedes and centipedes are land dwellers. They are most often found in moist habitats or areas with high humidity.

Millipedes and centipedes do not carry diseases that affect people, animals or plants. Millipedes do occasionally damage seedling plants by feeding on stems and leaves, and may enter homes in large numbers during periods of migration and become a considerable nuisance. They do not cause damage inside the home, although they may leave a stain if they are crushed. Centipedes, which have poison glands and can bite, pose an occasional threat to humans.

Find more information in the publication here.

The Dreaded Squash Vine Borer

If you have grown squash for very long you have probably run across the dreaded squash vine borer (Melitta curcurbitae).  One day your plants look great and the next day the plants look wilted.  Shortly after they collapse and die.  The base of the plant becomes mushy.  You may even see small holes at the stem base.   Squash vine borers have probably paid your garden a visit.

Squash Vine Borer Photo by Jim Jasinski, Ohio State University Extension,
Squash Vine Borer Photo by Jim Jasinski, Ohio State University Extension,

To understand how to control this pest we need to understand a bit about its biology.  In June/July adults emerge from under the soil.  They fly during the daytime and lay a single egg at the base of susceptible plants like squash and pumpkins.  After about a week the egg hatches and the larva bores into the plant stem.  The insect will feed through the center of the stem for several weeks.   Then the larva will exit the stem and burrow back into the soil to pupate until next summer where it emerge as an adult.  There is one generation per year.

Knowing this biology we can use integrated pest management (IPM) to help combat this pest.  Choose plants that the vine borers don’t like.  Gardeners have had success with moschata types of squash like butternut.  Their stems seem to be more resistant to the borer.   Next, especially if you have ever had vine borers, you must rotate your crops.  Don’t plant squash in the same place next year because the pest is in the soil waiting until next summer to emerge.

If you have planted in an area that does not have a history of squash vine borers you can use row covers (simply structurally supported netting) to block the flying adults from laying eggs.  As soon as the squash starts to flower you will need to remove the row covers to give the necessary pollinators access to the flowers.  Some gardeners have had success with trapping.  The adults are attracted to the color yellow.  Some gardeners use yellow bowls with filled with water.  The thought is the yellow bowls will attract the insects and they will drown.  Yellow sticky traps are also available.

Squash Vine Borer Larva Photo by Gerald Holmes, California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, .
Squash Vine Borer Larva Photo by Gerald Holmes, California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo,

Change your squash planting time.  If you can plant very early so that the squash will be mature and fruited before the adults lay eggs, you might outwit the pest.  When the squash plant has finished producing vegetables, remove it from the garden.

What if it is too late and you are already infected with squash borers?  One recommendation is to make a sharp slit in the stem and remove the borer.  Afterwards pile soil around the stem so that the wound is covered with soil.  Insecticides can be used for prevention but once the pest is inside the plant, insecticides aren’t very helpful.

If your crop is a complete failure, your local Farmers Market will probably have some squash and you can try again next year.

Contact your UGA Extension Agent for more information on combating the vine borers.  Also, visit Homegrown Summer and Winter Squash by Florkowska and Westerfield for other tips on growing squash.

Happy Gardening!

And the Extension Agent said…

When Extension Agents were asked what they were seeing in the local Extension Office, these were some of their responses (requested July 25, 2014):


Trey Gafnea, Meriwether county

  • I have had three reports of fall army worms in the last 12 hours (sent Tue. July 29).


Teddie Berry, Program Asst – Perry

  • Everything to do with pecans
  • Bagworms in cedar
  • Pruning blueberries


Sid Mullis – Augusta

  • Rose rosette virus – 1st case ever brought to me in the Augusta area on July 16.
  • Torpedograss – only the 3rd or 4th case I have been aware of in the Augusta area.
  • And – the dreaded armyworms.


Randy Drinkard, LaGrange

  • spittlebugs on turf (primarily centipedegrass)
  • powdery mildew on a number of ornamental plants (particularly roses, dogwoods)
  • mealybugs on ornamental shrubs
  • euonymus scale
  • early blight on tomatoes
  • fall webworm in oaks, hickories and pecans
  • tons of poison ivy in naturalized areas
  • armadillo damage in lawns
  • Virginia buttonweed in turfgrasses


Tripp J. Williams, Columbia County

  • Fall webworms


Tim Daly, Gwinnett County

  • Millipedes in and around homes
  • Some kudzu bugs
  • Squash bugs
  • Mexican bean beetles
  • Prostrate spurge weed


Jule-Lynn Macie, Griffin, GA

  • Bag worms!


Gary Peiffer, Dekalb County

  • Brown patch on fescue, Bermuda
  • Rust on serviceberry, etc.
  • Fire Blight on Bradford pear
  • Cold damage to hawthorns, shrubs
  • Japanese Beetles on crepes


Willie Chance, Peach County

  • Melting out in Bermudagrass
  • Japanese beetles on Knock Outs, etc,
  • Lots of crabgrass

What is killing branches on this Leyland Cypress?

Bot canker - Dark, rust-colored dieback symptoms of Botryosphaeria (Bot) canker. G. Moody
Dark, rust-colored dieback symptoms of Botryosphaeria (Bot) canker. G. Moody

This disease is Bot canker. Bright, rust-colored branches and yellowing or browning of shoots or branches are the first observed symptoms. Closer inspection reveals the presence of sunken, girdling cankers at the base of the dead shoot or branch. Sometimes, the main trunk shows cankers that might extend for a foot or more in length. These cankers rarely girdle the trunk, but they will kill branches that may be encompassed by the canker as it grows. Read more info in the following publication including disease management.

Diseases of Leyland Cypress in the Landscape

See Entire Publication

Authors – Alfredo Martinez, UGA Plant Pathologist, Jean Williams-Woodward, UGA Plant Pathologist and Mila Pearce, Former UGA IPM Homeowner Specialist

Leyland cypress has become one of the most widely used plants in commercial and residential landscapes across Georgia as a formal hedge, screen, buffer strip, or wind barrier. The tree is best suited for fertile, well-drained soils. However, when young, the tree will grow up to 3-4 feet per year, even in poor soils. The tree will ultimately attain a majestic height of up to 40 feet.

Leyland cypress is considered relatively pest-free. However, because of its relatively shallow root system, and because they are often planted too close together and in poorly drained soils, Leyland cypress is prone to root rot and several damaging canker diseases, especially during periods of prolonged drought. Disease management is, therefore, a consideration for Leyland cypress.

This UGA Publication discusses several Leyland Cypress diseases and their management.

Postemergence Bermudagrass Control in Turf

An excerpt taken from the publication Bermudagrass Control in Southern Lawns by Patrick McCullough, UGA Extension Weed Specialist

Find the entire publication here

Bermudagrass plants. (Photo - P. McCullough.)
Bermudagrass plants. (Photo – P. McCullough.)

Postemergence Herbicide Control

Postemergence herbicides may be applied to suppress bermudagrass populations and reduce competition with desirable turfgrasses. Repeat applications of selective herbicides are needed for best results but may be injurious to the desirable species. Furthermore, tolerance to herbicides may vary by turfgrass cultivar and end-users should consult with local Extension specialists for application rates and recommendations.

Bermudagrass Control in Centipedegrass

Centipedegrass is a popular low-maintenance lawn species in Georgia. Centipedegrass generally has slower growth than bermudagrass with less potential for competition during the summer. Clethodim (Envoy, others) and sethoxydim (Segment, others) are cyclohexenadione herbicides that inhibit lipid synthesis in grassy weeds. Sensitive species exhibit leaf injury with reddish discoloration before significant necrosis.

Bermudagrass is sensitive to both clethodim and sethoxydim and repeat applications may suppress populations in centipedegrass. Turf managers should schedule applications approximately every three weeks during active growth. For best results, add a nonionic surfactant at 0.25% v/v with clethodim to enhance spray retention and apply no sooner than three weeks after spring green up. Certain sethoxydim products (e.g., Segment) may have a built-in adjuvant already mixed in the formulation and the addition of a surfactant is not required. For both herbicides, turf managers should avoid mowing one week before or after treatment.

Bermudagrass Control in St. Augustinegrass

St. Augustinegrass is a major warm-season turfgrass used for lawns in southern Georgia. St. Augustinegrass has desirable heat and drought tolerance but is sensitive to many herbicides. Selective herbicides for controlling grassy weeds, such as crabgrass and goosegrass, are limited in St. Augustinegrass lawns. Bermudagrass infestations are also difficult to manage.

St. Augustinegrass has good tolerance to ethofumesate (PoaConstrictor, Prograss), which may be used in combination with atrazine to control bermudagrass. Ethofumesate is an unclassified herbicide that has postemergence activity for grassy and broadleaf weed control in nonresidential St. Augustinegrass and cool-season grasses. Ethofumesate has several toxic effects in susceptible species, such as bermudagrass, but arrested cell division appears to be the primary mechanism of selectivity.

Atrazine inhibits photosynthesis in susceptible weeds and is in the triazine herbicide family. Triazines interfere with electron transport during photosynthesis and eventually lead to cell membrane destruction and cellular leakage. Susceptible weeds initially exhibit chlorosis on leaf margins. Actively growing bermudagrass is sensitive to atrazine applications and its addition to ethofumesate treatments provides postemergence and some residual control of bermudagrass. Atrazine alone may provide some bermudagrass suppression but does not provide long-term control.

Applications of ethofumesate with atrazine should be initiated during bermudagrass spring green up. Herbicide regimens that begin on actively growing bermudagrass in summer will likely be ineffective. St. Augustinegrass often responds to applications with stunted growth and discoloration. Repeat applications should be made after 30 days or once turf has recovered from any potential injury. See the current edition of the Georgia Pest Management Handbook for rates and further information about bermudagrass control.

Bermudagrass Control in Tall Fescue and Zoysiagrass

Fenoxaprop and fluazifop are used for postemergence grassy weed control in tall fescue and zoysiagrass. Sensitive weeds exhibit injured leaf tissue with reddish discoloration while plant nodes become necrotic and die. Theses herbicides have no activity on broadleaf weeds but provide excellent grassy weed control.

Fenoxaprop (Acclaim Extra) and fluazifop (Fusilade) may be used alone in tall fescue and zoysiagrass lawns. Fenoxaprop may also be used in residential and nonresidential Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and other cool-season turfgrasses. Fluazifop may be used in commercial and nonresidential turf. Generally, tall fescue has good tolerance to these herbicides. There is greater potential for injury on zoysiagrass than on tall fescue from fenoxaprop or fluazifop treatments, especially fine-textured varieties.

Triclopyr (Turflon Ester, Turflon Ester Ultra) at high rates (0.75 to 1 lb ai/acre) is injurious to bermudagrass. Tank mixtures with fluazifop or fenoxaprop have been shown to reduce tall fescue and zoysiagrass injury without compromising control. The addition of an adjuvant to tank mixtures of fluazifop with new triclopyr formulations (e.g., Turflon Ester Ultra) is unnecessary and may increase turf injury.

In Georgia, initial applications of fenoxaprop or fluazifop should be scheduled around June 1 and repeated every 20 to 30 days. Fluazifop alone should be applied with a non-ionic surfactant at 0.25% v/v of spray solution. Acclaim Extra (fenoxaprop) does not require the addition of an adjuvant. See the current edition of the Georgia Pest Management Handbook for rates and application comments for fluazifop and fenoxaprop treatments for bermudagrass control in tall fescue.

Nonselective Bermudagrass Control

Spot treatments of nonselective herbicides are the most effective method for controlling bermudagrass. Glyphosate is a nonselective herbicide that is widely used for spot treatments of perennial weeds in turfgrasses. Glyphosate is a foliar-absorbed herbicide that is systemically translocated with no preemergence activity for weed control.

Spot treatments of glyphosate should be made to bermudagrass patches and surrounding areas to control any runners that may be intermingled with desirable turfgrasses. Broadcast applications can effectively renovate or kill existing vegetation but high rates and multiple applications are required to control bermudagrass. Glyphosate should be applied to actively growing bermudagrass. Repeat treatments will be required for complete control. Cultural practices that disrupt plant growth, such as vertical mowing and aerification, should be delayed for seven days after treatment.

Glyphosate requires optimum translocation in order to control bermudagrass rhizomes and plants emerging from lateral stems. Perennial grasses generally have greater translocation of photosynthate from leaves to stems in fall than spring, which increases glyphosate movement to rhizomes. Fall glyphosate applications generally control bermudagrass more effectively than summer treatments. Numerous glyphosate products are available under a wide variety of trade names.

Other information in this publication

For pesticide recommendations see the UGA Pest Management Handbook.

Bermuda postemergence control

Help Fight Hunger-Guest Post by Ellen Bauske

Plant a Row for the Hungry Marker
Plant a Row for the Hungry Marker

Buried in Veggies?  It can happen. I was in college when I planted my first garden and I had a taste for zucchini. I planted 50 seeds and ultimately grew 36 fine zucchini plants.

I stir-fried zucchini, baked zucchini casseroles, made chips, and baked bread. I sold it at the local coop. I gave it to the neighbors and gave more to the neighbors. Eventually, they stopped coming to the door when I knocked. I put in on tables in front of my house with a sign, “Free to a Good Home.” Did you know zucchini makes a fine addition to the compost pile?

Fortunately, you can do much better with your extra produce today. The Plant a Row (PAR) Program was started by Jeff Lowenfels, a garden columnist in Anchorage Alaska. He asked his readers to plant an extra row of vegetables for Bean’s Café, an Anchorage soup kitchen. The program was very successful. In 1995 Jeff introduced the program to the Garden Writers Association and eventually, they created a foundation to administer and expand the program. The program has helped collect over 20 million pounds of produce to date.

Freshly Washed Produce Ready for Donation.
Freshly Washed Produce Ready for Donation.

Some community gardens have dedicated spaces or rows specifically for food donation. They are cared for by the entire group or even visiting groups of young gardeners or FFA (Future Farmers of America) students.

If you are near the Atlanta metro area, you can easily donate your extra veggies to those in need. The Atlanta Community Food Bank’s Community Gardens web site has a very handy-dandy locator that will help you find a PAR drop-off site. Ample Harvest also lists many food pantries. Ask around. It isn’t hard to find a place.   MUST Ministries in Cobb or Cherokee county would love to have your extra produce.

You will want to contact the food pantry before you show up with your harvest. They may have a preferred delivery date and time. Harvest your crops in the early morning on delivery day to take advantage of the cool air. Dry off any dew.

Now this next part is really important. Inspect each item for bruising, insect damage and ripeness. If you would not serve it to your family, do not give it to the pantry. If it is the sort of veggie or fruit you would put in a stew, don’t give it to the pantry.

A Plot Dedicated to Feeding the Hungry at the Cherokee County Senior Center Garden.
A Plot Dedicated to Feeding the Hungry at the Cherokee County Senior Center Garden.

If the pantry gives you packaging instructions, follow them. If not, put the produce in a supermarket bag and take it to the pantry at the requested time and date.

Bring what you have. If you have a bushel of zucchini and 10 tomatoes, bring them both to the pantry. Your food will be aggregated with the donations of others. Handle the food just as you would for your family. You are protected by the Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. This Act encourages food donation while provided the donor with protection form criminal and civil liability provide you do not exhibit negligence.

Just as you have always suspected, you can make the world a better place by gardening.

Dr. Ellen Bauske is a Public Service Associate with the Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture who still enjoys zucchini.  She is active in the local food movement.

Happy Gardening!


What is the relationship between WNV infection and mosquito control programs?

WNV rates by county

Answer: This study indicated that people in areas with no mosquito control program had a tenfold greater risk of WNV than those in areas where mosquitoes were controlled.

Read the entire article Using Mosquito Surveillance Data taken from the April 10, 2014 issue of Dideebycha, newsletter of the Georgia Mosquito Control Association

Mosquito control by countyMosquito surveillance is an important component of any mosquito control program.  Where arboviral diseases occur, mosquito testing is an equally important component of an arboviral surveillance program.  Arboviral encephalitis can be prevented in two major ways: personal protective measures to reduce contact with mosquitoes and public health measures to reduce the population of infected mosquitoes in the environment (mosquito control).  Analysis of surveillance data provides information about the timing of arboviral transmission and the risk to the public, which can trigger county-level educational programs to help reduce risk.

WNV rates by county
West Nile Virus rates by county

A study comparing two mosquito control districts showed that the program with the most mosquito surveillance and best documented larviciding and adulticiding operations had the fewest number of WNV cases.  This study indicated that people in areas with no mosquito control program had a tenfold greater risk of WNV than those in areas where mosquitoes were controlled.

Southern House Mosquito, Pest and Diseases Image Library,
Southern House Mosquito, Pest and Diseases Image Library,

What are the roadblocks to arboviral surveillance in Georgia?  We really do not have enough data to do good predictive calculating, particularly at the State level.  Predicting where and when WNV outbreaks will occur is difficult, especially in areas with endemic transmission, which is what occurs in Georgia.  Most of our sentinel data do not match up with our case data, as counties doing mosquito surveillance are not necessarily the same counties where human cases are occurring.  Culex quinquefasciatus (Southern house mosquito), our primary WNV vector, are not evenly distributed, so neither is risk of human cases.  However, we do not have sufficient surveillance to know where risk is occurring, and maintaining mosquito monitoring systems is costly even though it is essential according to the CDC.

Where data are available, the best predictor of risk is the Vector Index, the minimum infection rate (MIR) times the number of mosquitoes per trap night (abundance), which provides 2-4 weeks lead time in advance of human cases. Where adequate surveillance is maintained, this gives sufficient lead time to implement adult mosquito control efforts, which have demonstrated success in reducing human risk, resulting in fewer WNV cases (Carney, 2008).

Reference: Carney, R.M., Husted, S., Jean, C., Glaser, C., & Kramer, V. (2008). Efficacy of aerial spraying of mosquito adulticide in reducing incidence of West Nile Virus, California, 2005. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 14(5), 747–754.

New Graphic Helps Consumers Make Informed Choices About Insect Repellents

Posted July 17, 2014 on the IPM in the South blog from the Southern Region IPM Center

The EPA unveiled a new graphic that will be available to appear on insect repellent product labels. The graphic will show consumers how many hours a product will repel mosquitoes and ticks when used as directed.

EPA Repellency label

The EPA’s new graphic will do for bug repellents what SPF labeling did for sunscreens. This new graphic will help parents, hikers and the general public better protect themselves and their families from serious health threats caused by mosquitoes and ticks that carry debilitating diseases. Incidence of these diseases is on the rise. The CDC estimates that there are nearly 300,000 cases of Lyme disease in the United States each year. Effective insect repellents can protect against serious mosquito- and tick-borne diseases.

The EPA is accepting applications from manufacturers that wish to add the graphic to their repellent product labels. The public could see the graphic on products early next year.

GDA and SPCC announce new guidance and policies


The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) and Georgia Structural Pest Control Commission (SPCC) announce new guidance and policy to assist the industry with compliance with the current rules of the Georgia Structural Pest Control Act.  The compliance fact sheets are posted under guidance policies on the SPCC webpage.

New Guidance Fact Sheets

14-02 Pesticide Use Record Compliance

14-04 WDO Contracts

14-08 Under-floor ventilation

14-09 Official Waiver

14-10 Official Georgia Wood Infestation Inspection Report

The new 2014 rules and compliance timeline are posted on the Laws & Regulations webpage.

From the Georgia Structural Pest Control Commission

City Heat Boosts Tree-Killing Scale Insect Populations

A red maple branch heavily infested with gloomy scales (identified by the small bumps covering the bark).
A red maple branch heavily infested with gloomy scales (identified by the small bumps covering the bark).

From Entomology Today

Big cities with large expanses of concrete, asphalt, and buildings are usually warmer than the suburbs or countrysides that surround them, a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect. Now new research from North Carolina State University shows that these urban heat islands increase the number of young produced by the gloomy scale insect — a significant tree pest — by 300 percent, which in turn leads to 200 times more adult gloomy scales on urban trees.

Read the original article here