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Gardening in Washington State

Archive for April 2014

Join the WSU Garden Team’s Pestsightings Listserv

Did you know that, as a complement to the Washington State University Gardening Blog, the WSU Extension Gardening Team has also developed pest sightings LISTSERV? The LISTSERV will alert you to new pest information and other major pest news.

Japanese beetle
Japanese beetle

While we will stick to home and garden insects, diseases, weeds and vermin, the list may also interest Agriculture/Horticulture/Natural Resource researchers, educators and Master Gardeners.

To join, email: with the word “subscribe” in the subject line.

Why would you want to join yet another WSU LISTSERV? Here’s a sample of recent notices:

  • Japanese beetle news
  • Watch for mountain ash sawfly
  • Anthidium manicatum found in Granite Falls
  • Be on the lookout for brown marmorated stink bugs
  • Springtails are aggregating, etc.

Short and to the point, news you can use.

Feel free to contact Todd Murray ( with any questions.

Submitted by: Todd Murray, April 25, 2014

How to Recognize and Eradicate Bed Bugs

Whether it is spring fever or the opening of the Master Gardener Clinic in Yakima County, March and April tends to bring out the worst in bed bug sightings.  Since bed bugs are household pests, there should be little or no seasonality to bed bug abundance.

The saying “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” is not just a quaint bedtime rhyme, but also a reminder that bed bugs do exist, and they require human blood meals to survive and provide for their offspring. In today’s highly mobile society, bed bugs have reestablished themselves as household pests. Bed bugs are not known to transmit human diseases, but they can cause skin welts, local inflammation, and contribute to insomnia.

Bedbug getting up close and personal with an Extension Entomologist (Photo Credit: Michael Bush)

Bed bugs have been found in homes, apartments, rental units, and even hotels throughout Washington with increasing frequency. Cimex lectularius is the most common species that feed on humans.

Management Strategies:

1) Avoid introducing bed bugs into your home. Homeowners should not acquire second-hand mattresses and upholstered furniture without first quarantining them.

2) Remove or replace any infested furniture, including mattresses, box springs, couches, and upholstered chairs, whenever possible.

3) Clean and vacuum furniture and mattresses and wash bedding weekly. This will reduce, although not eliminate, bed bug infestations.

4) Establish a barrier or space between the bed and the floor to further discourage bed bugs from climbing onto the bed (remember bed bugs are wingless and cannot fly).

5) Obtain pesticides labeled for indoor use against bed bugs. Look for an annually revised listing of these products on the WSU Pestsense website at

6) Inspect sleeping areas in rooms adjacent to the infested area since these surprisingly mobile, yet wingless, bugs can move into surrounding areas.

The incidence of bed bugs is on the rise in North America, so precautions to avoid introducing them into your home are prudent. Bring any bugs found during a home inspection or captured on sticky traps or cards to your local Extension office for identification. While there are management strategies that homeowners can take to reduce the incidence of bed bugs in an infested household, the best management strategy is to cooperate with a local pest control professional to eradicate the problem.

For more information on Bed Bugs: Recognition and Management go to

Submitted by: Michael Bush, April 8, 2014

New invasive: lily leaf beetle

The lily leaf beetle (LLB), Lilioceris lilii, is a bright red beetle in the chrysomelid family native to Europe and Eurasia. In its native range, LLB is a pest of exotic and hybrid lilies. Researchers in the eastern United States have found Asiatic lily hybrids to be most susceptible to LLB while some Oriental varieties are resistant. Lilium henryi ‘Madame Butterfly’, L. speciosum ‘Uchida’, L. ‘Black beauty’, L. regale and L. ‘Golden Joy’ appear to be most resistant.

Adult lily leaf beetles in Bellevue, Washington. (Photo courtesy of E. LaGasa, WSDA.)

Adult beetles overwinter in the soil and emerge in the spring to feed on developing foliage and seek mates. Adult beetles are very active and mobile, and they make a defensive chirping or squeaking noise when provoked. Mated adult females lay eggs in small batches in irregular rows…laying up to 450 eggs during the season. Newly emerged larvae feed on the undersides of leaves. As larvae mature, feeding damage becomes more apparent on older leaves and sometimes stems and flowers.

See Todd Murray’s “Pest Watch: Lily Leaf Beetle.”


Gardening in Washington State, Puyallup Research and Extension Center

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