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It's a good year for bugs

Just when we thought a drought would overrun us with calls on bark beetles and wood borers, the rains came and homeowners have now shifted their interest to the sawflies and aphids chewing on their yard trees.

Cottony aphids are common in clusters or "balls" of leaves on yard elms. Separating the leaves, one finds the distinct cottony flocculence caused by the feeding aphid colony. Most are also alive with plant bug and immature lacewing predators; so we rarely recommend direct control.

After one year of low numbers, Pikonema alaskensis, the dreaded yellow-headed sprucesawfly, and Pristiphora geniculata, the mountain ash sawfly, are back with a vengeance.

Uglynest and webworm caterpillars are showing up. Small nests may be clipped and destroyed while larger ones can be opened up and sprayed with a contact insecticide to keep the leaves on your trees.

Lots of lush green foliage out there, means lots of food for creepy crawlers and a good year for bugs!