What’s Bugging Your Plants? Heat, Bugs & More

For 15 years, In&Out Magazine has been the definitive source of “Everything that’s going on” in and out of the community. We thank you, our readers, as well as the businesses that support the magazine through advertising, for that opportunity. But with little going on, and many businesses suspending or canceling their ads during the Covid-19 crisis, we are suspending publication of the magazine and web sites for the month of May. 

This dead agave was colonized by agave snout weevils. Photo: University of Arizona Cooperative Extension

Summer heat can really suck the life out of plants. The lack of rain so far this year hasn’t helped. If you notice your plants looking a little tired, the obvious cure is to give them some extra water. But there’s more you should know and do to keep your plants healthy in the heat.

Even the most drought-tolerant plants can succumb to our searing summers. Cacti and agaves may display some yellowing, a result of stress and sunburn. Shade cloth can offer some temporary protection. If practical, planting a larger shrub west of a cactus can provide afternoon shade.  

Some plants must also defend against invasive insects. In recent years, we’ve observed caterpillars damaging yellow bells (tecoma stans), orange bells/orange jubilee and bougainvillea. This small caterpillar (antigastra catalaunalis) likes to suck these plants’ leaves.  An infected plant may appear to need water, but closer inspection of the leaves will reveal lots of tiny black pellets: caterpillar poop. The critters themselves can be found rolled into tiny balls for protection.

Spraying a plant with a product containing the bacterium bacillus thurengensis can be an effective treatment. Most plants will recover after spraying. Some aggressive pruning of the infected areas may be required.

The agave snout weevil is another pest we see frequently. They routinely attack and kill mature desert spoon, agave, and yucca. Unfortunately, an infestation may not be apparent until the damage is too severe and the plant may no longer be anchored by its roots. If you can easily push it over, remove it.

The best treatment strategy is prevention. Consider drenching the soil around susceptible plants each spring with a product containing the insecticide imidacloprid.

Help Save Our Community
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country and even more so this community. Supporting local businesses during this crisis can help keep our community economically viable. Please strongly consider supporting the businesses below, In&Out Magazine's display advertisers, as well as those in the Classifieds section of the magazine (see the full April 9 issue in PDF form). Many of these businesses have been part of the fabric of this community for two decades, not just serving our professional, service and retail needs but stepping up to support local charities, sports teams and so much more. Tip: If you know you’ll need to schedule a service, consider contacting a local business you trust and paying the standard fee for the deferred service. The links below go to their web sites.

Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates • 602-242-4592
Anthem Senior Living • 602-909-9550
Appliance Pros • 502-501-5501
Business Network of Anthem • 623-455-9630
Carroll Law Firm • 623-551-9366
Century 21 Real Estate - Jeff Huff • 623-223-1221
Creative Home Enhancements • 623-551-5409
Daisy Dream Homes Real Estate • 623-879-3277
Daisy Mountain Dentistry • 623-551-5250
Desert Foothills Air Conditioning • 480-595-0938
Edward Jones • 623-551-0523
Element Dental Centers • 623-551-5555
Hand & Stone Massage • 623-551-6602
Kendallwood Design • 602-252-3844
Kodiak Roofing • 602-501-7717
Luv My PC • 480-703-6609
Merrill Gardens • 623-201-4881
North Valley Water Solutions • 623-551-0515
Preferred Business of Anthem • 623-551-0523 
Prickett Realty • 623-551-8111
ProSkill Services • 623-551-7473
RE/MAX Professionals - Mike Higgins • 623-640-7502
Rise Above Remodeling • 623-551-2013
Soft Water Plus • 623-551-7383
SonoranScapes Landscaping • 602-842-9948
State Farm Insurance - Justin Simons • 623-551-3700
Storage at Anthem • 623-226-8634
Sunset Cabinets • 623-687-6579
Thompson & McGinnis Attorneys at Law • 602-952-2666
Titan Tree Care • 623-444-8448
Titan Pest Control • 623-879-8700
Wyman Plumbing & Mechanical • 623-551-6688

For more local businesses, see In&Out Magazine Classifed Ads >>>  
Jason Plavala, AZ YardWorks | SPONSORED CONTENT
This article was written by the sponsor.

Jason Plavala, AZ YardWorks | SPONSORED CONTENT

This article was written by the sponsor.

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