Weatherford Democrat

June 16, 2013

ASK A MASTER GARDENER: There are ways to deal with moles


Weatherford Democrat

Here are this week’s gardening questions and answers, provided by Parker County Master Gardeners. To submit a question, send it to pcmgaquestions@gmail.com. For more information about Parker County Master Gardeners, or to become a member, call 817-598-6096 or visit www.pcmg-texas.org.



Moles have invaded our neighborhood. Is there any remedy?

Moles dig tunnels under the surface of the soil in search of food, particularly grubs and mole crickets.

There is a new product on the market similar to mice and rat candy. It mimics grubs, and when digested will kill the pest. Some master gardeners have suggested flushing them out with water. Once the path is identified, follow it with a pitchfork to aerate the ground and destroy the tunnel.

Another solution is to get a cat.



I have a plant growing in my beds that is about 2 feet tall with small white flowers. What is it?

Sounds like beggar’s lice, and while it looks somewhat like Queen Anne’s Lace, you want to pull it up and destroy it before it goes to seed. It will produce hundreds of seeds that stick tight to your clothing and pets.

                   

Grasshoppers are eating my landscape. What can I do?

Eliminate tall grass and weeds around plants you wish to protect. This makes it easier for birds to prey on the pests. Plant flowers such as marigolds, calendula, sunflower, daisy, alyssum or dill nearby to attract beneficial insects that prey on grasshoppers. Turkeys, guinea hens and chickens may also be used for control.

Grasshoppers travel widely, making insecticide a poor choice. You may have limited success using persistent insecticides containing carbaryl, acephate or permethrin, available under many trade names.

Some master gardeners have success with homemade bait by mixing 2 ounces wheat germ, 1/2 cup carbaryl, 1/2 cup corn syrup and 1/2 cup cereal. Distribute in flower beds or wherever grasshoppers are active.

If you are concerned about your pets eating the bait, you may choose to place it in the toe of worn out pantyhose, and hang it in a tree.



Firewise seminar

At 7 p.m. on June 27, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service of Parker County, in cooperation with the Parker County Master Gardeners, will provide a 90-minute seminar to address the threat of wildfires and how damage can be mitigated using Firewise Landscaping methods.

To register for this class, contact the Parker County Extension Office at 817-598-6168.