Tapping Beneficial Insects to Combat Pests — Especially the Asian psyllid (Part 1)

Tapping Beneficial Insects to Combat Pests — Especially the Asian psyllid (Part 1)

Note: This is a two part article – More info on attracting native predator insects for pests, photos and references  is here

Ken Kupfer is a popular speaker on biological control, which is the use of natural enemies to manage pests and their damage. While his work with organic and sustainable growers finds Kupfer in California nearly half of the year, he resides in Florida. There he personally witnessed the infestation of the Asian citrus psyllid, referred to as ACP. After devastating the Florida citrus industry, the ACP has unfortunately made its way to California.

“In Florida, the [mandated] use of systemic pesticides and foliar pesticides for citrus crops has really saturated the environment and it of course kills 99% of other bugs it comes in contact with”  Ken Kupfer

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My, What Rains Bring to the Desert in Spring – Anza Borrego

My, What Rains Bring to the Desert in Spring – Anza Borrego

We’ve had 17 inches of rain in our inland Southern California city this rainy season. That’s a lot for us. Our nearby deserts have received about half that. Along with pleasant temps, this translates into stunning wildflower and cactus flower displays which began in February.

For locals, it’s not too late to go. We drove to Anza-Borrego State Park yesterday. We stopped at several points, walked 50-100 feet from our car, and…. amazing! See below for photos – when I know what it is I identify it…. [Read more…]

Great Hikes: Steep but Satisfying Frankish Peak (Upland CA)

Great Hikes: Steep but Satisfying Frankish Peak (Upland CA)

Note: I’ve started a new category “Great Hikes” which features especially good hiking experiences in native habitat and wildlife  (for now in Southern CA.)

I tend to prefer hikes where I have the place to myself. Frankish Peak north of Upland CA satisfies that need, and a recent May late afternoon hike resulted in zero fellow hikers but multiple wildlife sightings amidst beautiful scenery. It’s very steep however, rising 1900 feet in 2 miles, so keep that in mind. (it’s also why there are so few people…)  Highlights: the hilltop effect of mating butterflies, [Read more…]