Friday, August 8, 2014

Fall Webworm in Kitsap County

Fall Webworm "tent."
Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension
Slide Series, Bugwood.org.
This spring the resurgence of Western Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma californicum) became more noticeable here in Kitsap.  I wrote about it here.  If you're worried about your trees because of it, seeing caterpillar tents in your trees now in summer might give you the jitters.  Fortunately, there is good news:  new "tents" in your trees at this time of the year are nothing to worry about.  They are caused by a far-less troublesome moth species called Fall Webworm (Hyphantria cunea).  Right now, the rascally Western Tent Caterpillar exists only as sleeping egg masses on the twigs of your prized fruit tree.  Next April they'll awaken and wreak havoc.

Monday, August 4, 2014

My Non-Scientific Vinegar Weed Killer Experiment

My "Driveway".  Yes, that weed strip down the
center is growing on a gravel driveway.  It is green in
August because I had my tomatoes on top of it
(moved to the left in the image).
I have an old gravel driveway.  I don't think it's been re-graveled during the entire life of the house. If you
have one of these driveways, then you probably also have weeds.  Lots of weeds.  Well, you'll have lots of weeds if you're loath to use conventional herbicides on your driveway as I am.  In the past, I've used a propane torch to burn away the weeds and it did work well, but lugging around a small tank and flaming weeds in the hot sun was not fun.  I've read of using vinegar to kill weeds.  Some articles claimed good success.  Others poo-poo'd it to some degree.  I finally decided to give the vinegar recipe a try after discussion of it stumbled onto my Facebook feed.  The ingredients are cheap, so why not try it on my driveway?