Purple boxes help detect emerald ash borer

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By Dennis Morgeson

I don’t know if you have noticed yet, but the purple boxes are hanging in trees along roadways again.  I got a call last week from the UK Entomology Department letting me know they were hanging them again.  They wanted me to let you know about it in my news article so… you have been warned!  Just joking, there is nothing to warn you about, but the boxes are purple to attract Emerald Ash Borer, and they have a pheromone or attractant and sticky goo to catch any borers that may happen by.
Emerald Ash Borer has not been found in Washington Co. or Marion Co. or any adjoining county.  It has been identified as close as Franklin, Jefferson, and Shelby however.  If you see a box that has fallen from its tree or is in some way not hanging as it should, please call me at the office at 859-336-7741 and I will contact the proper people so they can reattach the boxes.  Emerald Ash borers are going to be deadly to our ash trees and the longer we can keep them at bay the better.  Early detection will be the key.
I have also gotten a pest alert from the University that plum curculio has been found to be active.  Anyone growing fruit should start applying pesticides for these now (if not in flower).  Generally they become active when night temperatures stay above 60 degrees and we have had that a few nights already and they have become active.  Plum curculio will attack plums, peaches, pears, apples, blueberries etc.  Curculio lay eggs in slits it makes in developing fruit which cause misshapen fruit and the larva then burrows into the fruit and feeds. It may or may not leave a burrow filled with feces but at the very least biting into a curculio infested fruit isn’t pleasant.  An application of Malathion at 7-14 day intervals for the next month or so will greatly reduce damage.  Never spray while in bloom!
The Earth Day Celebration for Tuesday, April 26 was postponed until May 6 at the Farmers Market at the Depot in Springfield.  The celebration will begin promptly at noon and everyone will receive a free lunch and lots of information and maybe even some freebies!
If you signed up for the Wheelbarrow Class on Tender Bulbs don’t forget it is Thursday, April 28 at 6 p.m. at the extension office.  There is still room for future classes so visit us at our website at http://ces.ca.uky.edu/washington-files/wheelbarrowseries2011.pdf or check us out on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/#!/pages/Washington-CountyHorticulture/ 140659449317295, hit “like” and you will get horticulture information right on your facebook page!
Also, don’t forget that every second and fourth Thursday extension agents from Washington, Nelson, and Marion Counties have a radio program on WBRT 1320 AM from 11 a.m. until noon.  We would appreciate any call in questions as well so give us a call at (502) 349-9347.  Horticulture leads the way on call-ins so don’t let us fall behind!