Issue no. 6 of the Home, Yard & Garden Newsletter is now available


Oak Leaf Blister

Oak leaf blister has  started to appear on oak trees on the Illinois. This disease is caused by the fungal  pathogen, Taphrina caerulescens. Members or the red oak group are more commonly  affected by the disease. Symptoms are distinctive, and appear as scattered blister-like,  puckered, or raised areas on the leaves.

Mushrooms Growing in  Turf

Wet spring weather has provided an excellent environment for  mushrooms. They can form wherever sufficient moisture and organic matter is  present. When found growing in turf, mushrooms tend to stand out and be  unsightly to some. The fungi responsible for producing the mushrooms live off  organic matter in the soil, such as decaying tree roots or buried construction  debris.

Anticipation… of  Tomato Diseases

Tomatoes!  We all love  them but you need to anticipate that disease issues can quickly arise. Now is a  good time to review common disease and environmental issues that may arise with  the tomato plants.  Some issues may be in  the form of foliar diseases or even environmental mayhem, so it’s a good idea  to keep in mind some examples of what to look for and what options are  available for treatment.

Modified Growing  Degree Days (Base 50°F,  March 1 through June 5)

Insect development is temperature dependent. We can use degree days to help predict insect emergence and activity. Home, Yard, and Garden readers  can use the information in this article to determine  what insect pests could be active in their area.

Invasive Species ALERT: Viburnum  Leaf Beetle

We’ve  shared several articles in in the Home, Yard, and Garden Pest Newsletter about  the viburnum leaf beetle. Up until the last 2 weeks, we’ve only had a couple of  isolated reports of viburnum leaf beetle in the state, in both DuPage and Cook  counties. Over the past couple of days, several reports of severe defoliation  caused by viburnum leaf beetle have come in from these same two counties.

Periodical  Cicada

Periodical  cicadas should be emerging in northwestern Illinois. This is the Iowa brood,  also known as Marlatt’s Brood III, that covers most of the southern two-thirds  of Iowa. It extends into Illinois, being present in Henderson, Warren, Knox,  Fulton, and Schuyler counties. It has a disjunct area in northern DeWitt, and  northwestern Champaign counties.

Buffalo Gnats

We have received reports of large numbers of buffalo  gnats, also known as black flies, attacking people particularly in western  Illinois. Buffalo gnats are small, 1/16- to 1/8-inch-long, humpbacked black  flies. They bite exposed skin, typically leaving a small, red welt. When the  gnats are numerous, the toxins from their bites can kill poultry and other  birds.


Bagworms will have hatched in southern Illinois. They  should hatch by mid-June in central Illinois. When newly hatched bagworms  emerge from their mother’s bag, they climb to the top of shrubs, trees, and any  other erect object. They spin out two to three feet of silk which catches in  the wind and blows them to new locations.