Mealybugs and Scale Insects

Mealybugs scale insect antsMealybugs are technically a type of scale insect (mealybugs and all other scale insects are in the order Hemiptera), but when it comes to gardening, mealybugs are often separated out from other scale insects because mealybug females are motile (all male scale species have wings), while other scale females generally lose their legs. There are three families of scale insects: Coccidae (soft scales), Diaspididae (armored scales) and Pseudococcidae (mealybugs).

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The Praying Mantis: A Beneficial Insect

Praying mantisIf you find a praying mantis in your balcony garden, you may want to leave it there. Known as the praying mantis for its prayerlike stance, this insect is predatory and will feed on common garden pests. Many praying mantises are camouflaged, and you may not notice them.

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Tomato and Potato Blight

Late blight fungus potato plantProtecting potatoes and tomatoes from garden pests, such as the tomato hornworm caterpillar, and fungal diseases requires some work. These plants are in the same genus (Solanum), so they have a lot of the same maladies. Their foliage of these plants can become infected with early blight, late blight, leaf spot and other fungal problems. (Late blight was a large factor in the Irish Potato Famine in the 1850s.) These problems are quite common in balcony container gardens, but they are easy to avoid.

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Getting Rid of Leaf Miner Pests

Leaf miner pestsIf you see squiggly lines on your container plant leaves, you may have an infestation of leaf miner pests. Leaf miners are the larvae of insects that live inside of and eat plant leaves. The squiggly lines are the damage created by the larvae eating the plant's leaf tissue, and experts can tell what species is eating the leaf by examining the squiggly line pattern. Most leaf miners are moths and flies. The damage can be quite extensive before the plant loses its vigor and begins to die. While leaf miners are not an immediate threat, their numbers can grow out of control and eventually kill your plants.

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How to Attract Mourning Doves

Mourning dove bird

Intro: Mourning doves are a light gray-brown color with black spots on their wings. These wild birds are usually be heard before they are seen because of their distinctive cooing call and a whistle to their flapping wings when they take off in flight or when they land. These fast fliers (up to 55 miles per hour) are so numerous that they are the most-hunted wild birds in the United States.

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