Answers to your questions on bugs and gardening in Southern Arizona.

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: Our yard backs up to the desert and every late summer for the past few years leafcutter ants raid our yard at night, stripping leaves off o…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I saw lots of these bugs at the community garden this morning. They are massed on the open pods of a vine-like plant that has grown up the …

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I saw lots of these bugs at the community garden this morning. They are massed on the open pods of a vine-like plant that has grown up the …

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: We’ve had this guy around for the last few days. What is he? A luna moth perhaps? What should we look for in coming days?

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I have a Mexican honeysuckle that I planted last April. It has been doing fine up until now. The leaves in the center of the plant are turn…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I am new to the area but have done extensive gardens and compost. Since I have scaled down my garden to a small area I invested in a compos…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I am taking care of two rose bushes and my fertilizing dates have been a month apart. That has not been a problem but now with fall coming …

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: We found a strange plant in our yard — a “volunteer” — and were wondering what it is because it is crowding out something we planted.

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: My pyracantha leaves recently started looking like the attached picture. A drip system waters it every three days for 30 minutes. Hasn’t ha…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I’ve been noticing the sycamore trees around where I live look pretty awful. The leaves are pale and curled up. What is causing this problem?

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I would like to take better advantage of solar power in my garden. What ways are there to do this?

  • By Peter Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: What do mites look like?

  • By Peter Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I am finding strange growths on my oleander. What is causing this and what can I do about it?

  • By Peter Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I have lived in this house since it was built in 1978 and had never seen a scorpion. About three years ago, there was a major road construc…

  • By Peter Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I have an orange tree that is 9 years old. The oranges look OK and are being watered by a sprinkling system. I also had the tree pruned thi…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: What is this tiny black beetle with orange spots? There are a bunch of tiny black beetles with orange spots in our kitchen pantry.

  • By Peter Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: My prickly pear appears to be turning black in places. Also, the saguaro and the tree next to it seem to have a brown substance on the base…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: When my car was serviced a couple of days ago a large black widow and her nest fell on the technician. He took it down and we sprayed under…

  • By Peter Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: My question is about black widow spiders. We have been told that they are difficult to get rid of and we have had several on the outside of…

  • By Peter Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: We have an olive tree loaded with olives in various stages of ripeness from partially green to fully ripe and falling from the tree. Is it …

  • By Peter Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I found the mushroom in the attached photo on my Amado property last weekend, its about 8-inches tall and under a mature 25-foot native mes…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I was wondering if you could help me out with another insect ID. I have this tree that crashed and while inspecting it found what appears t…

Q: Can you identify this insect? It’s beautiful, gentle and somehow makes me think of an acoustic guitar. There are perhaps 30 of them in the …

  • By Peter Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

What vegetables can I plant this time of year?

  • By Peter Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I would like to know the species and life habits of the tiny, submillimeter-length insects that hover around your face and unceasingly try …

  • By Peter Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: We bought a blue Mexican fan palm at a local nursery four years ago in a 15 gallon container, it was fairly large — read expensive — and lo…

  • By Peter Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: The bark of my palo verde tree had yellow-orange blotches on it about six inches in length just about everywhere. I noticed that there is a…

  • By Peter Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I have an ocotillo in my yard that is about 20-feet tall. When it leafs out it does not leaf in the tallest two or three feet. It has not b…

  • By Peter Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: About 15-20 years ago my son gave my husband a banana tree that was about 3 feet tall. It sat outside in the hot sun in the summer and in t…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Question: I’m sorry to bug you again, but I can’t think of anyone else to ask. When I have been going out in the backyard, in the dirt there a…

  • By Peter L Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: Can you tell me something about the weed called funastrum twine vine?

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: Any instructions for planting a bougainvillea in Green Valley? I will purchase a potted plant and put it in a hole in the ground.

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I am wondering about adding some native grasses to our landscape. They are

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I need some advice on how to grow royal poinciana trees. The trees I have are babies. I have in the past lost a few I think due to over wat…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I am looking for a list of ground covers that grow and cover rapidly and that survive desert winters.

  • By Peter Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I have a question regarding the attached photo of an unknown bug visiting one of my squash flower plants. This morning I counted eight of t…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I have two mature palo verde trees in the enclosed portion of our backyard (many more in the desert). They are next to each other surroundi…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I live in the Marana/Tucson area and would love to grow wine and table grapes. I have a wash behind me and I have a wall around my back yar…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I have some low weeds (spurge?) that are slowly taking over my tiff-green lawn. They are easy to kill in the gravel but what can I do about…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I have seen some people cutting the lower branches off their oleanders. Is this good for the plants?

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I am finding orange dog caterpillars on my citrus now. Some are very small and some are almost two inches long. Why are they different size…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I have a backyard prickly pear with a cochineal infestation. Does that need to be treated? Do these guys ever go away on their own? Are the…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: We live just above River Road with desert vegetation. A branch of five of what I think is Yucca elata, 3 to 4 feet high, has grown up close…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: There are small insects about 2-3 millimeters long that are eating (and killing) our Mexican pink flowered Oenothera. I put a pan underneat…

  • By Peter L Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: Now this is a bug! What the hell is it? Eerily beautiful and frightful at the same time.

  • By Peter L Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I am planning on planting ocotillo before the end of this monsoon season; any advice/instruction?

  • By Peter L Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: Can you tell me about the cute praying mantis that has been on our sesame plant for several months now.

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I found a very strange looking caterpillar crawling across my patio. I would like to know where it came from and if it is a problem.

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: We’ve had this plant in our yard for at least seven or eight years, and this year it sprouted this unusual branch. It’s about 1.25-inches w…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: We planted two different kinds of tomatoes in a planter. The larger variety is thriving. The smaller variety has tomatoes that grow in gree…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I have at least four chuckwallas living in my backyard. I have identified them using photos on the Internet. They range in size from 6 to 1…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to Arizona Daily Star

Q: I planted a Bearss Lime tree about five years ago. When we had the bad freeze a few years ago it froze. Since then it has come back and has…

Q: I have two mature olive trees in my back yard. They do not fruit. I would like to know how much to water them especially now in the hot Tuc…

Q: My tomatillos are full of holes and I can’t figure out what happened. What should I do to prevent this next time?

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I have a fig tree and a pomegranate that I planted in 2012 in water harvesting basins. They both were thriving and last year I got great ha…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I’m pretty sure my palo verde tree is suffering from major beetle damage. Many branches are dead, it barely leafed out, and there are many …

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: What are these little gray buggers on my sunflower leaves?

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: About 1 ƒ years ago I purchased four white flowering oleander plants—the tall not the petite variety. They have been deep watered regularly…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: We recently came back to Tucson from a week in San Diego to find about a hundred or more June bugs on our mature fig tree. We have lived he…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I have many Penstemon parryi seedlings that have been growing through the summer. Within the last two weeks they have begun to develop “bur…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: We have tons of mesquite pods and they are a huge pain. A yard guy we met said he could spray the tree next April and that would take care …

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: What are the luminescent critters found in the Tucson region? Back East there are fireflies or lightning bugs, but I have not seen them here.

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I am starting to see some odd growths on parts of my oleander hedge. I understand they are galls but I am not sure what to do about them.

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Question: I have a front yard without a fence or wall. I’d like to line it with bird of paradise bushes. Can I use a cutting to start them gro…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Question: I have 13 rose bushes in my backyard against the side concrete wall that were planted two years ago. The first and second years they…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Question: What can I use to finally get rid of these stubborn desert broom weeds once and for all?

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: Here is a picture of a new plant sprouting up in my yard. Is it a weed or something nice? Will it grow tall? Leave it or yank it? Thanks.

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q : Recently I noticed, on two mesquite trees, a tarry-looking seepage coming out, and in some cases dripping onto the ground. What is it, and…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: After 12 years my toothpick cactus has finally yielded five flowers for the first time. I am wondering if I could propagate a toothpick cac…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I have two ocotillos that I planted myself about seven years ago. Both are oddly shaped but growing well from their original size of about …

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: About three years ago, I lopped off the top of a pineapple purchased at a local grocery store and planted it. In April, my first pineapple …

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I live in Oracle and have a native oak with ivy growing up the trunk. I am wondering if it is a threat to the tree. I also have a mature ne…

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: I found a very strange looking caterpillar crawling across my patio. I would like to know where it came from and if it is a problem.

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q: We have tons of mesquite pods and they are a huge pain. A yard guy we met said he could spray the tree next April and that would take care …

  • By Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Q : Recently I noticed, on two mesquite trees, a tarry-looking seepage coming out, and in some cases dripping onto the ground. What is it, and…

Q: Can you identify this insect? It’s beautiful, gentle and somehow makes me think of an acoustic guitar. There are perhaps 30 of them in the …