Calvin R. Finch, Ph.D., Conservation Director, San Antonio
Week of November 26, 2001
Q. I know flea control is not exactly a
gardening topic, but they are a problem in the landscape. Do
you have any advice on controlling the pests?
A. The key to flea control is to kill the
current adults and also the generation represented in the eggs
that are already in place. The usual control is to spray diazinon
or dursban to the lawn and pet areas twice. The first application
is for the adults and the second application, five or six days
later, is for the next generation.
Retail nurseries, home improvement stores, and
feed stores also have some new products. Go to the insecticide
section and read the labels of the products that mention fleas.
Your veterinarian is also a good source of information on flea
Q. Is it too late to apply Kocide 101 to
my peach trees? I had trouble with bacterial leaf spot last
A. The best time to apply Kocide is just
before leaf drop. If the leaves are still hanging on your trees,
apply it now. Some spray programs suggest that Kocide applied
just before budbreak also helps.
Q. Is there anything that I can feed to
the birds that will only attract cardinals?
A. Seed cakes made from safflower seed
are available from bird feed stores. Cardinals and titmice are
attracted to them but not much else. The same safflower seed
fed in a tube feeder will attract a few sparrows, but are most
attractive to cardinals.
Q. Winter rye planted in the lawn is so
easy and so beautiful, why doesn't everyone do it?
A. Winter rye works okay in a Bermuda grass
lawn but competes with St. Augustine, buffalo, and zoysia grass
to the point that they decline quickly.
Q. When should we pull our tomato plants?
A. When they quit producing or get killed
by frost, whichever comes first.