Backyard Orchard News
Have you ever seen a monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) lay an egg on her host plant, the...
A monarch laying an egg on her host plant, milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of a cream-colored monarch egg. Note the oleander or milkweed aphid next to it. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A very tiny caterpillar but it's big enough to start eating holes in the leaves. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A fifth-instar monarch caterpillar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The jade green chrysalid. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Voila! A monarch butterfly has just eclosed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch sipping nectar from a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Understanding Pesticide Labels for Making Proper Applications
The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) put together a 26-page card set in English and Spanish on understanding pesticide labels. Intended for pesticide handlers, applicators, safety trainers, and pest control advisers (PCAs), the cards explain when to read the label, describe what kind of information can be found in each section of a pesticide label, and point out specific instruction areas so that applicators can apply pesticides safely and avoid illegal pesticide residues.
Traces of pesticide residue are normal and even expected after pesticides are applied to food crops, but by the time produce is ready to be sold, purchased, and consumed, residues are usually far below the legal limit.
In its latest report from 2013, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) reported that there was little or no detectable pesticide residue in 97.8% of all California-grown produce. This demonstrates a strong pesticide regulation program and pesticide applicators that apply pesticides safely and legally. However, there have been instances in California where a pesticide not registered for a specific crop has been used unintentionally, resulting in illegal residues and eventually crop loss and destruction.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets tolerances for the maximum amount of pesticide residue that can legally be allowed to remain on or in food.
DPR regularly monitors domestic and imported produce for pesticide residues and is considered the most extensive state residue-monitoring program in the nation.
The primary way pesticide applicators can assure that they make proper applications and avoid illegal pesticide residues is to follow the pesticide label. UC IPM's new card set was developed from information in the upcoming third edition of The Safe and Effective Use of Pesticides as well as Lisa Blecker, UC IPM's Pesticide Safety Education Program coordinator. Bound with a spiral coil, this eye-catching instructional card set was designed for both English-speakers and when flipped over, for Spanish-speaking audiences as well. UC IPM also plans to release a new online course on preventing illegal pesticide residues sometime late fall.
To download copies of the card set in English or in Spanish, see the UC IPM web site.
For more than two weeks now, we've been watching a banded garden spider (Argiope trifasciata)...
A banded garden spider (Argiope trifasciata) straddling lavender stems. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
What prey is this? It appears to be a huge black bee, a female Valley carpenter bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of the prey, which turned out to be a female Valley carpenter bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Never say "pipe down" to a pipevine swallowtail. It's a butterfly we treasure. You may have seen...
A pipevine swallowtail, Battus philenor, flashes its colors. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Side view of a pipevine swallowtail nectaring on a butterfly bush. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Pipevine swallowtail in a familiar pose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Black and blue on blue. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Pipevine swallowtail in flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Talk about greed. Talk about gluttony. How much food does a banded garden spider (Argiope...
Fish-eye view of a banded garden spider (Argiope trifasciata) with prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
An intruder, a smaller spider (top), heads toward the resident spider. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The intruder is toast--or a wrap. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)