Month: November 2019

15 Nov 2019

Salamanders and Beetles and Spiders….oh my!

Salamanders and Beetles and Spiders….oh my!

Part of our Ecological Monitoring project involves faunal (animal) sampling. We focus on arthropods, amphibians and reptiles during these surveys.  Mini pitfall traps are established along our already existing transects using a hand spade, red solo cups, moist paper towels and clay saucer plates (see image below).  These cups are checked (and emptied) over the course of one week. We mostly find arthropods like beetles, harvestman, isopods and spiders.  Once during the sampling week we search “herp” circles in which we flip logs and rocks, and scan the ground looking for frogs, salamanders, snakes and toads. When looking for amphibians and reptiles, the most common thing found depends on the time of year. We find a lot of American toads during the summer and salamanders in the fall.—Chad G.

The picture below shows our pitfall traps. The last box is an eastern red-backed salamander and her eggs we found in an existing hole. She was left alone and a new hole was dug. No animals are hurt during this process.

08 Nov 2019

Honeysuckle woes?

Late fall, after the first frost, is a good time for a foliar spray.

Honeysuckle stays green longer than most plants in our area and treating these shrubs now can lessen the impact on native species which have gone dormant.  Before spraying the leaves of honeysuckle, make sure that the leaves are not falling off of the plant (gently tug a leaf and make sure it stays on the tree). If the leaves are already abscising, spraying them will not work to kill the honeysuckle.

Purchase a glyphosate solution. Dilute your glyphosate to about 1.25%. If your glyphosate is already diluted to around 40%, as many readily available brands are, this is somewhere between a 1:50 or 2:50 ratio of glyphosate solution to water. This can be mixed directly in a large plastic spray bottle.  For large areas of coverage a backpack sprayer or hose attached to a tank may be more efficient.

Try to cover as much of the honeysuckle’s leaf area as possible. Take care to avoid spraying any native plants in the process. This method should eliminate about 90% of your honeysuckle; however, it is likely that follow up spot sprayings will need to occur the following fall due to plants that were missed, resilient, or emerged from seed.

Questions?  Contact our Research Director, Chad Bitler at 513-898-3159