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From the UC Blogosphere...

Another Cockroach Moves Into the Neighborhood

Advice for Home Gardeners from the Help Desk of the 
UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County

Home Gardener's Request: I found 2 of these little beetle like bugs about 1/4-inch long in our home. Are they cockroaches? I've seen them outside as well.

Help Desk Response:  Thank you for contacting the Help Desk of the UC Master Gardener Program with your pictures and I assume a request for identification.

3 line cockroach<br>about 1/4
3 line cockroach
about 1/4" long
Your pictures are those of a three line cockroach (Luridiblatta trivittata). This particular cockroach is relatively new to the SF Bay Area arriving from its native area, the Mediterranean, in 2004.

Following is a link to a UC Master Gardener Program Blog from Solano County and below that is an excerpt from the blog that explains the biology and how to manage this new pest. The comments/responses included with the original blog are of interest to as they provide comments from gardeners with this cockroach in their home and garden as well as further comments from a UC entomologist: https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=14445

This cockroach is an outdoor species with a penchant for coming inside during drought, flooding, or to overwinter. It should be treated as a nuisance 'invader from outdoors' species, similar to Oriental cockroaches. General guidance to prevent this nuisance cockroach include:

  • prevent household invasions by properly sealing cracks and crevices, providing fine mesh screens for open windows, and installing door sweeps (this exclusion process is a bit difficult to accomplish due to the tiny size of this roach, but it should be the goal)
  • eliminate suitable habitat near structures by reducing moisture, maintaining structural perimeters (one meter from foundation) free of dense plantings and mulches, and by reducing sources of decomposing organic matter such as woodpiles and compost heaps (especially in close proximity to doors and windows)
  • this species serves as a decomposer in the garden and landscape (meaning it feeds on decaying material and typically occurs in leaf litter, plant debris, mulch, and compost piles) and is unlikely to become established within structures. At most, it might be considered a nuisance, as stated above. In many cases, no management actions whatsoever will be necessary against this insect provided you follow the general guidance above.

We hope you find this information helpful for dealing with your new neighbor. Please contact us again if you have more questions.

Help Desk of the UC Master Program of Contra Costa County


Notes: Contra Costa MG's Help Desk is available almost year-round to answer your gardening questions. Except for a few holidays (e.g., last 2 weeks December), we're open every week, Monday through Thursday for walk-ins from 9:00 am to Noon at 2380 Bisso Lane, Concord, CA 94520. We can also be reached via telephone:  (925) 608-6683, email: ccmg@ucanr.edu, or on the web at  http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/Ask_Us/MGCC Blogs can be found at http://ccmg.edu/HortCoCo/ You can also subscribe to the Biog.

Posted on Monday, October 14, 2019 at 12:10 AM

Parasitoid Palooza at Bohart Museum Open House

Just in time for Halloween! The orange and black Harlequin beetles will be displayed at the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on Oct. 19. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Mark your calendars for a "parade of parasitoids!" The Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Davis,...

Just in time for Halloween! The orange and black Harlequin beetles will be displayed at the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on Oct. 19. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Just in time for Halloween! The orange and black Harlequin beetles will be displayed at the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on Oct. 19. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Just in time for Halloween! The orange and black Harlequin beetles will be displayed at the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on Oct. 19. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, October 11, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Power outages may put too much emphasis on one cause of wildfire

UCCE advisors Lenya Quinn-Davidson and Jeffrey Stackhouse at a prescribed burn in Humboldt County.
While many California communities have been left without power, UC Cooperative Extension fire scientist Lenya Quinn-Davidson worries that last year's Camp Fire has put too much focus on utility companies as the cause of fires, reported Tara Law in TIME.

Major fires are sometimes caused by utilities, but there are many other potential causes, including lightning, arson and sparks from dragging chains. All of these factors, are compounded by "lack of fuel management, poor land-use planning, and homes that aren't ready for fire and aren't resilient to fire," Quinn-Davidson said.

Power outages can complicate response and evacuation efforts should a fire break out, Quinn-Davidson said. Phone lines have been jammed during this week's outages and people have had trouble communicating with loved ones.

“If a fire starts because of other causes — which could easily happen under severe conditions — now we have no way to communicate,” she told the TIME reporter. “Seriously, like, if this power outage happened when the Carr Fire (sparked by a vehicle) happened — how would you evacuate people? That's completely possible. You could have a power outage and have a fire start from a roadside cigarette. Or arson. Or anything. And then what?” 

The TIME article also quoted Jeffrey Stackhouse, UCCE livestock and natural resources advisor in Humboldt and Del Norte counties, about the sweeping power outages.

“People are freaking out around here,” he said.

Nevertheless, Stackhouse and Quinn-Davidson agree that scheduled power outages shouldn't be eliminated as a tool for preventing fires. They believe outages should be used sparingly, and in conjunction with preventative measures, such as fire-proofing homes and managing land.

“The disruption is pretty huge for something we're not sure is going to prevent a major wildfire. The actual likelihood of that event was not equal to the impact that this is having,” Quinn-Davidson said.

Read about Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse's efforts to improve fire resilience in Humboldt County by establishing a prescribed burn association.

Posted on Friday, October 11, 2019 at 8:28 AM

Bay Area Bee Fair on Oct. 13: The Place to 'Bee'

Black-tailed bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, nectaring on nectarine blossoms. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's a fair. It's a party. It's a pollinator party. It's the Bay Area Bee Fair in Berkeley. And it's the place to be on...

Black-tailed bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, nectaring on nectarine blossoms. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Black-tailed bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, nectaring on nectarine blossoms. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Black-tailed bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, nectaring on nectarine blossoms. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus  vosnesenskii, nectaring on Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, nectaring on Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, nectaring on Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A black-tailed bee, Bombus californicus, nectaring on blanket flower, Gaillardia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A black-tailed bee, Bombus californicus, nectaring on blanket flower, Gaillardia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A black-tailed bee, Bombus californicus, nectaring on blanket flower, Gaillardia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, and honey bee, Apis mellifera, sharing a purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, and honey bee, Apis mellifera, sharing a purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, and honey bee, Apis mellifera, sharing a purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Robbin Thorp Began His Career Studying Honey Bees and Almonds

A honey bee packing pollen and nectaring on an almond blossom at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Yes, he began his career studying honey bees. The late Robbin Thorp, the renowned UC Davis distinguished emeritus professor...

A honey bee packing pollen and nectaring on an almond blossom at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee packing pollen and nectaring on an almond blossom at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee packing pollen and nectaring on an almond blossom at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

In his retirement, Robbin Thorp co-authored  two books,
In his retirement, Robbin Thorp co-authored two books, "Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide" and "California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

In his retirement, Robbin Thorp co-authored two books, "Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide" and "California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Robbin Thorp (left), legendary authority on bees, shows UC Davis alumnus Alex Wild the
Robbin Thorp (left), legendary authority on bees, shows UC Davis alumnus Alex Wild the "Miss Bee Haven" sculpture in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's bee garden on Bee Biology Road. Wild, who received his doctorate in entomology at UC Davis, is the curator of entomology at the University of Texas, Austin. This image was taken in 2008. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Robbin Thorp (left), legendary authority on bees, shows UC Davis alumnus Alex Wild the "Miss Bee Haven" sculpture in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's bee garden on Bee Biology Road. Wild, who received his doctorate in entomology at UC Davis, is the curator of entomology at the University of Texas, Austin. This image was taken in 2008. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 9:00 AM

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