Gardening - Hot Topics

Gardening - Hot Topics

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October Pest of the Month:

Cluster Flies

One of the most common fall home-invading insects is the cluster fly.  These flies are noticeable when they congregate, often in large numbers, on the warm side of buildings during the day.  At night they search out cracks and crevices to crawl into to protect themselves from the winter.  They hibernate in wall voids and attics.  Occasionally they can awaken from hibernation on warm sunny days during the winter and find their way into living spaces.  No pesticide is recommended other than a fly swatter.

Frequently Discussed Topics

Following are publications that answer the most frequently asked questions the Garden Hotline staff receive this time of the year. Please call or contact us with your questions at 248-858-0902.  See our hours.


Digging and Storing Tender Bulbs

Plan Now for Spring Color

Winter Storage of Geranium and Tuberous Plants


Spotted Wing Drosophila


Asian Lady Beetle

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Cluster Flies

Overwintering Home-Invading Pests

Western Conifer Seed Bug


Controlling Broadleaf Weeds in Lawn is Best Done in October

Fall Weed Control

Fertilizing Home Lawns to Preserve Water Quality

How to choose and when to apply grub control products for your lawn

Mulching Tree Leaves into Lawns

Tips for Seeding Lawns in September

Plants and Landscape

October Landscape Guide

Deer Resistant Plants for Homeowners

Fall/Winter Houseplant Care

Soil Management

Don't Guess, Soil Test

Trees and Shrubs

Evergreen Needle Drop

Fall Webworm

Magnolia Scale

Maple Tar Spot

Oak Wilt in Michigan

Scale Insects

Spruce Decline



Weed identification and control web site at MSU Turf Weeds

Seasonal Resource for Current Conditions and Plant/Pest Problems

An excellent resource for current conditions and plant/pest problems is the MSU Extension News web site, written by MSU faculty and MSU Extension staff.  These seasonal electronic articles offer Lawn & Garden pest management advice regarding a variety of topic areas such as Community Gardening, Composting & Recycling, Home Gardening, Landscaping, Pest Management, Turf, and Water Usage.  You can subscribe to various topics and have updates to their web site sent to you automatically.

Food donation fact sheet available from MSU Extension’s Michigan Fresh

Hungry people need good food – and gardeners can provide safe, nutritious food to those who might otherwise go without.   Learn how community gardeners can donate extra produce to food pantries with Michigan State University Extension's fact sheet           “Fresh Produce Donation Guidelines for Gardeners.”  This fact sheet includes recommended ways to handle and prepare the produce, information about the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, and more.  
Fact sheets – on topics from apples to winter squash – are also available on the Michigan Fresh website at


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