Home & Garden

WSU Extension Q&A

Q. My friend said not to plant an apple tree because of the codling moth. What is it and what does it do to an apple tree?

A. Codling moth is an insect that causes large economic losses in commercial tree fruit. Homeowners are required to control this pest with either pesticides or exclusion (bagging individual apples). The larvae burrow into the apple and leave small, round, brown frass near the entrance hole. Without proper control, we would all have the iconic “worm” in the apple.

Q. I recently heard eating raw flour could cause food poisoning. Is that true?

A. Yes. In 2008, raw flour was associated with a salmonella outbreak in New Zealand, and in 2009 an E. coli outbreak in the U.S. So when you’re cooking and baking, treat uncooked flour as you would other potentially dangerous raw ingredient. Make sure you do not eat uncooked dough, even if you use pasteurized eggs. Wash hands after touching flour, as well as raw eggs, meat and poultry.

Q. How do I take a sample of my hay for forage testing?

A. Obtaining a random but representative sample is extremely important. Samples should be taken from a “lot” of hay. The same “lot” of hay is defined as hay from the same harvest, same field, same type of harvest conditions, same storage and same weather conditions during harvest. Take 20 probes of hay from the end of the bales. Samples should be sealed in an airtight bag for shipment to the laboratory.

Q. I saw a 4-H clover on a Washington license plate. How can I get a 4-H license plate for my car?

A. Washington Department of Licensing now is issuing the 4-H For YOUth! plate. 4-H license plates may be bought by any Washington vehicle owner. They are available for passenger vehicles, trailers and motorcycles and may be transferred from vehicle to vehicle. Go to www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregistration/sp4h.html or contact your DOL for the special license plate application and further instructions.

-- Questions should be called in to the WSU Extension offices in Kennewick at 735-3551 or Pasco at 547-3511.