Becoming a Master Gardener
Where can I learn more about becoming a Master Gardener?
See the Rutgers Master Gardener Program for detailed information.
How can I become a Rutgers Master Gardener?
If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener, please visit njaes.rutgers.edu/master-gardeners and complete the application form under ‘Publications’. Return the completed application to our office using the mailing address on the second page of the application. You may also return the application in person by dropping it off at our help window. If you have any questions about becoming a Master Gardener, please contact our Master Gardener coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 609-265-5050 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday–Friday.
Diagnostics and Testing
What if I need a soil test?
Soil test kits are not currently available for purchase at our office. Visit the Rutgers Soil Testing Lab website for instructions on how to collect a representative sample using a trowel/spade and bucket. Place sample in a zip-top sandwich bag then mail the sample to the lab with the completed soil test questionnaire (PDF) and your payment information.
What do I do if I need to pick something up or drop off at the Extension Office?
Our vestibule and lobby are open for us to continue to provide the services you have relied upon. It is best to call ahead to the office and we will assist in any way possible.
Do I need to report spotted lanternfly sightings?
Please do not report spotted lanternfly sightings in Burlington County. Our county is already quarantined, meaning infestations are known to be widespread and reporting is no longer necessary. Visit the NJ Department of Agriculture website dedicated to Spotted Lanternfly for more information on this invasive pest and its distribution.
Which insecticides can I use to control spotted lanternfly?
Information on recommended chemical control options for SLF is available on the NJ Department of Agriculture website dedicated to this invasive pest. Note that the label is the law when applying any pesticide. It is your responsibility as the applicator to follow the application instructions and safety precautions indicated on the pesticide label.
Can I use home remedies to control spotted lanternfly?
Home remedies may be appealing but, unlike commercial products, home remedies have not gone through an extensive approval process for safety or efficacy, do not come with precise instructions, and lack details on safety precautions for mixing, application, and disposal. Dish detergent is a commonly recommended component of home insecticidal remedies, for example, but its use can harm beneficial insects and cause plant leaves to burn if applied on sunny days. It is important to know which life stage you are targeting, and this information is often lacking in recipes for home remedies. For a more detailed explanation of concerns with the use of home remedies to control spotted lanternfly, see “Avoid Home Remedies to Control Spotted Lanternfly” . Always look for reputable sources of information (.edu or .gov) when seeking to control home and garden pests.
Besides insecticides, how else can I manage spotted lanternfly?
Complementary strategies include removing and destroying spotted lanternfly at all life stages, removing host trees, installing tree traps, and inspecting your vehicle for potential SLF hitchhikers. For information on these strategies, visit the NJ Department of Agriculture website on spotted lanternfly.
What do I do if I find a tick?
First, remove the tick promptly. Watch this video on how to properly remove a tick. You may want to save the tick for identification, which we can do at our Extension office. Perform a full tick check on yourself in case there is more than one tick. Remove clothing and tumble dry on high heat for 1 hour to kill additional ticks.
Be on the lookout for symptoms of a tick-borne disease, such as fever, headache, muscle ache, or rash. Should symptoms develop, see a physician immediately and tell them about the tick bite. Our office does not provide medical advice. For more information visit our NJAES site on ticks and tick-borne diseases.
Can the Extension office identify ticks?
Yes. After removing the tick, place it in a zip-lock bag or other airtight container for preservation. Do not place it in tape. Please call us at 609-265-5050 to indicate your intent to drop off a sample.
While we offer tick identification services, we do not offer any medical advice. Be on the lookout for symptoms of a tick-borne disease, such as fever, headache, muscle ache, or rash. Should symptoms develop, see a physician immediately and tell them about the tick bite.
If you wish to identify the tick on your own, consider using this online tool from the University of Rhode Island.
For more information visit our NJAES site on ticks and tick-borne diseases.
How can I prevent tick bites?
Prevent future tick bites by wearing repellents, avoiding tick-infested areas, and performing frequent tick checks. The CDC offers excellent advice on tick bite prevention for both people and pets. There are several key landscape modification techniques that can also help reduce tick populations in your backyard. Chemical control should always be a last resort as the pesticides sprayed for ticks will also kill beneficial insects, like butterflies and bees. For more information visit our NJAES website on ticks and tick-borne diseases.
Which diseases are transmitted by ticks in New Jersey?
While Lyme disease (transmitted by blacklegged ticks) is the most common and well-known, there are several other diseases of concern:
- Anaplasmosis (blacklegged ticks)
- Babesiosis (blacklegged ticks)
- Ehrlichiosis (lone star ticks)
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (American dog ticks)
- Powassan virus (blacklegged ticks, woodchuck ticks)
Be on the lookout for symptoms of a tick-borne disease, such as fever, headache, muscle ache, or rash. Should symptoms develop, see a physician immediately and tell them about the tick bite. For more information visit our NJAES site on ticks and tick-borne diseases.
Asian Giant Hornet
Is the Asian Giant Hornet present in New Jersey?
No, the Asian Giant Hornet has not been identified outside of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and Canada. There are several other hornet and wasp species found in NJ which are commonly misidentified as the Asian Giant Hornet, however. Familiarize yourself with these lookalikes and, for more information on the Asian Giant Hornet, check out this SEBS Newsroom article.
Visit the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station website for responses to frequently asked questions related to:
- Fruit Trees
- Garden and Household Pests
- Lawn Care and Landscaping
- Pesticides and Fertilizer
- Trees and Shrubs
- Vegetable Gardening and Small Fruits