University of Maryland Extension: Garden Q&A
Q: At our Fourth of July picnic we had tiny red insects crawling all over the patio pavers! Someone said they are mites. How do I get rid of paver mites, if possible organically?
A: These are clover mites. You’ll notice they have eight legs, not the usual six which insects have, so technically they are not insects. On your pavers, you can spray them with insecticidal soap. They are usually a temporary pest, often of new homes or landscapes. Call or go online for our clover mite publication: http://www.hgic.umd.edu/_media/documents/hg66_000.pdf.
Q: I am moving to a new home with a sizable backyard that doesn't have many trees. I want some fast growing shade trees. What do you recommend?
A: We hesitate to recommend fast growing trees for shade, primarily because fast growing trees are usually weak, brittle, or messy trees that can cause problems in the future. It is important that you choose trees based on their ultimate mature size and shape and that you plant them at a proper distance from your home and property lines. Some of the better, relatively fast growing shade trees include pin oaks, willow oaks, maples or one of the new disease-resistant beeches.
(To avoid invasive trees, see our publication, ”Invasive Plant Control in Maryland”: http://www.hgic.umd.edu/_media/documents/hg88.pdf. )