Tag Archive: Control

New Insect and Mite Control Guide for Florida Cotton Growers

New Insect and Mite Control Guide for Florida Cotton Growers

Joe Funderburk, Professor of Entomology, NFREC Quincy

A UF/IFAS EDIS fact sheet is now available entitled “Insect and Mite Integrated Pest Management in Florida Cotton” by Joe Funderburk, Nicole Casuso, Norman Leppla, and Michael Donahue. The guide provides growers with up-to-date information on scouting and managing insects and mites in their fields.

The guide contains a link to a cotton insect identification guide. It also contains links to information on individual insect identification and their damage, including tobacco thrips, tobacco budworm, cotton bollworm, true armyworm, beet armyworm, fall armyworm, cutworms, loopers, boll weevil, plant bugs and stink bugs, cotton aphid, broad mite, two-spotted spider mite, and silverleaf whitefly.

The guide provides scouting information and damage thresholds which are important to avoid unnecessary pesticide application and to conserve important natural enemies. Conversely, cotton fields require frequent scouting from emergence to harvest as damaging pest populations can develop quickly. The guide details the recommended period of sampling and methods of sampling that are appropriate for individual pests. The average number of the pests in the samples then is used to determine if a management tactic is needed to prevent the pest from reaching a damage threshold.

For example, sweep netting is frequently used to estimate the number of plant bug adults once squaring begins in a cotton field (Figure 1). Take several 25-sweep samples in a field to determine if populations are approaching damage thresholds in a field.

Figure 1. Sweep netting is a way to monitor several cotton insect pests, including plant bugs and stink bugs. Credit: Joe Funderburk

For cotton boll weevils, pheromone traps are an efficient way to monitor (Figure 2). One trap is recommended for every 20 acres in a field.

Figure 2. Pheromone traps are used to monitor for boll weevils. Credit: Joe Funderburk

The guide serves as a reference for management tactics with links to other EDIS articles and external sources of information on arthropod management in cotton. These include cultural controls, mechanical controls, biological controls, and chemical controls. The article serves as a guide for Bt and non-BT cotton.

A pesticide table is included from the National Pesticide Informational Retrieval System that lists the major arthropod pests of cotton in Florida, the active ingredients and example products registered for controlling them, and the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) classification system for use in rotating active ingredients to prevent resistance in target pests. The table includes special information on precautions and recommendations for maximizing control in Florida.

This EDIS publication website allows UF/IFAS extension researchers, extension specialists, and extension agents to regularly update fact sheets to include the most current information.

Download and print out the pdf, printer friendly version of this new fact sheet:

Insect and Mite Integrated Pest Management in Florida Cotton



Author: Joe Funderburk – jef@ufl.edu


Joe Funderburk

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/08/new-insect-and-mite-control-guide-for-florida-cotton-growers/

Invasive Exotic Species and Control Workshop – September 28

Invasive Exotic Species and Control Workshop – September 28

The Six Rivers Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) group and the Florida Forest Stewardship Program will offer an Invasive Exotic Species and Control Workshop on September 28, 2017; 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Central. This one day workshop will be held at the UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension Office, 3098 Airport Rd, Crestview, Florida 32539.  You are invited to learn about identifying and controlling some of the most troublesome invasive exotic plants like cogongrass, Japanese climbing fern, privet and others. We’ll also address exotic insects that are causing, or will cause big headaches for forestry and natural resource professionals. Earn pesticide applicator CEUs and forestry CFEs and connect with partnership and assistance opportunities!

Cost is $ 10 per person, lunch and materials included. You can register online through the Eventbrite Registration site. You can also reserve a space by contacting UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension at (850) 689-5850 and pay at the event with cash or check, made  payable to the University of Florida. Approved for 4.0 Category 1 SAF CFEs. FDACS pesticide CEUs are still pending approval.

Cogongrass will take over native or cultivated vegetation, as can bee seen in this hay field. Photo credit: Doug Mayo



Author: Libbie Johnson – libbiej@ufl.edu

Agriculture agent at UF IFAS Escambia County Extension.

Libbie Johnson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/25/invasive-exotic-species-and-control-workshop-september-28/

Invasive Exotic Species and Control Workshop

Invasive Exotic Species and Control Workshop

Join us to learn about identifying and controlling some of the most troublesome invasive exotic plants like cogongrass, Japanese climbing fern, privet, and others.  We will also address exotic insects that are causing, or will cause, big headaches for forestry and natural resource professionals.  Earn pesticide applicator CEU’s, forestry CEU’s and connect with partnership and assistance opportunities.


Presented by the Six Rivers CISMA and the Florida Forest Stewardship

September 28, 2017

9:00 – 3:00 CDT

Okaloosa County Extension Office

3098 Airport Rd.

Crestview FL 32539-7124



Japanese Climbing Fern can quickly cover natural vegetation. Spores and small plants can be potentially transported in pine straw. Climbing ferns are a problem for managed timber and home landscapes. Photo by L. Scott Jackson

$ 10 per person; lunch and materials included


Or, call Okaloosa County Extension at (850) 689-5850


Author: Rick O’Connor – roc1@ufl.edu

Sea Grant Extension Agent in Escambia County

Rick O’Connor

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/18/invasive-exotic-species-and-control-workshop/

Friday Feature: The Cow Sprayer Automated Fly Control System

Friday Feature:  The Cow Sprayer Automated Fly Control System

Thanks to Nick Simmons, Escambia County Extension for sending in this week’s featured video.  This video highlights an innovation developed by Hue Fussell, a farmer in Ambrose, GA who invented “The Cow Sprayer.”  The Cow Sprayer automatically applies insecticide to every cow as they walk through a portable frame gate.  For just under $ 3,000 this solar powered system can be used to spray every cow in the herd without having to catch them in a squeeze chute or pen the cattle.  As they walk through the system voluntarily,  cows are gently sprayed individually.



If you enjoyed this video, you might want to check out the featured videos from previous weeks:  Friday Features

If you come across a humorous video or interesting story related to agriculture, please send in a link, so we can share it with our readers. Send video links to:  Doug Mayo



Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/03/friday-feature-the-cow-sprayer-automated-fly-control-system/

Cattle Fly Control Tips

Cattle Fly Control Tips

A cloud of horn flies (the numerous white specks), Haematobia irritans irritans (Linnaeus), feeding on cows. Photo credit: Lane Foil, Louisiana State University. Source:  Horn Fly Haematobia irritans irritans

Dr. Lew Strickland, Extension Veterinarian,Department of Animal Science,University of Tennessee

Now that warm weather has arrived, everyone will start to focus on all the chores that have to be done to “gear” up for the upcoming season, including fly control. Fly infestation reduces performance and the economic loss from each horn fly biting an animal 30 times/day can also be substantial.
Certain flies are responsible for spreading diseases such as pink eye and potentially Anaplasmosis and or Bovine Leukosis, so to decrease disease risk to your livestock here are a few tips to reduce the flies’ impact on your farm’s production.
  • Horn fly. Photo credit: J. F. Butler, University of Florida. Source:  External Parasites on Beef Cattle

    Feed a larvicide or an insect growth regulator early in the season starting 30 days before flies typically emerge. Continue to feed until 30 days after a killing frost.

  • Pour-ons. During spring turnout time, you can use a product that is labeled to control internal parasites, as these products also have efficacy against horn flies. Later in the year, use products only labeled for flies and/or lice. Using pour-on dewormers multiple times throughout the year could lead to internal parasite resistance issues.
  • Dust bags/cattle rubs. The advantage of a dust bag or rub is that, if placed at a site where all cattle must use it (watering trough, mineral lick), it can provide economical control of face and horn flies. Proper placement and keeping it charged with insecticide are the keys. Also, strips that can be mounted to mineral feeders can also be an efficient way to apply insecticide to the face of cattle.
  • Topical sprays. Timely application of fly sprays or paint ball style packets throughout the year can be effective in reducing the fly population, but can be time-consuming if cattle are grazing an extensive area.
  • Fly tags. The key to using tags is to wait until you have 200 flies/cow to place the tags. If applied too early, there will be decreased efficiency. Use pyrethroid tags for two consecutive years, then switch to an organophosphate tag for one year to reduce pyrethroid resistance. Also, there are new generation fly tags that contain different insecticides and are quite helpful in controlling fly populations. Always follow label directions on the number of tags/cow. Be sure to remove tags at the end of the season to prevent resistance problems.
  • Don’t mix classes of chemicals in the pour-ons, topicals, and fly tags within the same year. Use the same class 1-2 years, then rotate.
  • Fly predators. Not all flies are bad. Fly predators, nature’s own self-inflicted enemy, can be your ally in the fight against pest flies. These are tiny, non-stinging, non-biting wasps that feed on fly larvae and interrupt the breeding cycle of flies, destroying the next generation of flies before they hatch into disease-carrying adults. These predators can be used in areas where cattle tend to congregate and manure tends to accumulate, just apply the predators to manure piles in these areas. Replenish your fly predator supply once a month from April to September; otherwise the fly life cycle will only be broken for a few weeks. (Source:  Chris Carter, Southern States)
A multifaceted approach is best for attaining your goal of “controlling” flies, so using just one strategy from the above list probably won’t give you the results you anticipate. Since there are so many products on the market for fly control, work with your Extension Agent or veterinarian to develop a plan to control flies that best suits your cattle operation.

For more information on this subject, and control recommendations in Florida, use the following publication links:

Horn Fly Haematobia irritans irritans

Horn Fly Management


Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/03/cattle-fly-control-tips/

Mosquito Control Can Be As Close As A Farm Pond

Mosquito Control Can Be As Close As A Farm Pond

Eastern Mosquitofish are small in size, but with a gargantuan appetite for mosquito larvae. The tiny terrors can eat well over their body weight daily in developing mosquitos.

The consistent and ample rains of late over Florida’s Panhandle assure enough moisture is available for row crop production and development, and forage growth. It has also minimized, if not eliminated, the need for irrigation and its associated cost.

As with anything good, there is always an associated negative component which cannot be avoided. In other words there is a lead lining to every silver cloud.

In the case of sufficient rain, there will be mosquitos in areas where water stands for any length of time. Fortunately, there are water-borne native species which provide some balance to this aerial pest.

Gambusia holbrooki, commonly known as Eastern Mosquitofish, are a valuable instrument for controlling mosquitoes and midges in ponds and other bodies of water. Their diet is not exclusively mosquito larvae, but enough so to make them very helpful in reducing the population if the fish are present in sufficient numbers.

Mosquitofish are small, less than three inches at maturity and of a dull grey coloring. This mundanely camouflaged native fish seem less susceptible to wading bird predation than brightly colored fish or amphibians which also dine on mosquitos or their larvae.

This micro-sized predator is capable of eating more than the equivalent of its own body weight in mosquito larvae on a daily basis. Mature females of this specie literally eat hundreds of the developing pest each day.

If the insect larvae are not present in the Mosquitofish’s environment, this tiny fish with a tiger shark’s attitude will aggressively seek out other dining options, including its own species.

The Easter Mosquitofish is available at many fish hatcheries in the panhandle. Given their popularity this time of year, it is advisable to call and confirm inventory availability.

For more information on the Mosquitofish and other aquatic insect controls, read Fish Recommended for Mosquito and Midge Control in Ornamental Ponds.



Author: Les Harrison – harrisog@ufl.edu

Les Harrison is the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Director, Agriculture and Natural Resources. He works with small and medium sized producers in the Big Bend region of north Florida on a wide range of topics. He has a Master’s of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from Auburn University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism from the University of Florida.

Les Harrison

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/03/mosquito-control-can-be-as-close-as-a-farm-pond/

Weed Control During Drought

Backpack Sprayer in Cogongrass. Photo by Jennifer Bearden

Backpack Sprayer in Cogongrass. Photo by Jennifer Bearden

Herbicide failures are common during extended dry periods. This is frustrating for the pesticide applicator due to wasted time and chemicals.  There are logical reasons why certain herbicides fail during droughts.

There are two main reasons why herbicides fail in drought situations:

  • Less herbicide absorption through the leaf surface (uptake).
  • Translocation of herbicide within the plant is slowed or stopped.

Under drought conditions, plants close the stomata (small openings on the leaf surface) to reduce water evaporation. Plants also will increase the waxy covering on the leaf surface, once again to decrease plant water loss.  Thus, foliar applied herbicides are less likely to be absorbed by drought stressed plants.

Many herbicides such as glyphosate are translocated from the plant uptake site to the site of action (where it kills the plant). Translocation of herbicides is slowed or even stopped since the plants slow or cease to grow during dry periods.  Soil applied herbicides are also not effective during a drought because uptake through the roots is also slowed due to low soil moisture.

Dr. Ramon Leon, UF IFAS Weed Science Specialist, had this to say on the subject, “Ironically, we need healthy weeds for herbicides to be effective. When weeds are stressed, herbicide uptake by leaves and roots and herbicide movement within the weed are reduced, so it is more difficult for the herbicide to get to the place in the plant where it will kill it. This situation is more evident when we apply postemergence herbicides.

What can a pesticide applicator do? The most obvious answer is to wait until the dry conditions improve.  Sometimes, a heavy dewfall is enough moisture for herbicide uptake and translocation.  To overcome the waxy cuticle barrier, applicants should add the appropriate (listed on the label) adjuvant to the sprayer.

For more information: Herbicide Management During Drought from the Noble Foundation



Author: Jennifer Bearden – bearden@ufl.edu

Agriculture Agent Okaloosa County

Jennifer Bearden

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/12/03/weed-control-during-drought/

Zika Virus and Mosquito Control – Recommendations for Beekeepers and Rural Landowners

Zika Virus and Mosquito Control – Recommendations for Beekeepers and Rural Landowners

Judy Biss, UF/IFAS Extension Calhoun County Office, Jace Ford, Calhoun County Mosquito Control, Jeff Pippin, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Apiary Inspection

By now you have probably heard about Zika Virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes.  As a beekeeper, you may be concerned about the safety of your bees during pesticide treatments to control mosquitoes.  As a rural landowner, you probably have more places where mosquitoes can live and lay their eggs than a homeowner who lives in the city.  Below are a few facts and resources for you to consider in managing disease carrying mosquitoes.

The Background:

Zika was discovered in 1947 in the Zika Forest of Uganda, Africa from a sentinel monkey that was being used in a yellow fever research project.  It was first isolated from a human in Nigeria in 1954.  The mosquitoes that can carry the Zika virus live here in Florida, and are known as “container mosquitoes,” specifically, the yellow fever mosquito, and the Asian tiger mosquito.  These mosquitoes can, and do, lay their eggs in water trapped in containers, and they don’t require very much water to complete their life-cycle.  They even use the small amounts of water trapped in bromeliad plants!  When water covers their eggs, they hatch and become adults in about a week.

A e. aegypti and Ae. albopictus . University of Florida, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory.

Two mosquito species in Florida are potential vectors of the Zika virus: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.  Photo credit:  University of Florida, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory.

The Outbreak:

Currently, an outbreak of Zika Virus is circulating in central and South America, the Caribbean, and the United States.  In the United States, hundreds of travel-related cases of the disease have been reported from several states, including Florida.  In July of this year, the first locally acquired Zika infections were confirmed in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties in Florida.  As of September 14, 2016, the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) reported 639 travel-acquired, and 71 locally acquired cases of Zika in Florida alone.

The Virus:

Zika symptoms usually include a sudden onset of fever, with rash, joint pain, and pink eye, and may include muscle aches and headache.  Symptoms can last from several days to a week, but a large percentage of infected people have no symptoms at all!   While hospitalizations and fatalities are uncommon, Zika has been linked to both Guillain-Barre syndrome, and the newborn neurological condition called microcephaly.  Because of the potential impact to infants, the FDOH is advising that pregnant women avoid non-essential travel to the area in Miami-Dade County Florida where local transmission of Zika has occurred.  Currently, there are no vaccines or medications available to prevent infection.

Minimizing the Threat:

Avoiding mosquito bites, and reducing their breeding habitats is the best defense against Zika virus infection.  We need to do all we can to manage the mosquitoes most likely to transmit Zika and other diseases.

Eliminate Mosquito Egg Laying Habitats:

  • Get in the habit of routinely rinsing water from any containers on your property, like tires, wheel barrows, buckets, pet bowls, boats, lids, kiddie pools, bottles, etc.
  • If you grow Bromeliads, replace the water in the plant each week.
  • Bird baths and dog bowls should be flushed with clean water each week, or treated with mosquito dunks available at local hardware and department stores.

Protect yourself:

  • Inspect your windows and doors for holes and repair them.
  • Try to avoid going out at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long sleeves shirts and pants.
  • Use mosquito repellents when you are outside. The longest lasting repellents contain deet and picaridin.
    • Whatever type of repellent you use, make sure it’s properly labeled, and follow instructions!

If you have beehives, contact your local Mosquito Control District Coordinator. Photo by Judy Biss

What about your Bees and Beehives?

You’ve invested a lot of time and effort in your bee colonies and, of course, you want to minimize their exposure to mosquito insecticides that can kill them.

  • The best and most productive thing you can do to protect your bees is to contact your local Mosquito Control District Coordinator. Nearly every county in Florida has a Mosquito Control Program. The following Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website has a list of Mosquito Control Districts phone numbers:  Mosquito Control Districts Directory
  • Another critical source of beekeeping information and expertise on this issue is your local Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Apiary Inspector. You can find their contact information here at this website: FDACS Apiary Inspector Directory
  • Most, if not all, Mosquito Control Districts will honor a no-spray perimeter around the location of your beehives, but you must call them to get on that list.
  • Work with the district’s spray team to assist them in identifying areas that need to be sprayed, and encourage them to spray after dark, when bees are not flying.
  • Do not cover colonies with plastic or other covers before a spray event. This could cause colonies to overheat.
  • If possible, locate bees in areas that are not sprayed routinely, and identify a location to move your hives in case of emergency
  • Place hives no closer than 300 feet from roadways where ground truck operations may occur.
  • Be sure to place a sign nearby with up-to-date contact information.
  • Be aware of wind conditions near your apiary. Place hives so the entrance faces downwind or behind a windbreak
  • Remember, however, that Mosquito Control Districts work under certain statewide constraints.  Public safety takes precedence over everything else. During weather related or public health emergencies, mosquito control districts may be required to temporarily suspend the no spray areas.

Zika is not the first, or probably last, mosquito borne illness we may encounter.  While malaria and yellow fever are now exceedingly rare in Florida, other mosquito transmitted diseases we need to be aware of include dengue, chikungunya, eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, west Nile virus, and now Zika.  That’s why protection against mosquito bites is so important!

Please see the following resources used for this article for more information:




Author: Judy Biss – judy.ludlow@ufl.edu

Judy Ludlow is the Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent in Calhoun County, Florida

Judy Biss

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/24/zika-virus-and-mosquito-control-recommendations-for-beekeepers-and-rural-landowners/

Post-Harvest Tips for Palmer Pigweed Control

Post-Harvest Tips for Palmer Pigweed Control

Palmer amaranth that emerged after harvest and survived into December. Photo credit: Jay Ferrell

Palmer amaranth that emerged after harvest and survived into December. Photo credit: Jay Ferrell

Many Florida cotton and peanut farmers have been fighting Palmer amaranth (pigweed) all season.  With harvest is just around the corner, many farmers begin to relax their weed control efforts.  Regrettably, you can’t give up on this horrible weed yet.  With daytime temperatures still reaching the high 80’s or low 90’s with 12 hours of sunlight, Palmer amaranth will still germinate and produce seed.  Therefore, giving up on Palmer right now can undo all the hard work that has been expended by allowing a late seed crop to develop.

After peanuts or cotton have been completely harvested, you can use 2,4-D or Weedmaster without as much concern for sensitive crops.  These herbicides are inexpensive and highly effective on Palmer amaranth, even those that are resistant to glyphosate, Cadre, or both.  One application of 2,4-D or Weedmaster will likely provide enough control that a later Palmer amaranth crop will not have time to develop before cool weather brings seed germination to an end.

Palmer amaranth is a serious problem for crop production, but seed longevity for this plant is actually quite short.  A few years of proactive management at the end of the growing season can greatly reduce the impact of this weed.  But, allowing multiple seed crops, especially those that develop late in the season when crop competition has been removed, can be particularly devastating the following season.

For more information on controlling Palmer amaranth use the following links:

Control of Palmer Amaranth in Agronomic Crops

Amaranthus palmeri Palmer Amaranth

Weed Management in Cotton

Weed Management in Peanuts



Author: jferrell – jferrell@ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/03/post-harvest-tips-for-palmer-pigweed-control/

Weed Control Can Also Reduce Insect Damage

Weed Control Can Also Reduce Insect Damage

A caterpillar feeding.

A caterpillar feeding at the edge of a field. Photo Credit: UF/IFAS Extension

Insects, like humans, do not like exerting more effort than is necessary. They are also picky eaters. When an insect lands on a plant that it cannot eat or doesn’t prefer to eat, then it must exert more time and effort to search for a more palatable host plant. Fortunately for the farmer, the more time spent searching for a host equates to less time damaging crops and multiplying. Sometimes, the pest will evacuate the area completely and hopefully perish. Unfortunately, however, weeds growing in and around your crops not only rob the soil of nutrients, but many weed species serve as hosts to plant pests. These weeds are not only detrimental to a cash crop, but they can also serve as a host to crop pests on the edge of a field.

A few simple practices can help exclude pests from your crops:

  1. Sanitation – Keep the ground immediately adjacent to your fields (10-20 feet) free from weeds. Most likely, you have roads throughout your fields. It is important to control weeds on these roads and to extend the weed free area around your fields out to at least 10 feet.
  2. Scouting – Not only should you scout the crops in your field, but you should also scout the areas around your field. Scout the areas especially if you did not follow step number one.
  3. Plant Trap Crops – A trap crop can be planted to draw pests away from the cash crop. Trap crops are an alternate host for the pest. They can be planted along the perimeter of the field and sprayed with insecticide when an insect threshold is reached. View Trap Cropping in Vegetable Production: One Tool for Managing Pests for a list of trap crops suitable for the Southeast.

Insects do not like their feeding patterns to be disrupted. You can modify their feeding progression by eliminating host plant species along their path to destruction. In turn, you can potentially reduce the amount of insecticide applications needed to control them which saves you both time and money. Two publications that will give you more information on this topic are Intercropping, Crop Diversity and Pest Management and Exclusion Methods for Managing Greenhouse Vegetable Pests.



Author: Matt Lollar – mlollar@ufl.edu

Matt Lollar is the Jackson County Horticulture Agent. He has 5 years of experience with University of Florida/IFAS Extension and he began his career in Sanford, FL as the Seminole County Horticulture Agent. Matt is originally from Belle Fontaine, AL. He earned his MS and BS degrees in Horticulture Production from Auburn University.

Matt Lollar

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/07/23/weed-control-can-also-reduce-insect-damage/

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