Tag Archive: Insect

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

 

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Author: Joe Funderburk – jef@ufl.edu


http://nfrec.ifas.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/

Fall Vegetable Production Workshop – Combating Insect Pests September 12, 2017

Fall Vegetable Production Workshop – Combating Insect Pests September 12, 2017

On Tuesday, September 12, 2017 UF / IFAS Extension Washington County will be providing a insect pest identification and management workshop for vegetable producers and home gardeners throughout Northwest Florida.

Entomology specialists from the University of Florida and Extension agents will be leading hands on sessions focusing on insect pest management in vegetable production. This workshop is relevant to anyone growing vegetable crops in any season, but will have a special focus on fall vegetable pests. 

Lunch will be provided and  CEUs for pesticide license holders will also be available.

Cost: $ 15.00

Address: Washington County Ag Center East Wing, 1424 Jackson Ave, Chipley FL 32428.

Time: 8:30am-3:00pm

Pre Registration required for count: Contact Nikki or Cynthia at 850-638-6180 or email Matthew Orwat at mjorwat@ufl.edu

or register online at eventbrite HERE !

Agenda

  • Welcome and Introduction  8:30am-8:35 Matthew Orwat, Washington County Cooperative Extension,  Amanda Hodges, University of Florida

  • True bugs in Fall Vegetables-Identification and Management                      9:00am-10:15am

  • Cowpea Curculio                                                                                           10:15am-10:30pm

  • Break                                                                                                             10:30am-10:45am

  • Whitefly Management                                                                                    10:45am-11:10am

  • Invasive Species problems in North Florida Vegetable Production        11:10am-11:30am

  • Invasive Stink Bugs and Related True Bugs                                                  11:30am-11:50pm

  • Lunch    11:50pm-12:30pm

  • Tomato leafminer Tuta absoltua                                                                     12:30m-12:45pm

  • Old World bollworm and Exotic Spodoptera Pests                                         12:45pm-1:05pm

  • Common Vegetable Plant Diseases in the Florida Panhandle                       1:05pm-1:35pm

  • Pest and Pathogen Walk                                                                                 1:35pm-2:05pm

  • CAPS Exotic Corn Diseases of Concern                                                         2:05pm-2:35pm

  • Sample Submission, Arthropod and Disease samples                                    2:35pm-2:50p

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/26/fall-vegetable-production-workshop-combating-insect-pests-september-12-2017/

New UF/IFAS Entomologist is Surveying Insect Pests in Panhandle Row Crops

New UF/IFAS Entomologist is Surveying Insect Pests in Panhandle Row Crops

Dr. Silvana Paula-Moraes (right) and her field technician Latisa Ledbetter-Kish (left).

Silvana Paula-Moraes began working in the fall of 2016 at the  UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center (WFREC) based in Jay, Florida. Originally from Brazil, Dr. Moraes completed her PhD in Nebraska.  Her research has been dedicated to address several aspects of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Insect Resistance Management (IRM) for corn, cotton, and soybean.

Her appointment at WFREC is 70% research and 30% teaching, and will address several components of IPM, including the ecology of insect pests associated with field crops in Florida, insect movement, host utilization, and differential exposure to Bt toxins in Bt crops. This year, Dr. Moraes and Latisa Ledbetter-Kish, her field technician, have been working with Extension agents to monitor insect populations across three Panhandle counties (Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Jackson) in corn, peanuts, and cotton. UF/IFAS Extension Agent Libbie Johnson is coordinating the effort with growers in the western counties, and Ethan Carter with growers in Jackson County. Starting out, her first objective is to document the pests prevalent in the Florida Panhandle.

Her work includes the use of pheromone traps in both irrigated and dryland peanut and cotton fields. Pheromone traps consist of a plastic popup A-frame structure, with a sticky trap bottom liner placed inside. On the liner a small lure infused with pheromones is used to attract adult moths to the trap from a distance spanning roughly 60 meters.

Sticky sheet known as a liner on the bottom of trap with a lure placed in the middle (left), complete trap showing a liner and lure inside (right).

There are roughly eight fields across each county where pheromone traps are used to collect the adult moths of fall armyworms, soybean loopers, and corn earworms. Each field has a total of six traps, which are spaced equidistant and grouped in sets of three on two sides of a field.

Example of pheromone traps grouped in a peanut field (left), along with a close up of a trap (right).

Every two weeks, the liners are removed from the traps, dated and bagged, so that the number of moths from the two week span can be recorded in the lab for each trap location. The lure itself is replaced every four weeks.

Dr. Moraes holding a newly collected liner (left), example of a bagged liner which is taken to her lab for processing, so that the number of moths can be recorded.

Aside from pheromone traps, she is also collecting insects from the fields through the use of active sampling using a sweep net, beat cloth, and plant inspection. Samples are collected several times throughout the growing season, while the crops are at various physiological stages.

Ethan and Latisa sampled a peanut field during the the 2017 growing season using a beat cloth and plant inspection.

Overtime, this work will provide Florida-specific data regarding the frequency of moth flights, insect life cycle, threshold levels, and will help determine any pest resistance issues- whether it be from insecticide sprays or Bt crops.

 

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Author: Ethan Carter – ethancarter@ufl.edu

Ethan Carter is the Regional Row Crop IPM Agent in Jackson County. He earned his BS in Food and Resource Economics, and his MS in Agronomy, both from the University of Florida.

Ethan Carter

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/11/new-ufifas-entomologist-is-surveying-insect-pests-in-panhandle-row-crops/

UGA Pasture Insect Alert

UGA Pasture Insect Alert

Bermudagrass Stem Maggot

While doing plot work at the Sunbelt Ag Expo late this week, Dr. Lisa Baxter (a post-doc in our program hired to assist with our stem maggot research) and I observed bermudagrass stem maggot pressure in our bermudagrass stands there. Alicia, Coastal, Russell, Tifton 44, and common bermudagrass had all suffered more than 20% stem damage, though the stand was ready to cut and yield loss would probably be < 5%. The damage in Tifton 85 and Coastcross-II was barely noticeable. Meanwhile, damage in our research plots at Tifton was still very slight. Spotty damage has been reported across South GA, but the levels are high enough that producers below the Fall Line should strongly consider implementing the suppression technique. For more details, read:

BERMUDAGRASS STEM MAGGOT RESEARCH UPDATE.  A new Extension Bulletin that will provide more depth to this subject should be out later this summer.

Sugarcane Aphid

Dr. David Buntin, Extension Entomologist in Griffin, reported to me yesterday that he found sugarcane aphids (SCA) on grain sorghum sentinel plots planted in early May in Pike Co. Populations ranged from several to several hundred per leaf. Populations greater than 50 aphids per leaf are considered high enough to warrant an insecticide application. For more information about SCA management, view Dr. Buntin’s factsheet: MANAGEMENT OF SUGARCANE APHID ON GEORGIA SORGHUM IN 2017

 

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Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu

admin

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/04/uga-pasture-insect-alert/

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.

 

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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/

Panhandle Cotton Insect Situation

Panhandle Cotton Insect Situation

Early squaring cotton. Photo by Mike Donahoe

Early squaring cotton. Photo by Mike Donahoe

Tarnished Plant Bug Bugwood1

Tarnished plant bug. Photo credit: Russ Ottens, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Cotton throughout the area is squaring heavily and most of our oldest cotton is probably a week away from first bloom. There are reports of some fields being treated for tarnished plant bugs feeding on pinhead squares. It’s important to scout fields carefully and monitor square retention before making treatment decisions. Plants that are fruiting normally during prebloom should be setting at least 80 percent of the first and second position squares on the upper five fruiting branches. The recommended treatment threshold for plant bugs during the first two weeks of squaring is 8 per 100 sweeps with a sweep net or 1 per 6 row feet with a drop cloth. From the third week of squaring through bloom the threshold is 3 bugs/ 6 row feet using a drop cloth or 15 bugs/ 100 sweeps with a sweep net. A sweep net usually works best in prebloom cotton and a drop cloth during bloom. Plant bug numbers are often highest along field borders, especially next to corn or wild weed hosts such as fleabanes and wild radish.

Resistance to both pyrethroids and organophosphates has been documented in populations of plant bugs in other states. To reduce the chances of resistance try to use neonicotinoid products like Belay, Centric, imidacloprid, and Stafer (acetamiprid) before bloom. Diamond is an insect growth regulator that can be used, but it is only active on the immature plant bugs. It is generally used after the first two weeks of squaring and often mixed with other products. Later in the season, rely more on products like Orthene and Bidrin. Bidrin may only be used before first square or after first bloom.

Aphids and spider mites are beginning to show up in some areas. Be aware that treating for plant bugs can affect beneficials and flare aphids and spider mites. In most years, aphids increase during late June through early July and eventually crash due to a naturally occurring fungus, especially if high humidity conditions exist.

For more information refer to:

2016 Insect Control Guide for Agronomic Crops  pp. 2-21, & 96. Publication 2471. Mississippi State University Extension.

Cotton Insect, Disease, Nematode, and Weed Control Recommendations for 2016 pp. 1-12. IPM-0415. Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

Plan A for Plant Bugs  UTcrops News Blog. 6/9/19. The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.

2016 Georgia Cotton Production Guide pp. 30-46.

 

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Author: Michael Donahoe – mcd@ufl.edu

Michael Donahoe is the County Extension Director in Santa Rosa County. His educational program focuses on agronomic crop production with primarly responsibilities in integrated pest management and cotton production.

Michael Donahoe

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/06/24/panhandle-cotton-insect-situation/

Dormant Sprays Useful for Insect and Disease Management in Fruits and Ornamentals

Dormant Sprays Useful for Insect and Disease Management in Fruits and Ornamentals

Crapemyrtle Scale, UF IFAS Extension

Crapemyrtle Scale, UF / IFAS Extension

During cold January weather, one doesn’t often think about spraying fruit trees and ornamental shrubs for spring insects and diseases. It’s just not on the radar. The fact is January and February are the best time to apply dormant sprays to combat insect and disease issues. Many ask, “What are dormant sprays” ?

Dormant sprays act on insects or disease pathogens differently. Many insects overwinter on trees and shrubs, either as eggs or immobilized in a protective shell (scale insects).  Horticultural oils applied during cool dormant conditions work by smothering the eggs of some insect species or encapsulated scale insects. Since they cannot breathe, they die.

On the other hand, dormant sprays containing copper or sulfur actually kill latent fungal spores that are ready to infect the moment weather warms. They also burn tender young plant tissue, so can only be used when the plant is not actively growing. These preventative sprays can delay disease incidence in early spring and allow for reduction or elimination of regular fungicide applications. The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” surely applies to these situations.

There are several products on the market for dormant applications.

Dormant oil is a type of horticultural oil, made of refined petroleum products, for application on trees or shrubs when the trees are not actively growing. It has been in use for over 100 years. They are effective in the suppression of scale insects and mites. Care must be used to not apply them when daytime temperatures are above 75 degrees or night temperatures below 28 degrees. Other horticultural oils exist that can be applied during the growing season to control soft-bodied insects, but not during extremely hot weather. Many different brands exist, some are certified organic by OMRI. They can be purchased at most garden centers, but the best selection is usually found at your independent nursery or farm store.

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Cottony Cushion Scale, Image Credit, Matthew Orwat, UF / IFAS Extension

Dormant fungicides can be classified into two groups. Those that contain copper and those that contain sulfur. The most common preventative remedy for fungal disease is lime-sulfur. It is applied to dormant plants and actually sanitizes the stem, killing all fungal spores. It cannot be used during the growing season since it burns leafy tissue. Caution must be taken when mixing and loading since, being an acidic product, can burn the skin. Wear chemical resistant gloves when applying (bought at your local hardware store for $ 4.00-$ 10.00), safety goggles and follow all label directions carefully. Also, never apply lime-sulfur within one month of horticultural oil applications. It should be applied in early to mid February, avoiding hard freezes for the 24 hours around application time.

Dormant copper sprays are effective on both bacterial and fungal pathogens and used primarily on fruit crops for the suppression of many fruit diseases including fire blight, bacterial leaf spot, powdery mildew, downey mildew and anthracnose. One popular option, the “Bordeaux Mixture” blends copper with lime. This lime reduces the acidic nature of the copper, thus reducing tissue damage when applied to plants. Always read the label for proper personal protective equipment and dosage rates, to avoid copper toxicity.

For more information, contact your local extension agent or consult these extension publications from: Disease Management Strategies, and Pest Control Using Horticultural Oils .

 

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Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/01/14/dormant-sprays-useful-for-insect-and-disease-management-in-fruits-and-ornamentals/

Late Season Cotton Insect Control

Stinkbug damage – Ronald Smith, Auburn University, Bugwood.org

stinkbug damage – Ronald Smith, Auburn University, Bugwood.org

Cotton is maturing rapidly across the Panhandle and it’s shaping up to be one of the earliest harvest seasons in recent years. This is due for the most part to the dry weather and the high number of heat units accumulated this summer. Some early planted fields will be ready to defoliate within the next two weeks. However, some of the later fields still have young bolls that may need to be protected from insects for a while longer. The main pests now are stink bugs and they can damage bolls that are up to about 25 days old. Late season threshold for stinkbugs during the 6th, 7th, and 8th weeks of bloom is 20%, 30%, and 50% internal boll damage respectively.

When checking young bolls make sure to open them up and look for internal damage. Don’t just rely on external lesions. This year we are seeing a lot of fields, especially in areas that received the most rainfall, with spots on bolls that look like external stinkbug damage. However, these spots are actually caused by bacteria or fungal disease and there is no internal damage in the bolls like we see with stinkbug feeding. If this is the case there’s no need to spray for stinkbugs.

Disease Spots

Make sure to cut open young bolls and look for internal damage. Don’t just rely on external lesions. This year we are seeing a lot of fields, especially in areas that received the most rainfall, with spots on bolls that look like external stinkbug damage. These spots, however, are actually caused by bacteria or fungal disease.


For more information on this subject, download the:

2015-UGA-Cotton-Insect Control Guide

 

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Author: Michael Donahoe – mcd@ufl.edu

Michael Donahoe is the County Extension Director in Santa Rosa County. His educational program focuses on agronomic crop production with primarly responsibilities in integrated pest management and cotton production.

Michael Donahoe

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/08/28/late-season-cotton-insect-control/

Vegetable Garden Insect and Disease Management

Vegetable Garden Insect and Disease Management

IMG_0603During this growing season, monitor your plants to keep them healthy. Healthy plants will be able to survive pest attacks better.

Nematodes are microscopic worms that attack vegetable roots and reduce growth and yield. Nematode populations can be reduced temporarily by soil solarization. It is a technique which uses the sun’s heat to kill the soil-borne pests. Also, adding organic matter to the soil will help reduce nematode populations. The organic matter will also improve water holding capacity and increase nutrient content.

If you choose to use pesticides, please follow pesticide label directions carefully. Learn to properly identify garden pests and use synthetic chemicals only when a serious pest problem exists, or a history of a particular problem exists at your site. Organic gardeners can use certain products like BT (Dipel) to control pest. Please remember not every product is for use on every crop, so be sure the target crop is listed on the label before purchasing the product. Follow label directions for measuring, mixing and pay attention to any pre-harvest interval warning. The pre-harvest interval is the time that must elapse between application of the pesticide and harvest. For example, broccoli sprayed with carbaryl (Sevin) should not be harvested for two weeks after application.

 

Pesticide application techniques:

  • Spray the plant thoroughly, covering both the upper and lower leaf surfaces.
  • Do not apply pesticides on windy days.
  • Follow all safety precautions on the label, keep others and pets out of the area until sprays have dried.
  • Apply insecticides late in the afternoon or in the early evening when bees and other pollinators are less active.
  • To reduce spray burn, make sure the plants are not under moisture stress.
  • Water if necessary and let leaves dry before spraying.
  • Avoid using soaps and oils when the weather is very hot, because this can cause leaf burn.
  • Control slugs with products containing iron phosphate.

Many common diseases can be controlled with sprays like chlorothalonil, maneb, or mancozeb fungicide. Powdery mildews can be controlled with triadimefon, myclobutanil, sulfur, or horticultural oils. Rust can be controlled with sulfur, propiconazole, ortebuconazole. Sprays are generally more effective than dusts.

If you have questions please call your UF/IFAS county extension office. We can provide helpful information about insect and disease identification.

 

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Author: Eddie Powell – pep5@ufl.edu

Residential Horticulture Educate the residents of Walton County who are unfamiliar with growing certain landscape and vegetable plants that grow in north Florida. Provide homeowners with information about why a good looking healthy lawn is important. Teaching proper fertilization and irrigation practices for successful backyard gardening and container gardening. Master Gardener Coordinator Develop in-school programs with use of Master Gardeners to reach school kids and youth. Also provide educational programs for developing community gardens and provide educational material at local festivals.
http://walton.ifas.ufl.edu

Eddie Powell

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/06/11/vegetable-garden-insect-and-disease-management/

Insect Problems in the Heat of Summer

Insect Problems in the Heat of Summer

Florida soft scale

Florida soft scale. Photo credit: UF/IFAS.

Scale insects are one of the most serious problems homeowners face on ornamentals this time of year.  The most common are armored scale, soft scale, and mealybugs.   They cause damage by sucking plant fluids from the leaves, stems, and sometimes roots.  Some species feed on the underside of the leaves which can appear as yellowing spots or chlorotic lesions.  Heavy infestations can cause extensive leaf yellowing, premature leaf drop, branch dieback, and plant death.

The life cycle starts when the eggs are laid beneath a waxy covering or beneath the adult female.  After the eggs hatch two to three weeks later, the nymphs (crawlers) move around the plant until they find a suitable feeding site.  Crawlers then insert their straw-like mouthparts into the plant and begin to feed and grow.  The male often develops wings and flies to locate a mate.

Armored scale nymphs. Photo: UF/IFAS.

Armored scale nymphs. Photo: UF/IFAS.

Armored scale is distinct from other types of scales because they secrete a waxy covering over their body that is not attached to the body. The scale lives and feeds under this covering ranging 1/16 to 1/8 inch in size. They can be any color or shape, depending on the species. Armored scale does not produce honeydew.

Armored scale. Photo credit: UF/IFAS.

Armored scale. Photo credit: UF/IFAS.

Soft scale also secretes a waxy covering but it is attached to the bodies. Soft scales vary in color, size, and shape.  They are circular shaped and range from 1/8 to ½ inch in diameter. Because they consume so much plant sap, they excrete a lot of sugary liquid called honeydew. Honeydew is the sticky liquid found on the leaves.

Mealybugs. Photo credit: UF/IFAS.

Mealybugs. Photo credit: UF/IFAS.

Mealybugs are soft bodied insects that are often covered with cottony white filaments.  They are 1/8 inch in size and feed on all parts of plants.  Injured plants have discolored, wilted, and deformed foliage.

Sooty mold is caused when mealybugs and soft scales excrete large amounts of honeydew which provides an excellent medium for the growth of the black fungus.  Sooty mold is not only unattractive; it slows down the growth of the plant as it interferes with photosynthesis.  Over time, with the control of the insect population, the sooty mold will weather away. Ants can also play a big factor in controlling sooty mold as they will feed on the honeydew.

Sooty mold. Photo credit: UF/IFAS.

Sooty mold. Photo credit: UF/IFAS.

To control scale and mealybugs, avoid over-fertilizing and monitor your plants often. If the infestation becomes over-bearing, spray a fine mist of Horticultural Oil on the foliage. Avoid spraying in the summer heat because of damaging foliage. Other chemicals that can be used if necessary are Sevin dust and Malathion.

 

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Author: Eddie Powell – pep5@ufl.edu

Residential Horticulture Educate the residents of Walton County who are unfamiliar with growing certain landscape and vegetable plants that grow in north Florida. Provide homeowners with information about why a good looking healthy lawn is important. Teaching proper fertilization and irrigation practices for successful backyard gardening and container gardening. Master Gardener Coordinator Develop in-school programs with use of Master Gardeners to reach school kids and youth. Also provide educational programs for developing community gardens and provide educational material at local festivals.
http://walton.ifas.ufl.edu

Eddie Powell

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/05/13/insect-problems-in-the-heat-of-summer/