Category Archives: Growers

Blogs for growers.

Insecticide Resistance Action Committee

If you are using pesticides on a regular basis (i.e. a weekly rotation), it’s vital that you rotate your chemicals in order to decrease the change of your pest becoming resistant.

Pesticide resistance is not uncommon among insects. According to “Global Pesticide Resistance in Arthropods” (Whalon et al., 2008), there have been over 7747 insecticide resistance cases reported! Continue reading Insecticide Resistance Action Committee

Quality Control of Biological Control

Unlike chemical insecticides, biological control products often contain a living organism. These living organisms are typically reared on artificial diets in controlled environments to sustain a high quality consistent product. However, rearing living organisms is a lot more finicky than mixing chemicals to make a chemical insecticide. The size of the organism, the female to male ratio, their lifespan, and rate of release can all affect the efficacy of the biological control.  Although the biocontrol companies do some quality control work on their end, the product may decrease in quality through shipment. That’s why it is encouraged that growers do a quality control check on their biological controls to ensure that they’ve received a quality product.

A research scientist, Dr. Rose Buitenhuis, from the Vineland Research and Innovation Center has put together a nifty publication Continue reading Quality Control of Biological Control

‘Natural’ Pesticides – Softer on good insects?

There is an increasing trend towards organic and natural products – from food, cosmetics, and even down to the choice in pesticides. It’s not uncommon for people to lean towards or prefer a pesticide that is ‘natural’. After all, an unnatural pesticide will be more harmful, right? However, there’s a discrepancy between perceived safety of ‘natural’ and the reality. For starters, there seems to be no regulation on the word “natural”. As the FDA puts it,

Continue reading ‘Natural’ Pesticides – Softer on good insects?

Crape myrtle bark scale efficacy trial

Summary:

Efficacy of a horticultural oil + insect growth regulator mix (SuffOil-X + Molt-X) and two imidacloprid formulations (Bayer Tree and Shrub; Fertilome Tree & Shrub Systemic Insect Drench) were tested for control of bark scale (Eriococcus lagerostroemia) on crapemyrtles at LeTourneau University. There was a trend towards decreasing alive scales and decreasing alive:dead scale ratio with time, especially by the fifth week in all treatments (including the control). The systemic insecticides (imidacloprid) demonstrated a decrease in alive:dead scale ratio two weeks after treatment, whereas contact treatments showed a decrease one week after treatment (horticultural oil + insect growth regulator). Since the control also showed decrease in scale populations, in some cases before other treatments, the efficacy of the insecticides studied here are inconclusive.

Continue reading Crape myrtle bark scale efficacy trial

Spotted Wing Drosophila in Texas

Snapshot:

Drosophila suzukii, Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD), is an invasive pest that attacks several soft-bodied fruit, such as cherries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and grapes.  Similar in size to the common fruit fly, except the females have a serrated ovipositor (organ used for depositing eggs), allowing them to lay eggs in fruit just before harvest.  As a result, the fruit can be unfit for fresh markets by the time they are harvested, resulting in crop loss.  If you would like to send samples to confirm SWD identification, please use the spotted wing drosophila submission form.

Continue reading Spotted Wing Drosophila in Texas

Crapemyrtle Bark Scale

Snapshot:

A new invasive scale of crape myrtles has recently been detected.  Current evidences suggest that the species is Eriococcus lagerostroemia, a native to the plant host to Lagerostroemia sp., also found in China, Japan, Korea, India, Mongolia, South Korea and United Kingdom.

Continue reading Crapemyrtle Bark Scale