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.
Delivered to the attendees of the 2014 Texas Fruit Conference at College Station, this presentation discussed some of the emerging fruit pests in Texas that growers should be aware of and recognize their damage.
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,
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.
Originally created for the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association 2014 Expo, this presentation outlines five common pests found in greenhouse ornamentals and turf crops, how to monitor them and management strategies, as well as informing growers about new invasive insects they should keep their eyes open for.
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.
On June 24th and 25th (2014), a number of Texas A&M AgriLife personnel set out to McKinney to collect data on susceptibility of different varieties of crape myrtles to the new invasive pest, crape myrtle bark scale (CMBS). McKinney is home to over 114 varieties of crape myrtles from all over the world, making it a great site to investigate the preference of CMBS for certain cultivars and varieties. Follow the gallery below to see how the research was carried out.
There are thousands of species of aphids and any grower that tells you they don’t have them must not get out much. Aphids reproduce at an alarming rate, with newborn aphids already developing embryos the moment they are born. Apparently they are in a rush! This is a 30-minute slideshow on aphids and their control.