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About Ash Sial

Dr. Ash Sial is Associate Professor in Department of Entomology at the University of Georgia. He has had extensive training in agricultural entomology from various institutions. He earned his Ph.D. in Entomology from Washington State University where he worked with apple growers to develop sustainable IPM programs for major pests of tree fruits. After graduation, he accepted a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist position at University of California, Berkeley and worked with winegrape growers to develop sustainable IPM programs aimed at managing exotic and emerging arthropod pests such as vine mealybug, and the diseases transmitted by mealybugs such as grapevine leafroll disease. He then joined Cornell University to investigate various aspects of biology and ecology of an invasive insect pest – spotted wing drosophila, which has recently emerged as a major threat to fruit production in the United States. Currently, he serves as the blueberry entomologist and IPM Coordinator for Georgia. At the University of Georgia, the goals of his research program are to investigate biology and ecology of major arthropod pests of blueberries in order to develop sustainable IPM programs, and disseminate that information to all stakeholders including commercial blueberry producers in a timely and convenient manner. He has published numerous peer-reviewed papers, delivered research and Extension presentations including invited guest lectures and a keynote address. He has also served professional societies including Entomological Society of America (ESA) in a leadership role at the regional and national levels. He has been recognized for excellence in research productivity and professional leadership at the regional and national level with several prestigious awards including the John Henry Comstock Award.

Spotted wing drosophila identification, monitoring, and management in Georgia blueberries

Ash Sial Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, Athens GA, 30602. The spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae) is an invasive and economically important pest of many soft-skinned fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, and other. Since its first detection in California in 2008, SWD…
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Monitoring and Management of Thrips in Blueberries

Flower thrips are chronic pests of both southern highbush and rabbiteye blueberries in the southeastern United States. Thrips are minute (1 to 1.3 mm long) insects with slender body and usually yellowish to orange in color. Adults have long thin wings fringed with fine hairs (Figure 1). Females are generally…
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Monitoring and Management of Blueberry Gall Midge

The reports of blueberry gall midge infestations in Georgia blueberries have become more common over the last couple of years. Blueberry gall midge, Dasineura oxycoccana (Johnson) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) was first identified as a pest of rabbiteye blueberries in the southeastern United States in early 1990s. Since then, gall midge has…
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Monitoring and Management of Blueberry Gall Midge

We have received several reports of blueberry gall midge infestations over the past few weeks. Blueberry gall midge, Dasineura oxycoccana (Johnson) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) was first identified as a pest of rabbiteye blueberries in the southeastern United States in early 1990s. Since then, gall midge has been confirmed as a pest…
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Management of Ground Pearls in Blueberries

A grower recently complained about his blueberry bushes being less vigorous with weak root system. After examining the root system, we discovered that the roots were infested with numerous small, yellowish-brown round cysts which were identified as ground pearls. Ground pearls, Margarodes spp. (Hemiptera: Margarodidae), are subterrestrial insects closely related…
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2014 SWD Impact Assessment Survey

As spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has become established throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, it has become increasingly important to understand the impacts this pest has had in different crops and regions. We have conducted grower-focused impact assessments for the last two years and this information has been used to…
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