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Orange-stripped oakworm feeding

For the last few weeks, orange striped oakworms have been raining on my head as I work in the trees. They also drop a lot of

Large oakworms eat entire leaves except for the mid vein. Photo: EK Meineke

poop (entomologists call it frass) which is one of the major complaints by homeowners. Orange-striped oakworms congregate on branches to feed every year in late summer but usually do not cause enough damage to warrant treatment.

Young oak worms cause damage called 'window panning' in which they eat the surface of leaves and feed between tiny veins. Photo: EK Meineke.

Young orangestriped oakworms are often light in color and darken as they get older. I have found some parasitized individuals, which means natural enemies are doing their part to reduce oakworm outbreaks. Caterpillars also make great food for birds. We have posted previously about orange-striped oak worm biology and management if you want more information.

Large caterpillar poops around the base of a tree. Photo: SD Frank


New (GIANT) ambrosia beetle in nurseries

Nursery growers have been struggling with ambrosia beetles for decades. In the southeast it is primarily the granulate

Camphor shot borer. Photo: Matt Bertone, NCSU

Camphor shot borer. Photo: Matt Bertone, NCSU

ambrosia beetle, Xylosandrus crassiusculus. In the Northeast and Midwest the predominate species is Xylosandrus germanus. These are tiny beetles that make tiny … Continue reading 

Maple spider mite damage and management

Maple spider mites (Oligonychus aceris) are common and damaging pests of maple trees throughout the Eastern United States. These spider mites overwinter on the trunk and

Adult maple spider mite. Photo: AG Dale

branches of maple trees and migrate to the underside of leaves in the spring. Once there, they use their mouthparts to pierce leaf cells and feed on cell sap. This causes fine flecking called stippling and eventually leaves turn gray or brown after heavy feeding. Maple spider mites have multiple generations per year which enables them to become quite abundant during a single season. These pests are a more serious problem in nurseries due to the close proximity of potted trees and applications of broad spectrum insecticides like permethrin. For example, our research has shown….continue reading….

Red headed flea beetles active!

Red headed flea beetles active in nurseries

Posted on June 4, 2013 by blog visit us for more nursery and landscape IPM information. Follow us on Twitter @OrnaPests. 

Redheaded flea beetles, Systena frontalis, have become a serious pest of nursery stock

Redheaded flea beetle on Itea. Photo: Greg Bryant, NCSU

Redheaded flea beetle on Itea. Photo: Greg Bryant, NCSU

over the past several years.  They are an especially damaging pest because they feed on roots and leaves.  They overwinter as eggs in the soil.  Larvae hatch in spring and begin feeding on roots. The larvae are elongate and creamy-white.  Heavy infestations may reduce root mass or girdle plants.  Adult redheaded flea beetles are small, shiny black, beetles with reddish to dark colored head and long antennae.  They are about 1/16 of an inch long and, as the name suggests, jump when they are approached. There are at least two generations in Delaware and may be more in North Carolina.

We found adults and adult feeding damage this week.  The favored hosts are Itea, hydrangea, forsythia, and knockout roses.  Adult management has been frustrating for growers who find that even frequent insecticide applications do not reduce adult abundance and damage to acceptable levels.  Part of this has to do with not controlling larvae since even if you kill all the adults present in a crop (which you won’t) more adults are emerging from the soil every day. Research thus far in Delaware and grower reports indicate that Talstar, Sarfari, and Flagship provide good efficacy as foliar applications but do not have long residual activity. Read more in this fact sheet from Dr. Brian Kunkel

in Delaware.

Pyracantha pests

This week we noticed some major pest infestations on pyracantha bushes around campus.  The most noticeable is woolly apple aphid infestations.  These produce cottony fluff along the branches.

Woolly apple aphids. Photo: S.D. Frank

Woolly apple aphids. Photo: S.D. Frank

When you brush away the fluff (really it is wax the aphids produce) you will see hundreds of pink or grey aphids crawling around.   Woolly apple aphids have been out for a month or so now but are becoming very noticeable now.  Infestations for multiple years produce large leafless patches on bushes.  The aphids cause galls to form on branches and branches become black from sooty mold. Soap or oil should provide some control but other aphid management information is here.


The other pyracantha pest that just started hatching is hawthorn lacebug.  The major landscape plants that hawthorn lacebugs feed on are pyracantha, service berry, and cotoneaster.  Lacebugs management information is here. Imidacloprid will kill both pests but should n


e be used on plants that are flowering or that will flower soon due to negative effects on pollinators.

For more pest updates on these and other pests follow @OrnaPests on Twitter or keep an eye on the blog from North Carolina State University.

Cottony maple leaf scale eggs hatching

Cottony Maple Leaf Scale is one of several cottony scales in the genus Pulvinaria.  You can find these now on their most common hosts: maple and dogwood.  Stand under a tree and look up and you will see cottony masses about the size of a cotton swap stuck to the bottom of leaves.  These are the egg masses. They each contain many hundred eggs that are hatching as we speak.  The crawlers will settle and feed on the leaves all summer then migrate back to branches in fall before leaf-drop. For more pest updates follow @OrnaPests on Twitter or keep an eye on the blog from North Carolina State University.

Looking up at the bottom of red maple leaves notice the many white cottony egg masses. Photo: S.D. Frank

Looking up at the bottom of red maple leaves notice the many white cottony egg masses. Photo: S.D. Frank 


Cottony maple leaf scale ovisac. Photo: S.D. Frank

Cottony maple leaf scale ovisac. Photo: S.D. Frank