Archive for the ‘Landscape Pests’ Category

FL Whitefly Website ~ Training Reminder & CEU Opportunity

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly Eggs, Juveniles, and Adults. Photo: UF Laura Sanagorski

As a reminder, the relatively new Florida Whitefly website (flwhitefly.org) has management information for professionals, homeowners, and educators.  For professionals, this site provides access to an e-learning course  titled “Invasive Whitefly Pests of Florida”.   Following the course, an exam will be presented; professionals who successfully complete the exam will be listed on the website.    I encourage horticultural professionals who treat or plan to treat whiteflies to take the class and exam to increase knowledge, earn one CEU, and get on the list.  Potential customers look to this list to hire professionals who are proficient in whitefly management.

The Florida Whitefly website is a result of a partnership between the University of Florida (UF), IFAS Extension, Department of Entomology and Nematology, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services-Division of Plant Industry, UF/IFAS Extension-Lee, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties, Southern Plant Diagnostic Network, IPM Florida, and Pest Management University.

A score of 70% or better on the quiz earns the user one FDACS CEU in one of the following categories: Limited Lawn and Ornamental, Limited Landscape Maintenance, and Commercial Lawn and Ornamental.

Advertisements

Washing Leaves to Manage Spiraling Whitefly

Washing of plant leaves is one of our recommendations for managing the rugose spiraling whitefly.  This seems almost too easy, but I urge green industry professionals to not discount this technique.  Washing of plant leaves can be effective and appropriate:

  • On small-scale whitefly infestations
  • For early stages of infestation
  • When infected plants are accesible
  • When pesticide usage is not practical or desireable
  • In conjunction with pesticides

Washing of plant leaves may not be a one-time solution to pest problems, but it can be a highly effective method for removing a significant amount of whiteflies.  The images below are an example of whitefly removal from a white bird of paradise with water alone.  If deemed appropriate, this method could be followed-up with horticultural soap or oil; or a systemic insecticide from the neonicotinoid family.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Remember to scout landscapes frequently so that pest problems can be identified and monitored.  Please refer to Dr. Catharine Mannion’s Rugose Spiraling Whitefly EDIS publication for further management recommendations.

Flatid planthoppers ~ a minor pest of palms

Adult Flatid planthoppers and exuviae (exoskeletal remains left after molting). Photo: UF Laura Sanagorski.

Green Industry professionals have seen these interesting insects around Palm Beach County. They’re not a pest to be too concerned about, but they’re definitely interesting to look at! Download a pdf of this Flatid planthopper fact sheet here.

INTRODUCTION ~ Flatid planthoppers (Oormenaria rufifascia) are minor pests of palms in Florida.  They can be found on the lower surfaces of fanlike palm fronds.

HOSTS ~ Flatid planthoppers can be found on cabbage palmetto, Sabal palmetto, and saw palmetto, Serenoa repens. Mexican fan palm, Washingotnia robusta, Chinese fan palm, Livistonia chinensis, Everglades (Paurotis) palm, Acoelorraphe wrigtii, and Red Latan palm, Lantania lonteroides, are among other hosts of this insect.

Adult Flatid planthopper. Photo: UF Laura Sanagorski.

IDENTIFICATION ~ Flatid planthoppers are triangular in shape and are flat underneath.  They have yellow-orange eyes and are light green/blue in color, with bright orange markings around their head.  They have two red-orange stripes towards the front of the upper surface of their bodies; their wings are bordered in a lighter yellow.  Juveniles are light green in color, with some orange markings that may be covered up by waxy flocculent.

Numerous adult Flatid planthoppers found on lower surface of palm frond. Photo: UF Laura Sanagorski.

LIFE CYCLE ~ The eggs have not been seen; entomologists believe this is because eggs are laid between leaf surfaces.  Flatid planthoppers have one generation per year.  Eggs are believed to hatch around January, and maturation into adults can occur by around May in South Florida.  Juveniles and adults are found mostly on older palm fronds; this is likely due to the fact that these fronds are more horizontal and provide protection.

LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT ~   There is generally no need to treat for this pest in the landscape, as damage is minimal.  Flatid planthoppers, like whiteflies and thrips, have piercing / sucking mouthparts that allow them to feed on the nutrients of a plant.  They also produce honeydew, which can support the growth of sooty mold.   Growth of sooty mold can be of greater concern than direct insect damage.  There are no chemical recommendations or insecticides specifically labelled for management of these insects.  Physical removal, such as that with a heavy spray from a hose, will greatly reduce this insect’s population.

References and Further Reading ~

Howard, F.W., and Halbert, S.  (2005). Flatid Planthopper, Oormenaria rufifascia (Walker) (Insecta: Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Flatidae).  UF / IFAS.  Available at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/IN/IN64300.pdf

New Florida Whitefly Website (Includes List of Trained Professionals)

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly Eggs, Juveniles, and Adults. Photo: UF Laura Sanagorski

Green industry professionals of Palm Beach County should be aware of the new Florida Whitefly website (flwhitefly.org) that contains whitefly management information for professionals, homeowners, and educators.  For professionals, this site provides access to an e-learning course  titled “Invasive Whitefly Pests of Florida”.   Following the course, an exam will be presented; professionals who successfully complete the exam will be listed on the website.    I encourage horticultural professionals who treat or plan to treat whiteflies to take the class and exam to increase knowledge, earn one CEU, and get on the list.  Individuals may look to this list to hire professionals who are proficient in whitefly management.

The Florida Whitefly website is a result of a partnership between the University of Florida (UF), IFAS Extension, Department of Entomology and Nematology, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services-Division of Plant Industry, UF/IFAS Extension-Lee, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties, Southern Plant Diagnostic Network, IPM Florida, and Pest Management University.

A score of 70% or better on the quiz earns the user one FDACS CEU in one of the following categories: Limited Lawn and Ornamental, Limited Landscape Maintenance, and Commercial Lawn and Ornamental.

Thorn Bug – Early Spring Pest of South Florida Ornamentals

Numerous plant samples with Thorn bug (Umbonia crassicornis) have landed on my desk this week.  Professionals throughout the county will notice this insect as well.  This is a very interesting, unusual-looking insect!

INTRODUCTION ~ Thorn bugs have been noted in high frequency in the past several weeks (April 2012).  This insect can be found at all times of the year, but is more common in the cooler months of late winter and early spring.

Thorn bug and Sri Lanka weevil damage on powderpuff. Photo: UF Laura Sanagorski

HOSTS ~ Thorn bugs have recently been seen on powder puff trees (Calliandra spp.).  They can also be found on tamarind, wild tamarind, bottlebrush citrus, jacaranda, royal poinciana, and acacia trees.

IDENTIFICATION ~ Thorn bugs blend in with a plant’s foliage and often go undetected.  The sample in the photo to the left was examined for a few minutes before this insect was noticed.  The color is green or yellow with brown or reddish markings.  This insect can be identified by the adult’s pronounced thorn-like or claw-like horn.  Juvenile versions of this pest look quite similar but will be smaller in size and have three less-prominent horns.  Generally, one will find various stages of the thorn bug’s life cycle on one branch.

Thorn bug. Photo: UF Laura Sanagorski

LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT ~ The population of this insect will drop on its own as warmer months approach.  Thorn bugs, like whiteflies and thrips, have piercing / sucking mouthparts that allow them to feed on the nutrients of a plant.  They also produce honeydew, which can support the growth of sooty mold.  Serious damage is not generally associated with this insect, making treatment generally unnecessary.  Horticultural professionals who determine that treatment is required will be able to manage this insect with horticultural soaps and oils, or other insecticides (such as those in the neonicotinoid family) labelled for use on the plant of concern.  Physical removal, such as with a heavy spray from a hose, will also greatly reduce this insect’s population.

~ Download a Printer-friendly version of this fact sheet here ~

References and Further Reading ~ 

Culbert, D.  (2004). Powderpuffs and thorns.  UF / IFAS Okeechobee County Extension Service.  Available at: http://okeechobee.ifas.ufl.edu/News%20columns/Powderpuffs%20&%20Thornbugs.htm

Mead, F.W., & Fasulo, T.R. (2004).  Featured Creature: thorn bug.  Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry.  Available at: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/thorn_bug.htm

Recording of Whitefly Workshop Now Available!!

Did you miss our April 10th Whitefly Workshop?  You can view the entire April 10th Whitefly Management Program polycom recording here.

This video has not been edited, but we wanted to share it immediately with horticultural professionals who missed the event.  It will be available for approximately three weeks, at which time it will be replaced with an edited video production.

Visit the Palm Beach County Whitefly Taskforce website for current versions of the presentations and fact sheets.

Enjoy!

Whitefly Fact Sheets

As you know, ficus, rugose spiraling, and other whiteflies have become an issue in South Florida.  Each has its own favorite plants to feed and reproduce on.  In addition to the damage younger stages of these whiteflies cause by feeding on plants, they produce a sticky substance called honeydew, which can support the growth of sooty mold, and ultimately, a big mess, and unsightly plant material.

Please see the following fact sheets, brought to you by UF / IFAS Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service and the Palm Beach County Whitefly Task Force.  These fact sheets are brief, and perfect for sharing with customers and homeowners.

  1. Whiteflies In Palm Beach County: Introduction (Whitefly Task Force Fact Sheet #1)
  2. Whiteflies In Palm Beach County: Life Cycle and Biology (Whitefly Task Force Fact Sheet #2)
  3. Whiteflies In Palm Beach County: Working with Natural Enemies (Whitefly Task Force Fact Sheet #3)
  4. Whiteflies In Palm Beach County: Selecting a Pest Control Company (Whitefly Task Force Fact Sheet #4)
  5. Whiteflies In Palm Beach County: Reducing Stress on Plants (Whitefly Task Force Fact Sheet #5)

Please watch the IFAS Palm Beach County Extension: Environmental Horticulture blog and our  Palm Beach County Whitefly Taskforce webpage for updates.