On a recent trip, we saw Diaprepes Root Weevil damage on avocado. It was feeding on the leaves, tattering them. The problem with this pest is that it also feeds on the roots, weakening the tree and opening it up to disease, such as Phytophthora. This adult beast about measures about ¾ inch long and the larvae are bigger, about an inch long. They are hard to kill when they are in the ground. They have a host range of 270 plant species including citrus, strawberry, papaya and lots of vegetables species. It's already found in parts of LA, Orange and San Diego Counties. If you see it, call the local Ag Commissioner. https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/Plant/pdep/target_pest_disease_profiles/Diaprepes_PestProfile.html
Treatment options are listed in the IPM Guidelines
You don't want this in your orchard.
Diaprepes feeding on avocado (Tim Spann)
Damage to citrus root system.
- Author: Jeanette Warnert
Newly appointed UC Cooperative Extension agricultural engineering advisor Alireza Pourreza has been awarded the 2016 Giuseppe Pellizzi Prize by the Club of Bologna, an honor presented every other year to the best doctoral dissertations focused on agricultural machinery and mechanization. The Club of Bologna is a world taskforce on strategies for the development of agricultural mechanization.
Pourreza, who earned his Ph.D. at the University of Florida in 2014, worked on early detection of Huanglongbing disease of citrus. Huanglongbing, an incurable disease that is spread by Asian citrus psyllid, has seriously impacted citrus production in Florida. The disease has been found in commercial and residential sites in all counties with commercial citrus.
Early detection allows growers to remove infected trees before the disease can spread to healthy trees. Currently HLB infection is confirmed when leaves with yellowing and blotches are submitted for PCR testing, which is expensive and time consuming. However, the yellowing can be also symptomatic of other conditions, such as nutrient deficiency.
“We discovered we could see the symptoms of Huanglongbing using a camera, a set of cross-polarizers and narrow band lighting before it is visible to the human eye,” Pourreza said.
He said the yellow blotches on HLB-infected leaves are caused by starch accumulation.
“If we could detect abnormal levels of starch in the leaf, we could tell it is affected with HLB,” Pourreza said. “Starch showed the ability to rotate the polarization plain of light. We used this optical characteristic to develop the sensing methodology.”
Pourreza said the team has patented the technique and is working on developing a commercial product. He is seeking funding to continue the research in California, where, to date, HLB has only been detected in isolated Los Angeles neighborhoods. Asian citrus psyllid is found in important California commercial citrus production regions from the Mexican border to as far north as Placer County.
Pourreza is based at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier.
Entomology Specialist and Lindcove Research and Education Center Director keeps her Asian Citrus Psyllid website for homeowners up-to-date at: http://ucanr.edu/sites/ACP/Homeowner_Options/Homeowner_Resources/
Check it out.
Photo: ACP Adult and Nymphs with wax tubules
This bulletin applies to avocado and citrus too.
DuPont Pioneer researchers have discovered a protein from a non-Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacterium source that exhibits promise as an alternative means for controlling corn rootworm in North America and Europe. Science Magazine published the finding this week. “This research represents a breakthrough for addressing a major challenge in agriculture,” said Neal Gutterson, vice president, Research & Development, DuPont Pioneer. “We have discovered a non-Bt protein that demonstrates insecticidal control of western corn rootworm with a new and different mode of action than Bt proteins currently used in transgenic products. This protein could be a critical component for managing corn rootworm in future corn seed product offerings. The work also suggests that bacteria other than Bt are alternative sources of insecticidal proteins for insect control trait development.” An extremely destructive corn pest, corn rootworm larvae and adults can cause significant economic loss for growers. The current biotech approach for insect control sources proteins from Bt soil bacteria. Field-evolved insect resistance to certain Bt proteins has been observed in some geographies. Another Pioneer study related to non-Bt insect control, recently published in Scientific Reports, shows how RNA interference (RNAi) can be applied to control corn rootworm feeding damage. RNAi is a biologically occurring process that happens in the cells of plants, animals and people. By employing the RNAi process, a plant can protect itself by carrying instructions that precisely target specific proteins in pests. - See more at: https://www.morningagclips.com/discovery-of-potential-insect-control-traits/?utm_content=articles&utm_campaign=NLCampaign&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_term=newsletteredition&utm_medium=email#sthash.nF99oEWC.dpuf
There are numerous species of ants present in citrus orchards, however, the most common are the Argentine ant (southern and coastal California), the native gray ant (San Joaquin Valley) and the southern fire ant (statewide). The red imported fire ant has been found in Southern California, but is not yet established in citrus orchards. It is important to identify the primary ant species in the orchard, because management tactics depend on which ant species is present.
The Argentine ant, is a small, uniformly deep brown ant. Worker ants travel in characteristic trails on trees, the ground, or irrigation lines and build their nests underground. Ant populations peak in mid-summer through early fall.
The southern fire ant is light reddish brown with a black abdomen. These ants build nests of loose mounds or craters near bases of trees, do not aggregate in colonies as large as those of the Argentine ant, and will sting and bite.
Native gray ants are gray and considerably larger than the other two species. They nest in topsoil or under rocks and debris and move in irregular patterns. In contrast to Argentine and fire ants, the native gray ant is solitary and its importance in disrupting biological control is often underestimated.
Red imported fire ant is new to California and can make large, dome-shaped mounds. They feed on almost any plant or animal material.
Most ant species feed on honeydew excreted by various soft scales, mealybugs, cottony cushion scales, whiteflies, psyllids, and aphids. As part of this relationship, they protect these pest insects from their natural enemies, thus interrupting biological control. They also protect some non honeydew-producing pests, such as California red scales.
Argentine and native gray ants are the most common ant species that aggressively protect pest insects. In addition, Argentine ants and fire ants can plug up irrigation sprinklers. Fire ants directly damage citrus by chewing twigs and tender bark of newly planted trees; they also sting people working in the orchard and may cause allergic reactions.
No effective natural enemies of ants are known.
Skirt prune trees, i.e., remove branches within 12 to 30 inches of the ground, and apply sticky material to the trunk to prevent access to the trees by ants. Use polybutenes, as oil-based materials may cause phytotoxicity and should not be used.
The application of sticky polybutene materials directly to the trunk of citrus trees can cause bark cracking, especially if multiple applications are applied to the same area of the trunk, the area is exposed to sunlight (topworked trees), or both. The sticky material can be applied on top of a tree wrap or a base layer of latex paint. Young trees, which have a very thin cambium layer, are most susceptible to damage.
Sticky material should last from 1 to 4 months and will also prevent the access by Fuller rose beetles. If the sticky material contains tribasic copper sulfate, it will also control brown garden snails. The persistence of sticky material can be increased by applying it higher above the ground to reduce dust and dirt contamination and to decrease irrigation wash-off.
Argentine ant adults are liquid-feeding only and have physical digestive "blocks" in the mouth and gut to prevent them from swallowing and digesting solid food particles. They may bring back solid food to the colony to feed the brood (but solid-food digestion not been confirmed in Argentine ant brood), or harvest the bodily fluids inside of insect prey/moisture in food items. Dry insects or food items are of little use to them, even though they may pick these things up. Feeding studies have shown ants feed several times faster on liquids than gels and gels than solids. This faster feeding resulted in much higher toxicity with liquid. Gel was intermediate, and solids provided the lowest control.
Put out bait in the shade to increase feeding and overall kill. You do not need to obscure it. The soil temperature and moisture are going to be more moderate in the shade, particularly under the canopy. This is the environment the ants will prefer to feed in. There will be less evaporative loss in the shade, as well. Sometimes when the toxins become too concentrated they are less attractive to the ants. The other issue is that many toxins (like borax products) may photodegrade at a faster rate in direct sunlight.