- Author: Mary Louise Flint
-- Mary Louise Flint, Associate Director, Urban and Community IPM and Extension Entomologist
Poison hemlock, Conium maculatum, was brought from Europe into the U.S. as an ornamental in the 1880s and now occurs throughout North America. In California it is most commonly found at lower elevations and coastal regions but it is continuing to spread into other areas.
Although made famous by Shakespeare and other literary giants as a murder weapon, cases of human poisoning are rare in California; however, poison hemlock is a serious concern to the livestock industry. Cattle, goats and horses are most sensitive to the plant’s toxic alkaloids but pigs, sheep, elk, turkeys and wild animals may also be poisoned.
A new Pest Note: Poison Hemlock outlines identification, biology, impact and management for poison hemlock. It also includes a map of the weed’s distribution in California and areas where it is spreading. Poison hemlock is a biannual plant which grows as a low rosette in its first year and, in the second year, develops tall, up to 6 feet high or more, branching stems that bear small white flowers in spring through early summer.
Find the Pest Note: Poison Hemlock at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74162.html. Authors are J.M. DiTomaso, Plant Sciences, UC Davis; J.A. Roncoroni, UCCE Napa; S.V. Swain, UCCE Marin County; and S.D. Wright, UCCE Tulare/Kings County.
- Author: Andrew Mason Sutherland
Bed bugs are quickly becoming major household nuisance pests. California has recently experienced a multitude of bed bug reports, with San Francisco now considered one of the Top 10 most infested cities in the country. Bed bug detection can be very difficult and almost always requires special training since bugs prefer to hide in dark, inaccessible cracks and crevices near their hosts’ resting spots. An experienced pest management professional can examine all possible harborages in a home, searching for the bugs themselves and signs of infestation such as the characteristic black fecal spotting and cast nymphal skins, although low-density infestations may escape detection.
Thankfully, several monitors are available that attract or intercept bed bugs. Bed bug monitors fall within one of two categories: active monitors and passive monitors. Active monitors employ attractants—heat, carbon dioxide, host odors (kairomones), pheromones, or a combination of these—to lure bed bugs out of their hiding areas and into a pitfall or sticky trap within the monitor. These devices have the potential to detect bed bugs in the absence of a host (vacant room). Passive monitors either exploit a bed bug’s affinity for dark crevices or rely on chance encounters with pitfalls or sticky traps. Interceptor monitors are pitfall devices that rely on the presence of a host (a sleeping human) to attract hungry bugs and trap them en route to their meal.
A team of UC researchers led by UC Berkeley entomologist Vernard Lewis recently evaluated a series of five bed bug monitors. Overall the study concluded that active monitors recovered a steady proportion of bed bugs as densities increased and that all monitors tested were able to detect bed bugs at low densities.
- Author: Mary Louise Flint
First identified in California in 2004, the goldspotted oak borer (GSOB), Agrilus auroguttatus, has killed more than 24,000 oak trees in San Diego County since its arrival, probably in the late 1990s. In 2012, it was detected in Riverside County and it is expected to spread northward in the state.
The most seriously damaged oaks are those in the red oak group including coast live oak, Quercus agrifolia, and black oak, Q. kelloggi. It also infests canyon live oak, Q. chrysolepis but has not been found to kill the other native oak species in the area, the Englemann oak, Q. englemanni. So far losses have been most serious in parks and forested areas, but landscape trees are also being killed.
A new Pest Note from the UC IPM program outlines management guidelines for this serious pest. Flatheaded borers such as GSOB are difficult to manage and seriously infested trees cannot be saved. The primary way GSOB spreads into new areas is through the movement of infested wood and the authors recommend leaving infested wood on site for 2 years. If wood is to be moved, the Pest Note provides guidelines for treating it through containment, grinding, and debarking. Guidelines for replanting infested areas, less susceptible oak species, biological control, insecticide applications and developing GSOB management plans are also described.
Many other borers attack oaks but do not kill trees. GSOB infested trees can be distinguished by the characteristic D-shaped emergence holes it leaves behind. A special feature of the Pest Note is a table illustrating the emergence holes of borer species on southern California oaks. Many photos are also included.
The information in this Pest Note: Goldspotted Oak Borer is based primarily on research studies by the authors: Mary Louise Flint (UCIPM and Entomology/UC Davis), Tom Coleman and Steve Seybold (USDA/US Forest Service), and Mike Jones (Entomology/UC Davis). Find it at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74163.html
- Author: Aubrey Bray
Cost of the workshop is $20 and include materials and lunch. Event runs from 8:30am-4:00pm and is open to the public so bring your spouse or friends! Click on the links below to register or view more information.
View Registration Homepage for more information and mail-in registration information.
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- Author: Amanda Crump
- Author: Pam Geisel
- Contact: James A. Bethke
- Contact: Matthew Daugherty
Citrus Greening Disease has been moving through California. We are reaching out to California gardeners and UC Master Gardeners in an effort to slow the spread.
How can you learn more or help?
- Watch the California Garden Web for posts related to Asian Citrus Psyllid and Citrus Greening caused by the bacteria known as Huanglongbing.
- Help us spread the word by following us on Twitter at @ACPoutreach.
- Attend a talk on Citrus Greening near you! We'll post events here.
- Learn more at http://www.californiacitrusthreat.org/.