From the UC Blogosphere...
CBS Sacramento and other media outlets and we anticipate that questions and samples will be coming in to UCCE offices in response. These bugs can vector a protozoan, Trypanosoma cruzi, that causes Chagas disease in humans. The protozoan is transmitted via the bug's feces, rather than through bites.
UC IPM Pest Note Available
In anticipation of questions, we recommend UC Master Gardener volunteers read and bookmark the UC IPM Pests Notes: Conenose Bugs.
As indicated by UC IPM, there is a low instance of Chagas disease in humans in the U.S. “Researchers attribute the low incidence of Chagas disease…to poor efficacy of disease transmission by the bugs, infrequent human contact, and inability of the bugs to permanently colonize homes.”
Conenose bugs are in the Reduviidae family, a group of insects known for a study body and large proboscis. Most reduviids are beneficial as insect predators, and include various species of assassin bugs. Conenose bugs are easily confused with other assassin bugs as well as bugs with similar body shapes from other insect families. Conenose bugs prefer sheltered habitat such as indoors, beneath porches, in wood or brush piles, and in outdoor structures such as dog houses and chicken coops.
ID Methods and Resources
If you receive a call about conenose bugs in your area, alert the caller not to touch the bug with bare hands. They can bring a sample in a sealed container or take a picture and send it to their local UC Master Gardener Program, UCCE advisor, or county agricultural commissioner for identification. Information that can be sent to the client include the UC IPM Pest Note on conenose bugs as well as information available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. The CDC web site also has useful photos to help in identification.
The insects below are NOT kissing bugs:
Advice From the Help Desk of the UC Master Gardeners of Contra Costa County
Client's Question: Last spring when my peach tree leafed out the leaves were all funny shaped. Can you tell me what the problem is and how to prevent it from happening again?
Symptoms Appear in Spring:Peach leaf curl first appears in spring as reddish areas on developing leaves. These areas become thickened and puckered, causing leaves to curl and severely distort. Later, affected leaves turn yellow or brown and can remain on the tree or may fall off. They are usually replaced by a second set of leaves that develop normally unless wet weather continues. The loss of leaves and producing new leaves results in decreased growth and fruit production and may expose branches to sunburn.
Photo: Jack Clark Kelly, UC Statewide IPM Project. ©UC Regents.
Peach Leaf Curl Prevention: Preventing peach leaf curl is relatively easy. You must spray peach and nectarine trees with a fungicide during the dormant season every year after leaves have fallen. A single early treatment when the tree is dormant is generally effective. However, with a particularly wet winter or spring, it may be advisable to apply a second spray late in the dormant season, preferably as flower buds begin to swell, but before green leaf tips are first visible.
Types of Preventives:The most commonly used, safest, and effective fungicides available to home owners are “fixed copper products”, but there are other products available as described in the University of California publication on controlling peach leaf curl. This free publication is available on the web at: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7426.html.
Thorough coverage by the spray is the key. In any case, if leaf curl symptoms occurred on your trees last spring, be sure to treat now to prevent more serious losses the following year.
For More Information:You can find more information on growing peaches on UC's Home Orchard web site at: http://homeorchard.ucanr.edu/Fruits_&_Nuts/Peach/
Editor's Note: This is an updated version of an article originally written by MGCC and published in the Contra Costa Times December 4, 2010.
Help Desk of the UC Master Gardeners of Contra Costa County
Note: The UC Master Gardeners of Contra Costa's Help Desk is available year-round to answer your gardening questions. Except for a few holidays, we're open every week, Monday through Thursday for walk-ins from 9:00 am to Noon at 75 Santa Barbara Road, 2d Floor, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. We can also be reached via telephone: (925) 646-6586, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the web at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/Ask_Us/ MGCC Blogs can be found at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/HortCoCo/ You can also subscribe to the Blog (http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/blogroll.cfm)./span>/span>
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