Come Learn About Field Identification of Invasive Shot Hole Borers
We're holding two early December trainings on invasive polyphagous and Kuroshio shot hole borer biology, identification, surveillance, and management of infested trees and downed wood. We'll cover these topics in the classroom, then head outside to see infested trees and learn how to identify signs of shot hole borer damage, set up a monitoring program, and sample trees.
$30.00 Registration fee includes lunch, a ISHB Field Guide, and ISHB Demonstration Kit
Continuing Education Units from DPR have been requested, check back for updates.
Speakers include Sabrina Drill, UCCE Natural Resources Advisor; Bea Nobua-Behrmann, UCCE Research Scientist; Kim Corella, Forest Pest Specialist, CalFire; and Paul Rugman-Jones, Research Entomologist, UC Riverside.
Ventura County - Ojai - Dec.6
Meiners Oaks (Ojai) Class & Field Training at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church
Thursday December 6, 2018, 10am – 2:30pm
Los Angeles County - Gardena - Dec. 7th
Gardena Class & Field Training at Gardena Moneta Mason Lodge & Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve
Friday December 7, 2018, 10am – 3:00pm
This is the most recent activity summary of a group of organizations working on the Invasive Shot Hole Borers and their associated fungal symbionts. This pest/disease complex affects avocado along with a large number of native and landscape plants in California, as well as in other parts of the world (http://ucanr.edu/sites/pshb/; http://ucanr.edu/sites/pshb/files/238251.pdf):
Invasive Shot Hole Borers
Quarterly Situation Report
January through March 2018
Education, outreach, and monitoring activities were robust during the cool damp winter months of 2018. Infestations continued to dominate Orange, San Diego, and Los Angeles counties, with lesser activity in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The need for funding of research, education, outreach, and waste management associated with ISHB was brought to the attention of state governance. Preventative efforts to increase awareness of ISHB in unaffected counties continued. Collaborative efforts of numerous agencies, educational institutions, and non-profit groups resulted in the successful efforts listed below.
The two-day Invasive Species Summit was held in the State Capitol for legislators and their staff to learn about environmental pressures and costs created by these species statewide. Three pieces of proposed legislation were written either specific to or with components addressing ISHB. They are: AB 2054 (Gonzlez Fletcher), AB 2166 – California Farm Bill, AB 2470 (Grayson) – Invasive Species Council.
The Statewide SHB Network convened telephonically to discuss ISHB, spread, threat, and help educate those in unaffected counties. An ISHB presentation was given at a statewide horticultural convention in northern California.
The triennial California Native Plant Society Conservation Conference was held near Los Angeles International Airport. ISHB was addressed at a pre-conference invasive species workshop, throughout the conference by tabling and poster session, and during the Invasive Species Session.
UCCE San Diego helmed a two-part GSOB/ISHB-FD webinar, along with other UCCE and CALFIRE collaborators. The first installment streamed in March.
UCCE San Diego began work on an online ISHB survey assessment tool that will be accessible when completed on PSHB.org. This feature will help the public determine if tree symptoms may be due to an ISHB infestation. An added component will allow UCCE to monitor reporting. The decision tree that is part of the assessment takes the reporter to part of the site whereby photos can be submitted if the tool determines a probability of ISHB infestation. This tool will be completed, tested, reviewed, and posted to the website by summer 2018.
San Diego County
- Two ISHB public educational events were presented
- Buy It Where You Burn It campaign distributed literature countywide
- Four ISHB public educational events were presented
- Numerous trap and monitoring sites are established throughout the county primarily in wildlands and parks
- Orange County Waste and Recycling learned 28% of all trees at Prima Deshecha Landfill in San Juan Capistrano are infested with ISHB/FD or Botryospaeria. Most of the vegetation at this site is comprised of native species
- A post-incident GSOB/ISHB reconnaissance was conducted in Weir Canyon, where the Canyon II Fire burned in autumn 2017
- Orange County Parks continued to track tree losses and costs associated with ISHB infestations on its properties. An economic report was publicly released
Los Angeles County
- Three ISHB public educational events were presented
- A funding request was submitted to County governance to continue the ISHB trapping program coordinated by the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains
- The Huntington continued monitoring and green waste processing at the 207-acre facility. An ISHB trapping trial by principal investigator at UC Riverside was initiated that utilizes castor wood as the attractant
- Twenty-six traps are established and monitored in the Santa Clara River watershed extending from the estuary to Piru
- Fifteen traps are established and monitored in the Ventura River watershed. This number is down by two after being lost during the Thomas Fire
- A new infestation was identified in the City of Santa Paula proximal to a known infestation in the Santa Clara River
- One ISHB educational event was presented to Master Gardeners
Santa Barbara County
- Seven traps are being monitored in Montecito and the City of Santa Barbara
- Three traps in Montecito were lost from the January debris flow disaster
- One ISHB educational event was presented to Master Gardeners
San Luis Obispo County
- One ISHB educational event was presented to Master Gardeners
A. Raver. The tiny menace. Landscape Architecture Magazine. March 2018.
Shot Hole Borer galleries, cottonwood
Shot Hole Borer entry point, sycamore. Curtis Ewing, CAL FIRE
- Author: Tunyalee Martin
UC ANR Integrated Pest Management Program
A sugar volcano is one symptom that shows your avocado tree might be infected with Fusarium dieback, a fungi spread by a beetle called the shothole borer. But what you might see if your tree is being attacked by shothole borer, varies among the different kinds of tree hosts. The symptoms—staining, sugary exudate, gumming and beetle frass—are often noticed before the tiny beetles (1.5–2.5 mm) are found.
As its name suggests, these beetles bore into trees. Near or beneath the symptoms, you might notice the beetle's entry and exit holes into the tree. The female tunnels into trees forming galleries, where she lays her eggs. Once grown, the sibling beetles mate with each other so that females leaving the tree to start their own galleries are already pregnant. Males do not fly and stay in the host tree.
Shothole borers have a special structure in their mouth where they carry two or three kinds of their own novel symbiotic fungi. Shothole borers grow these fungi in their tree galleries. It's these fungi that cause Fusarium dieback disease, which interrupts the transportation of water and nutrients in the host tree. Advanced fungal infections will eventually lead to branch dieback.
Early detection of infestations and removal of the infested branches will help reduce beetle numbers and therefore, also reduce the spread of the fungus.
- Chip infested wood onsite to a size of one inch or smaller. If the branch is too large to chip, solarize them under a clear tarp for several months
- Avoid movement of infested firewood and chipping material out of infested area
Avocado is one tree host. Shothole borers successfully lay eggs and grow fungi in many tree hosts, with some of these trees susceptible to the Fusarium dieback disease. For more information about tree host species, where the shothole borer is in California, and what symptoms look like in other tree hosts, visit the UC Riverside Eskalen Lab website.
Californians can help in the fight against invasive species by learning and participating during California Invasive Species Action Week, June 2–10.
During the week, spend your lunch with us learning the latest about invasive tree killing pests, aquatic nasties like quagga mussels and nutria, and how the invasive weed/wildfire cycle is altering our ecosystems! http://ucanr.edu/sites/invasivelunch/
Content in this post taken from the UC IPM Avocado Pest Management Guidelines. Faber BA, Willen CA, Eskalen A, Morse JG, Hanson B, Hoddle MS. Revised continuously. UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines Avocado. UC ANR Publication 3436. Oakland, CA.
And more about Shot Hole Borers
- Author: Frank Byrne, Akif Eskalen and Joe Morse
Two closely related Ambrosia beetles (Euwallacea sp.) have been identified in commercial avocado groves in California. The polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB), detected in Los Angeles, Orange counties and recently in Ventura county, and the Kuroshio shot hole borer (KSHB), detected in San Diego and recently in Orange and Santa Barbara counties, are morphologically indistinguishable, but genetically distinct. Already widespread in a variety of reproductive host trees common in the urban landscape (including box elder, willow, several maples, oak and sycamore species), the beetles represent a significant threat to trees in both landscape and agricultural settings. Adult females construct galleries in the xylem system of host trees, where they cultivate symbiotic fungi (Fusarium, Paracremonium and Graphium spp.) as a food source for their developing young. The fungi are taken up by progeny females in specialized organs within their mouthparts, and transported to other sites within the same tree, where new colonies are established, or to newly colonized hosts. The galleries compromise the structural integrity of infested trees, which can represent a serious safety hazard in urban environments, and disrupt the flow of water and essential nutrients within the xylem. In addition to the physical damage, the fungi extract nutrients from the xylem system, further depriving the tree of nutrients essential for healthy growth and fruit production.
An effective biological control agent is not yet available to manage the SHB in California, and so management for now must rely on the use of chemical pesticides. The control of Ambrosia beetles and their associated fungi using
chemical pesticides is complicated because of their location inside the host trees. The application of insecticides to the external surfaces of trees, where the beetles must first alight prior to boring, has the potential to kill beetles by contact activity, and they may also have the potential to control emerging young adults before they can re-infest the trees.
The drawback of surface treatments is that multiple applications are often required because of the relatively short duration of efficacy. In addition, once the beetle burrows inside the tree, surface treatments are become ineffective. One possible solution to this problem may be the use of systemic pesticides, and scientists at UC Riverside are evaluating the use of both systemic insecticides and fungicides in a 2-pronged attack against the symbiotic system.
Systemic pesticides are mobile within the xylem system of plants, and the fungicides could potentially target the fungi growing in the xylem and deprive the beetle larvae of a food source. The insecticides would prevent the beetle from establishing galleries within susceptible tree hosts, and prevent the survival of beetles and their offspring already present within trees. The big problem with systemic pesticides is getting sufficient concentrations of chemicals to the areas within the trees where the beetle and fungus occur. Although there are exceptions, most systemic treatments are administered to the soil for uptake through the roots. However, in mature avocado groves, the high organic matter content of the soil can prevent effective absorption by roots because the pesticide becomes bound to organic components within the soil. Trunk injection of pesticides directly into the vascular system of trees eliminates the potential for binding of pesticides within the soil, and increases the amount of active ingredient inside the tree available to impact the beetle/fungal system. Systemic pesticides must be formulated for trunk injection and so careful evaluation is needed to ensure optimal efficacy. Trials are being conducted with the assistance of avocado industry and grower collaborators in areas where the SHB has been recorded. The chemicals are injected into the trees using commercially available equipment, and the movement of the active ingredients is then monitored over time in wood core samples taken at different heights of the trees. Two methods are being used to confirm the presence of the chemicals. Insecticides are being quantified using ELISAs that are specific for the active ingredients under investigation. Wood cores taken from trees treated with fungicides are placed in direct proximity to the fungal pathogens growing on agar plates to determine if growth of the fungus is inhibited.
The investigations are still at an early stage, but the researchers are optimistic that they will develop effective control strategies for the SHB that growers can incorporate into their overall pest management programs. Laboratory based bioassays have been used to identify several pesticides that are toxic to the beetle and fungi. The objective of the field trials is to determine whether these chemicals can be utilized as trunk injection agents for the protection of avocado trees. Anyone interested in finding out more about the SHB should go to the web site maintained by Dr. Akif Eskalen at:
At a recent conference in Florida, University of Florida entomologist Daniel Carrillo reported some very disturbing news. There is a fungus/pest complex in Florida avocado and related native laurel species that is similar to a complex found in the California - Shot Hole Borer/Fusarium fungus complex. There it is called Laurel Wilt Disease and is a complex of the ambrosia beetle Xyleborus and the fungus Rafaelea lauricola. It is a fungus/insect complex that causes death in avocado and the relatives of avocado trees. The California complex can cause the death of many tree species, such as sycamore, coast live oak and willow, as well as the decline of avocado. The complex and disease are called Fusarium Dieback here, caused by Euwallacea ambrosia beetle and Fusarium fungus.
What Carrillo and other colleagues have found is that there are similar species to their introduced Rafaelea species of ambrosia beetle that are now attacking live avocado trees. These so-called cryptic species are members of a group of beetles that normally do not attack live trees. These beetles are typically some of the first group of decomposers that go after dead trees. These newly identified insects are morphologically very similar to the original beetle, but are native members of the Florida environment. They too are now attacking live trees. There are now ten potential species of ambrosia beetle that can introduce pathogenic fungi.
To exacerbate the situation, there are other fungi now that have been associated with these beetles that may be similarly as pathogenic as the original fungus. These fungi are genetically distinct from the species causing damage in California. However, this ability of different fungi to adapt to a new invasive beetle species and the ability of other beetle species to pick up the pathogenic fungal species is a scenario that might appear in California.
As the world becomes smaller and more living materials are moved around and they mix, this may be the new reality we are facing.
To read more about the Florida findings check out the article: