- Author: Ben Faber
Plants have been acting differently this spring. Along the coast the peaches have barely bloomed and it's May. Avocado Brown Mite has had a field day. Stethorus beetles have been in low numbers and biocontrol is out of whack.
Her ladybug Coccinelid sisters have been in low numbers, as well. There's lots of ladybug species in the coastal area. Usually the first ladybugs show up on the aphids feeding on the malva (cheeseweed) new growth. I haven't seen many aphids on the malva, but for the last several weeks the new growth on citrus has been hammered by green peach aphid (http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/r604300111.html). They have also been feeding on new growth blueberry.
This aphid doesn't normally get out of hand like this. Possibly the fires have burned up the hills where they were hibernating this winter? Aphids are not normally a problem in either mature citrus or blueberry. It can run it's course, and something will come in to eat them, but it's interesting how a year can be so different from others.
More winter stories