- Author: tunyalee martin
UC IPM's new Pest Alert helps you identify Bagrada bug, an invasive stink bug spreading through western Arizona and southern California causing severe crop, nursery, and landscape losses. In agriculture, Bagrada bug is a pest of cole crops and other mustard family plants. In home gardens it feeds on these same vegetables and on ornamental plants such as sweet alyssum and candytuft.
Bagrada bugs use their needlelike mouthparts to pierce and feed on plants and their seeds. Damage includes leaf spotting, wilting, stunting, multiple branches or crowns, and death of the whole plant.
The Pest Alert was produced by UCCE advisors Eric Natwick and Surendra Dara, John Palumbo from the University of Arizona, and the UC IPM team.
Preliminary agricultural management information is also available.
- Author: Mary Louise Flint
Eye gnats are small nuisance flies that are attracted to people's eyes, noses and mouths or sweating skin and open sores. They breed in moist soil that is high in decaying organic matter, often in agricultural operations. When breeding sites are near urban or recreational areas, eye gnats can become a major problem. Most problems with eye gnats in California have been in southern California, especially in San Diego County and the southern desert areas. A new Pest Note: Eye Gnats, written by James Bethke, Bryan Vander May and Loretta Bates of UCCE San Diego, provides information on identification, biology and management of these annoying pests around homes.
Find the Pest Note: Eye Gnats at
- Author: Cheryl Reynolds, UC Statewide IPM Program
Do you have snails and slugs chewing up your favorite garden plants? Are spiders hanging out in and around your home? How can you get rid of those pesky webs?
The UC Statewide IPM program has just released six short videos to help you find answers to these questions. Find the videos on the UC IPM YouTube channel or linked from the specific Pest Notes publications on Snails and Slugs or Spiders.
Snails and slugs chew holes in leaves and fruit of many different types of plants, but they aren't always present when the damage is discovered. Caterpillars, earwigs, grasshoppers, weevils, and others cause similar damage. How can you identify the culprit? The short video clip “Did a snail eat my plant?” shows damage caused by various pests and can help you identify snail or slug damage by looking for their characteristic slime trails and excrement.
Brown garden snail (above) and a snail trap (below)
If you do have snails and slugs in the garden and want to control them without using pesticides, learn how to combine trapping with other nonchemical methods for best results in the clip “Trapping snails and slugs.” If you decide to use a pesticide, check out the video on ”How to apply snail and slug bait.” You'll learn what types of baits are best, which ones to avoid, and how and when to apply them for best results.
Although many people fear them, most spiders you encounter during the day are harmless and can be beneficial in your garden and landscape by eating pest insects.. You can see different kinds of spiders in the short clip “Common garden spiders.” However beneficial they may be, you might not want them inside your home. Even though the easiest method of getting rid of a spider is to kill it, why not trap it and let it loose outdoors to eat those garden pests? “How to catch a spider” shows several ways to easily trap a spider and let it go, including two types of nifty spider catchers that catch spiders in hard-to-reach places. Now what about those sticky webs? “How to clean up spider webs” shows practical methods for removing webs from around your home such as vacuuming, sealing holes in cracks or screens, hosing them off, or using a Webster tool. These methods can also help to keep spiders out of your home.
Adult western spotted orbweaver
For more information on snails, slugs, spiders, and other home and garden pests, visit the UC IPM web site.
- Author: Surendra Dara
Bougainvillea mealybug, Phenacoccus peruvianus was recently found in Los Angeles County. Dr. Gevork Arakelian, Senior Biologist, Los Angeles County Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures prepared this report.
Adult females and nymphs of bougainvillea mealybug (Photo by Gevork Arakelian)
Distribution: Native to South America (Argentina, Peru).Introduced into Great Britain and Mediterranean coast of Europe. In the U.S.: infested plants were found in the nursery trade in southern California (under eradication).
Hosts and damage: Polyphagous. Recorded on Alternanthera sp., Araujia sericifera, Aucuba japonica, Baccharis sp., Bougainvillea, Buddleja sp., Cestrum sp., Chili peppers, Dicliptera suberecta, Dodonea viscosa, Eupatorium sp., Guava, Myoporum laetum, Solanum vespertilio, Solenostemon blumei, Tobacco, Tomato,and others.
Field Identification: Adult females (about 3 mm) are elongate oval, grayish-white and lack marginal wax filaments. They produce relatively long, white waxy ovisacs on the leaves and stems of their host plants.
Mealybug infestation onchili peppers (above) and guava (below). Photos byGevorkArakelian
- Author: Andrew Sutherland
This article was originally published in the June 2013 issue of the Retail Nursery and Garden Center IPM News. Read the entire article at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/RETAIL/retail-newsletter.html
Adult mosquito. Photo by Jack Kelly Clark
Many gardeners are adding fountains, ponds, and other water features to their landscapes. Water gardens are beautiful and calming, but, if not managed properly, can add an unpleasant element to the landscape—mosquitoes. How can you help prevent mosquito infestations?
Mosquitoes can be managed using an integrated approach that relies mostly on prevention, using biological and chemical controls when necessary. The key strategy is to eliminate all potential breeding sites; even one ounce of standing water can support a population of larvae. What can be done, however, when an outdoor space contains a water element? Here are a few tips.
Water features in the landscape will invariably attract adult mosquitoes, but attempting to control them or prevent their egg laying is difficult. Larvae are easier to manage, since they are concentrated in known areas, don't yet bite, and can't fly away. Larvae prefer shallow water that is less than 24 inches deep, so install water features that are deeper than 2 feet. Ponds or features that provide a steep slope or have vertical walls that quickly drop off into deep water will also be less favorable to mosquitoes. Adding a fountain, waterfall, or other device increases water circulation and reduces the stagnation that allows mosquitoes to breed.
Remove excess vegetation and organic debris that provide mosquito larvae with food, shelter from the sun, and hiding places from predators.
In natural environments, bacteria, nematodes, other insects, crustaceans, and fish often keep numbers of mosquito larvae low. Conserve predators such as dragonflies and backswimmers, which may have colonized ponds, by avoiding broad-spectrum insecticides and consider introducing fish. County vector control services may provide free mosquito fish, voracious consumers of mosquito larvae and pupae. Never release mosquito fish into natural water bodies, since these fish aren't native to California and can disrupt ecosystems.
Although these measures will prevent problems in most cases, mosquito larvae may still develop in some ponds.
In gardens with lots of plants growing in still water, it may be impossible to keep mosquitoes from breeding. Regularly check water features for larvae, which periodically come to the surface to breathe through abdominal siphons Watch for the larvae's characteristic wriggling movement, or use fine dip nets to monitor for larvae. It is important to act quickly to kill mosquitoes when they are small, easiest to manage, and before they become adults and start biting.
Larvicides containing spores or metabolites of the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) (e.g., Mosquito Dunks, Mosquito Bits, Microbe-Lift, and other products) act as stomach poisons when ingested, killing larvae within a few days. Bti affects only fly larvae, so it won't harm predatory insects living in the pond or water feature. Another effective larvicide is the insect growth regulator (IGR) methoprene (e.g., Pre-strike Torpedos). IGRs interfere with larval molting and also take a few days to kill, but they have a broader spectrum of activity, affecting most juvenile insects and other arthropods that might be in the pond. Both Bti and methoprene are available as granules or pellets, remain effective for about a month, and as with all pesticides, should be used only according to label directions.
For more information about mosquitoes, visit http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/mosquitoes.html.
Written by: Andrew Sutherland, UCCE Alameda and UC Statewide IPM Program, San Francisco Bay Area email@example.com