Top 20 Pest Notes of 2017

Pests have popularity contests too. We recently looked at how many visits our popular Pest Notes publication series received in 2017.

If you aren't familiar, the UC IPM Pest Notes series are science-based publications written and reviewed by experts on specific pest or management topics for California. UC IPM has 169 Pest Notes with some being more popular than others.

Here are the 20 most visited titles in 2017:

1- Carpet Beetles

For the third year in a row, carpet beetles was the most viewed of the UC IPM Pest Notes series on our website! This commonly occurring indoor pest can be accidentally brought into your home on cut flowers or through open doors or holes in screens. The small adults are pollen feeding but it's the larvae that can damage fabric. Learn more about identification, prevention, and management in the Pest Notes: Carpet Beetles.

2- Peach Leaf Curl

Backyard peach and nectarine trees often suffer from peach leaf curl, a common fungal disease in California. The disease causes curling and deformation of peach and nectarine leaves and if left uncontrolled for multiple years, the tree may eventually die. Read more about it in the Pest Notes: Peach Leaf Curl.

3- Aphids

Warm weather means populations of aphids continue to live and breed, and you may be seeing these insects on your roses and other plants already this season. Learn about their fascinating life cycle and best management tactics at Pest Notes: Aphids.

4- Clothes Moths

The larvae of this moth attacks wool clothing, carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, furs, and much more. If you think you might have this pest, consult the Pest Notes: Clothes Moths for help.

5- Scales

Many people overlook scales on their plants because they don't look like normal insects. Scales have strawlike mouthparts and suck juices from plants, sometimes leading to damage. Learn about the many different types of scales, host plants, and how to manage them at Pest Notes: Scales.

6- Thrips

Although some species of thrips are considered beneficial predators, many are pests that damage fruit, leaves, and shoots and cause aesthetic damage. In addition to this, they may seriously stunt plant growth. If you think your plants may have this pest, see Pest Notes: Thrips.

7- Spider Mites

Spider mites thrive during dry, dusty conditions and usually escape detection until large populations build up and create copious webbing that covers plants. Luckily, there are natural enemies of spider mites that help keep their populations in check, including the western predatory mite. Learn management techniques at Pest Notes: Spider Mites.

8- Whiteflies

Whiteflies are small, flying insects that can attack a number of garden and landscape plants. They usually occur in groups on the undersides of plant leaves and excrete a sticky honeydew that may be covered with sooty mold. Find out more about this garden pest at Pest Notes: Whiteflies.

9- Fire Blight

In spring, some fruit tree shoots may appear burnt, a symptom of fire blight. This disease causes flowers, shoots, and young fruit to shrivel and turn black. Some trees are more susceptible to fire blight. Read about this disease in the Pest Notes: Fire Blight.

10- Fungus gnats

If your houseplants have tiny gnats that fly around them when disturbed, the soil might be infested with fungus gnats. Their larvae eat organic matter and live in the soil. The adults don't bite people, but their presence can be annoying. Learn how to get rid of them by reading the Pest Notes: Fungus Gnats.

11- Leaffooted Bug

Leaffooted bugs are not new to California, but recently some areas have seen an increase in their presence and feeding damage. Learn more about this odd-looking bug and what it eats in Pest Notes: Leaffooted Bug.

12- Rats

Rats in your home and garden are destructive and can transmit disease. If you suspect the presence of rats, you'll first need to determine which of the two species (Norway rat or the roof rat) you have in order to effectively manage them. Find out by reading Pest Notes: Rats.

13- Ground Squirrel

These animal pests can be a problem when they burrow in gardens and around structures. Ground squirrels can damage garden and ornamental plants as well as irrigation lines. Learn what to do about them in Pest Notes: Ground Squirrels.

14- Widow Spiders

Many people are afraid of black widow spiders and any spider that resembles them. Some spiders that look like black widows are actually harmless or less venomous relatives. Learn how to differentiate between them by reading the Pest Notes: Widow Spiders and Their Relatives.

15- Bed Bugs

Reports of bed bugs have been on the rise for the past few years. They are blood-sucking creatures that inspire revulsion in most people. If you travel, you'll want to know what bed bugs look like and how to avoid bringing them home with you. Read the Pest Notes: Bed Bugs and watch the related videos on this topic.

16- Bark Beetles

Bark beetles are small, about the size of a grain of rice, but in large numbers their larvae can do significant damage when they mine galleries just beneath the outer bark of trees. To learn more about bark beetles and their impact, visit the Pest Notes: Bark Beetles.

17- Pocket Gophers

You spot fresh mounds of soil in your garden or landscape. Could it be gophers? These small mammals can cause a lot of damage in a very short time when they feed on numerous plants, or when they gnaw on plastic water lines and sprinkler systems. Find out how to tell if it's a gopher mound and learn management tactics by reading the Pest Notes: Pocket Gophers.

18- Soil Solarization

Gardeners looking for a nonchemical way to control pathogens, nematodes, and weed seeds and seedlings may want to try soil solarization. This method is best done during the hot summer months. Learn how to use this technique by consulting the Pest Notes: Soil Solarization for Gardens & Landscapes.

19- Honey Bee Swarms

At times, large populations of between 5,000 to 20,000 honey bees can be found swarming around an urban area or a hive after taking up residence in your house. A swarm can be frightening but with correct management, it can be taken care of safely with the hive being saved. Learn how to get proper help by reading the Pest Notes: Removing Honey Bee Swarms and Established Hives.

20- Lyme Disease

Lyme disease can be transmitted to humans and pets from the bite of an infected western blacklegged tick. It can cause flulike symptoms that left untreated, may progress to arthritic, neurologic, or cardiac problems. Learn more about Lyme disease and how to safely remove a tick, and where to take a tick sample by reading the Pest Notes: Lyme Disease in California.