Battling Thrips and Tospoviruses

Jaci Schreckengost Pests, Top Posts

One of the most threatening agricultural pests is thrips, which can affect many crops, including vegetables. Joe Funderburk, a professor of entomology at the University of Florida (UF), says thrips lay their eggs in the plant, which leaves dimples in the fruit. Thrips larvae will also feed on the outside of the plant, which will result in discoloration. “This group …

UF Researcher Deals with Stink-Bug Pressure in Organic Tomatoes

Abbey Taylor Organic, Pests, Tomatoes, Top Posts

There are many benefits to organic production, but it also has its challenges. Perhaps the biggest area of concern for organic growers is how to combat pests without using pesticides. Craig Frey, a doctorate student at the University of Florida (UF), recently presented findings from research, which he completed with Xin Zhao of UF.  The main purpose of their research …

An Update on Diamondback Moth

Abbey Taylor Pests, Top Posts

Hugh Smith, assistant professor of vegetable entomology at the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, recently completed research on diamondback moth patterns and insecticides to try to combat these pests. In previous seasons, the diamondback moth has been a concern for cabbage, collard greens and Asian vegetables. Smith said it was nearly …

Southwest Florida Struggles with Whiteflies and Drought

Abbey Taylor Pests, Tomatoes, Top Posts, Watermelon

The drought is not the only problem Florida tomato and watermelon growers are facing this season. Gene McAvoy, regional vegetable Extension agent with the University of Florida, said whitefly pressure has proliferated and become a big problem for growers. Florida’s relatively warm winter this past year has caused tremendous pest pressure (especially whiteflies) now in the spring. McAvoy says he …

avocado

Ambrosia Beetles Bring Trouble for Avocados

Abbey Taylor Avocado, Pests, Top Posts

An invasive pest from Asia carries a lethal pathogen that can kill avocado trees. The redbay ambrosia beetle was first detected in Savannah, Georgia, in the early 2000s. This beetle carries a fungus that causes laurel wilt, an extremely dangerous pathogen that can be deadly to avocado trees. Recently, the threat of this pathogen has increased. Randy Ploetz, a professor …

USDA Warns it Only Takes One Person to Spread Harmful Invasive Pests

Abbey Taylor Pests, Top Posts

April is Awareness Month for Invasive Plant Pests   Each year, harmful invasive plant pests and diseases cost the United States about $40 billion in crop losses, damage to forests and vulnerable ecosystems, and expensive eradication and control efforts. It only takes one person who moves one piece of infested firewood, one infected plant, or one piece of infested fruit …

An Update on Diamondback Moths

Abbey Taylor Pests, Research, Top Posts

Gary England, a regional specialized Extension agent and director of the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Hastings Agricultural Extension Center, and UF/IFAS Assistant Professor Hugh Smith are starting a second research trial on diamondback moths. In previous seasons, the diamondback moth has been a concern for cabbage, collard greens and Asian vegetables. The main purpose for …

Distract Pests from Attacking Crops

Abbey Taylor Pests, Top Posts

Ayanava Majumdar, a vegetable entomologist at Auburn University, recently spoke at the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference on the benefits of trap crops to fend off pests. Trap crops are decoy crops that distract pests before they can attack production crops. The trap crop can be the same species as the main crop, or it could be completely different. …