A main insect pest of pecan trees is active right now.
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension specialist Lenny Wells cautions producers that Asian Ambrosia beetles are active in young pecan trees. Beetle activity has been reported from Cook County, Fort Valley and different sites in Eastern Georgia, according to the UGA Pecan Extension Blog. Activity will only increase as temperatures warm up this week.
“Due to excessive rain in February, many fields are very wet, and planting was delayed,” Wells said in the blog. “These late-planted trees, especially in wet areas, are the most likely to be affected. They will still be under considerable transplant shock and will be the most attractive to beetles.”
Producers can identify beetle activity by the toothpick-sized sawdust tubes the beetles leave sticking out of holes bored in pecan trees. The less likely a tree is to survive an attack, the more often that tree is attacked by the beetles.
Wells advises growers, who have experienced past issues with the beetles or who have new trees planted in the past two or three weeks, to apply a pyrethroid like Bifenthrin.