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Lexington, KY 40546

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Number 1355
FRUIT -Spotted Wing Drosophila Update SHADE TREES & ORNAMENTALS -Elm Yellows - A Sporadic Yet Lethal Disease of Elm -Sawflies Late Season Pine Defoliators INVASIVE PESTS -Kudzu Bugs Found in Kentucky

September 4, 2013
HOUSEHOLD PESTS -Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Update Hornets and Yellowjackets DIAGNOSTIC LAB HIGHLIGHTS INSECT TRAP COUNTS

FRUIT Spotted Wing Drosophila Update Ric Bessin, Extension Entomologist Problems with spotted wing drosophila (SWA) continue in commercial and backyard small fruit plantings. Blackberries were particularly hard hit by this new invasive insect with some commercial growers reporting near 100 infestations. The same has been true for non-commercial plantings. While the blackberry season is about over, fall raspberry harvest is underway and is threatened by SWA as well.

using traps since the early summer. The grower indicated that the day we told him he had SWA, he began spraying his susceptible crops with SWA materials on a weekly basis and has been getting satisfactory SWA control. I think the keys to his success were: Monitoring for SWA with traps. Using recommended SWA insecticides when SWA was detected. Getting through spray coverage inside the canopy, in this case the grower used an air blast sprayer. Reapplying sprays to susceptible crops on a 5 to 7 day interval during the harvest period (shorter interval after heavy rains). Observing pre-harvest intervals carefully. It is notable that the grower did not wait until he found infested fruit before he began SWA insecticide sprays. Had the grower waited to begin spraying the results may have been different. My recommendation for strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry growers next year to use traps to monitor for the first instance of the adults and be prepared to spray as soon as SWA is detected. There have been a number of questions about SWA infesting grapes. Grapes are not as susceptible to SWA as cane berries, but some thin

Figure 1. Spotted wing drosophila adults on a cracked cherry tomato (Photo: Dr. Kenneth Yeargan).

I visited one commercial planting with blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries where we had been

skinned types can become infested. Cracked or otherwise damaged berries are susceptible as well. However, wine grapes will be crushed, the juice filtered, and wild microbes killed. So, wine grapes are not as likely to suffer losses from SWA. With table grapes this may be different, particularly with the thinnest-skinned types. Home gardeners are less likely to spray regularly and dont have the same options available. I do recommend that the backyard crops be harvested carefully and soft berries disposed of. If the stem end of the berry looks watery, it is likely infested with SWA. Sound fruit with a dry stem end should be refrigerated immediately as this will arrest the development of eggs and any small larvae that may be present inside the fruit. While washing the berries is a good practice for other reasons, it will not rid the berries of eggs or the larvae inside.
Figure 2. Foliar symptoms of elm yellows disease include bright yellowing of leaves during summer.

SHADE TREES & ORNAMENTALS Elm Yellows - A Sporadic Yet Lethal Disease of Elm Nicole Ward-Gauthier, Extension Plant Pathologist Elm Yellows, a lethal systemic disease of elm, was confirmed on two American elm (Ulmus americana) specimens in Franklin County in August 2013. The disease can occur in isolated areas across the eastern portion of the U.S. and can quickly devastate large plantings of native elm. Elm yellows occurs only occasionally in Kentucky. In fact, only one other incidence has been reported in the Commonwealth during the past 30 years (Jefferson County, 1990). Symptoms of elm yellows usually appear during summer months and include bright yellowing that resembles early senescence (Figure 2). Leaves can change hues with a few weeks, with petioles turning downward (epinasty) (Figure 3). Leaves eventually turn brown and can remain attached to branches for several weeks (Figure 4).

Figure 3. Petioles droop and turn downward as elm yellows disease advances.

Mature trees develop disease symptoms approximately nine months following infection, while young trees may show symptoms in as little as 3 months. Trees usually die within a year or two after symptoms develop. There is no cure.

Control of elm yellows is not possible and control of insects is not practical. Infected trees should be removed as soon as possible to prevent spread of disease. Confirmation of elm yellows requires a molecular diagnostic test. Non-elm or tolerant elm species, including Asian species and hybrids, should be used as replacement plants. Sawflies Late Season Pine Defoliators Lee Townsend, Extension Entomologist Sawflies are members of the insect order (Hymenoptera) that includes ants, bees, and wasps. The larval stage has a caterpillar-like body that may be brightly marked with stripes or spots. Some species change significantly in appearance as they grow, making identification confusing. Large numbers of sawflies can strip the needles from a tree in a short period. Several species can be found on pines in Kentucky.

Figure 4. Within a few weeks of symptom development, elm yellows causes leaves to turn brown. Leaves may fall or remain attached to trees for several weeks.

The causal agent of elm yellows is a phytoplasma (bacterium-like prokaryote) called Candidatus Phytoplasma ulmi. The pathogen inhabits phloem tissue of elm, and as the pathogen builds up in tissue, it becomes a metabolic sink for photosynthetic products. Phloem then degenerates downstream from these sinks, causing root mortality in fine roots and subsequently in larger ones. As this process ensues, tree canopies begin to show yellowing symptoms as described above. Hosts of the elm yellows bacterium are limited to elm species, particularly native elm, including the American elm (U. americana) and winged elm (U. alata). Chinese elm (U. parvifolia) is more tolerant of infection and often remains unaffected in areas where disease has killed native elm. Spread of the bacterium is believed to be caused by several species of leafhoppers and possibly spittlebugs, although the white-banded elm leafhopper has been confirmed as the primary vector. These insects inoculate trees during summer or early autumn as they feed.

Figure 5. Introduced pine sawfly larva

The European pine sawfly is one that is active at this time of year. These olive green larvae with black stripes and shiny black heads can feed on many pines including Scotch, Eastern white, and Austrian. They feed on the previous year's needles and do not damage new needles. These sawflies can feed on twig bark, causing growth deformities. Trees are seldom killed by the feeding of this insect during a single season. Full grown larvae are about 1 inch long. The introduced pine sawfly has a black head and black body that is covered with yellow and white spots. They prefer the needles of eastern white pine but also will eat Scotch, red, Austrian, jack, and Swiss mountain pine. Short leaf and Virginia pines have been attacked but usually are not heavily damaged. Feeding is most severe in the crown to upper half of the tree but heavily infested trees can be completely defoliated. If this occurs after the winter buds have formed, many branches or even

the entire tree can be killed. There are two generations each year. The second generation of this sawfly feeds on both old and new needles during August and September. Sawfly populations are usually controlled by combinations of natural enemies, predators, starvation, disease, or unfavorable weather. Outbreaks can occur when natural control does not produce high mortality. Regular inspection of pines will help to detect sawfly infestations before the larvae reach a size that can cause significant defoliation. Since eggs are laid in clusters, feeding by groups of larvae can cause unsightly damage to ornamental or landscape plantings, as well as nursery trees If only a small number of colonies are present and accessible, they can be handpicked, shaken off, or pruned from the tree and destroyed. Some of the insecticides that can be used for sawfly control are listed by the common name of the active ingredient followed by an example brand name. Acephate - Orthene Turf, Tree & Ornamental Spray, bifenthrin- Ortho MAX Lawn & Garden Insect Killer, carbaryl - Sevin, cyfluthrin - Bayer Multi-Insect Killer Concentrate, and permethrin Ortho Tree, Shrub, and Lawn Spray. Although sawflies look like caterpillars, they are not susceptible to Bt sprays. INVASIVE PESTS Kudzu Bugs Found in Kentucky Doug Johnson, Extension Entomologist and Garrard Coffey, ANR Agent, Whitley Co. KY. Kudzu bug adults and juveniles (Figure 6) were collected from Kudzu along Interstate 75 and U.S. Highway 25E and W. Knowing that Kudzu bug movement was continuing toward Kentucky along the I-75 corridor, and at last report was in Claiborne County, TN, which borders Bell and part of Whitley County in KY, I thought it prudent to take some samples along I-75 in these southeastern Kentucky Counties. On Aug. 27 and 28 I traveled to this area and using a 15-inch sweep net sampled kudzu patches along I-75 and U.S. 25E and U.S. 25W in Whitley, Bell, Knox and Laurel counties. This was a very small

and targeted sampling, designed to look in the places most likely to be infested. I collected live Kudzu bugs in Whitley, Bell and Laurel counties. I sampled only a single location in Knox County and it was negative. All the positive samples produced only small numbers of insects, a maximum of 5 in 100 sweeps, but both adult and juvenile forms were captured at multiple locations. It appears likely that the current population is not yet large, but reproduction is occurring. I did have several negative samples, but the number of sampling sites is so small, that zero probably does not have much meaning.

Figure 6. Adult and 2 juvenile Kudzu bugs (Photo: Philip Roberts, University of Georgia)

I have no way of knowing just when these insects arrived in KY as there was no sampling when the population was at zero. Whether the insects I caught first arrived in Kentucky this year or if these are the offspring of overwintered kudzu bugs is unknown. Perhaps a follow up survey in 2014 will give us some idea of how this pest overwinters in Kentucky. I do not believe that this population is a major threat to Kentucky this year. However, if this pest is able to maintain itself in our region, particularly by successful overwintering, it is likely to become an important pest. The main agronomic crop affected will be soybeans. However, this pest feeds on a very wide range of plants, especially legumes (a plant that has a shell like pod, containing multiple seeds, that splits in two halves when it ripens) like beans, lentils, peas, and peanuts. In addition, this bug is a home invader. In

fact, this is how the kudzu bug was first collected in metro Atlanta. Home owners were calling their pest control operators because the pest was congregating in very large numbers on their houses. I might suggest that homeowners who live near Kudzu may want to review the Publication: Entfact- 641 How to Pest-Proof Your Home, which may be obtained from your County Extension office or on-line at: asp My thanks to Stacey White ANR Agent in Bell County for his help in finding sampling locations.

nest deteriorates. Given time, the problem will solve itself. As Falstaff said, The better part of Valour, is Discretion; in the which better part, I have saved my life. Unless the nest inhabitants pose a direct and serious threat because of the location of their nest, Falstaff probably would vote for leaving the colony to run its course and die naturally, or let someone else deal with it. Elimination of an active nest that is a threat is best left to a pest control operator who is has the protective equipment, expertise, and products to handle the task. Here is a look at the common species: Bald faced hornet These black insects with whitish markings on their faces and abdomens are about an inch long. Normally, there are 100 to 400 workers in a colony by this time of year. The football-shaped nest is easily recognized but often hidden in by foliage. The hornets will defend their nest against anyone who approaches within about 3 feet or Figure 7 Football-shaped nest of accidentally jostles the bald faced hornet nest (Photo: P. Meads) it. Fortunately, this species tends to nest relatively high which reduces chances of inadvertent contact. The nest is abandoned at the end of the year and not used again. European hornet The inch-long yellow and brown European hornet is a formidable creature whose paper nest usually is built in a hollow tree; however, they may live in attics, walls, and other voids with an outside entry hole. The nests are usually 6 feet or more above ground level and are rarely exposed. The resident population of a colony could be 1,000 workers but usually is in the range of 200 to 400.

HOUSEHOLD PESTS Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Update Ric Bessin, Extension Entomologist Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) will soon be moving indoors as the fall weather changes. In Lexington where it has been seen since 2010, they have been seen on the sides of buildings this past week and will be moving indoors soon. While BMSB has been found in many counties (more than 25), it has been at low levels in most of those areas. The areas where we have seen it at higher levels has been in the counties around Ashland, Louisville, Lexington, and Cincinnati. This past summer in my own yard, BMSB was seen on cherries, apples, pears, green beans, blackberries, and raspberries.

Hornets and Yellowjackets Lee Townsend, Extension Entomologist Hornet and yellowjacket nests that have gone unnoticed during the summer often become painfully apparent in early fall. These stinging insects pose a threat to people who wander too close to or inadvertently disturb a nest. However, attempting to deal with it as a do-it-yourself project can be even more dangerous. Only overwintering queens survive the winter, all other colony members die in the fall and the abandoned

Figure 8. European hornet

Figure 10. Yellowjacket (wings removed to show typical markings)

European hornets nesting in or close to dwellings will hunt in human-use areas, strip bark from ornamental plants, eat tree fruits, and raid domestic honey bee hives. They will defend their nest if it is disturbed. Foraging workers generally mind their own business but will sting if handled.

Figure 9. Indoor nest of the European hornet

Workers will fly at night and are attracted to lights. This makes evening control attempts much more exciting. Yellowjackets The term yellowjacket includes several species of bright yellow and black wasps that frequently nest in the ground or in fallen trees. It is easy to disturb yellowjacket nests when cleaning up around tree stumps, landscape timbers, or in shrub lines. Colonies may have 300 to 700 individuals. Some species are notorious scavengers that will return to sites for food and water.

Here are some general tips to reduce encounters with hornets and yellowjackets: Avoid leaving attractive resources outdoors. Keep pet food and water from being available for long periods of time. Use garbage bags in trash cans and keep lids in place. A dilute solution of ammonia and water (approximately 6 oz of ammonia (not bleach) per gallon of water) sprayed in and around trash cans and sponged onto outdoor tables and food preparation surfaces may help to repel yellowjackets. Clean up fallen cracked and fermenting fruit. Thoroughly rinse recycled soda and juice containers that are stored in accessible areas. Stay away from known nests and be on the lookout for them when outdoors. Keep food and beverage containers covered when eating outside, yellowjackets will enter open soft drink cans and can be ingested with the liquid, If you are attacked, brush off wasps or wasps and hornets wild swatting may attract more and crushing them may release an alarm chemical that attracts others to you. Dont use scented soaps, shampoos, or lotions if you are going to be working or hiking outdoors. These odors can attract wasps and hornets to you. Do not pour gasoline into yellowjacket nests or hollow trees. Wasp and hornet sprays that shoot a 20 foot stream of insecticide are sold for treatment of active nests. They products typically have an ingredient that will provide quick knockdown of wasps emerging to defend the nest. If this

approach is used, be sure to follow directions on the container. Wear thick clothing to reduce penetration of stingers and have eye and head protection. Wash sting wounds with and water to reduce the chance of secondary infections. Use an ice bag to reduce the effects of the venom and apply lotions that reduce itching from insect stings. Seek medical attention if you are stung in the mouth or throat or if you experience severe swelling, dizziness, or difficulty breathing. The following fact sheets are available Controlling wasps and yellowjackets and Foraging yellowjackets DIAGNOSTIC LAB HIGHLIGHTS Julie Beale and Brenda Kennedy, Plant Disease Diagnosticians Agronomic samples diagnosed in the Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab in the past week have included boron deficiency, anthracnose, and summer black stem & leaf spot on alfalfa; gray leaf spot and Fusarium ear rot on corn; anthracnose, stem canker, southern blight, sudden death syndrome, and downy mildew on soybean. On fruit and vegetable samples, we have diagnosed Phytophthora root rot on blueberry; bitter rot, sooty blotch/flyspeck, and scab on apple; bacterial spot on plum; downy mildew on cucumber; powdery mildew on pumpkin; bacterial spot and Fusarium fruit rot on pepper; root knot nematode on potato; yellow vine decline on squash; and early blight on tomato. On ornamentals and turf, we have seen downy mildew on impatiens; Volutella blight on pachysandra; Cercsospora leaf spot on ash, hydrangea, dogwood, and redbud; Cryptocline and Septoria leaf spots on birch; Phoma leaf spot on crabapple; anthracnose and Phyllosticta leaf spot on maple; tip blight on pine and spruce; bacterial leaf scorch on oak; Pythium root dysfunction on bentgrass; and Pythium blight on perennial ryegrass.


August 23 to August 30
Location Black cutworm Armyworm European corn borer Corn earworm Southwestern corn borer Fall armyworm Princeton, KY 0 1 0 17 2 0 Lexington, KY 0 8 0 1 0 0

Graphs of insect trap counts for the 2013 season are available on the IPM Web site at

Note: Trade names are used to simplify the information presented in this newsletter. No endorsement by the Cooperative Extension Service is intended, nor is criticism implied of similar products that are not named.