Collective effort produces Asian longhorned beetle information
In 2005, the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) was found in a warehouse in Sacramento. The pest has the potential to destroy millions of acres of hardwood trees such as elm, maple, boxelder, birch, horse chestnut, poplar, willow, mimosa, and hackberry. Infestations in New York, Illinois, and New Jersey resulted in the removal of thousands of trees and cost state and federal governments in excess of $168 million.
Government organizations combined resources to develop an electronic slide show, a Web page, and informational flyers on how to detect and report suspected infestations of the ALB.
The Web site, www.wripmc.org/alerts/, is a one-stop resource to educate consumers on how to report and prevent Asian longhorned beetle infestations in California.
The following organizations helped to develop the information: UC IPM; the National Plant Diagnostic Network, Western Region; USDA-APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine; USDA-Forest Service; California Department of Food and Agriculture; and the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner. The USDA-CSREES Integrated Pest Management Centers produced and distributed the Pest Alert.
The relatively recent development of heat-tolerant varieties of blueberries has allowed growers to establish a California blueberry industry. However, this industry is now under attack by a new pest, citrus thrips, which has expanded its host range from citrus to become blueberries’ number one pest.
In response to this threat, the UC IPM Program has provided funding for a team of UC researchers and cooperators to develop an integrated pest management program for this pest. The team is being coordinated by UC IPM Farm Advisor David Haviland and also includes UC Riverside entomologist and citrus thrips expert Joseph Morse, and blueberry expert and Farm Advisor Manuel Jimenez.
This team is tackling many aspects of IPM for citrus thrips. This includes documentation of the pest’s seasonal biology, the development of monitoring programs, evaluations of differences in varietal susceptibility to damage, and chemical controls.
The team is also evaluating nonchemical controls such as the use of high-pressure water and entomopathogenic fungi that can act as parasites of insects and kill or seriously disable them. These latter techniques are being investigated as a way to delay resistance to the relatively few number of pesticides registered for blueberries, but that are being used more than 10 times per season on some fields to combat citrus thrips.
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