Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pest News for Week of May 28


From: Steve Frank, Extension Entomologist

New App for Landscape and Nursery Pests

The Southern Nursery IPM Working Group (SNIPM), of which several faculty at North Carolina State University are members, has just released and exciting new App available for iPhones and Android phones. The App predicts the emergence of arthropod, disease, and weed pests based on degree day estimates, provides diagnosis help, and even pesticide recommendations. This is a very comprehensive tool that should prove valuable to industry and extension personnel. A complete description can be found on the website

Crape Myrtle Aphids

Crape myrtle aphids are one of the most common pests of crape myrtle but rarely require treatment. Small populations are present in Raleigh and have been building over the past couple weeks. Feeding by these aphids results in leaf yellowing and distortion, leaf drop, and honeydew deposits which of course lead to sooty mold. Crape myrtle aphids are generally kept in check by natural enemies. When scouting for them I often find almost as many lacewing eggs, lady bug larvae, and other predators as aphids. Interestingly, there are no known parasitoids of this exotic aphid. A variety of chemicals are available should these aphids reach unacceptable levels in nurseries or landscapes. Some of the same chemicals recommended for aphids such as imidacloprid can be applied as a drench to protect against Japanese beetles later in the year. For more information on this pest including control options, visit and Ornamentals and Turf Insect Note ENT/ort-31 at

Indian Wax Scale Eggs Hatching

Indian wax scale, Ceroplastes ceriferus, is a common scale on landscape plants. In particular we find it on hollies, cherry laurel, spirea, boxwood, and barberry. Indian wax scale is a soft scale that, as the name suggests, looks like white, gray, or pinkish wax on the branches of infested plants. Indian wax scale secretes a lot of honey dew as do most soft scales. This can create sooty mold and reduce the aesthetic appeal of landscape plants. Heavy infestations will reduce plant vitality. Indian wax scale has one generation per year. They overwinter as mostly as adults but we have found younger stages in the fall and spring that apparently overwintered. In spring crawlers emerge and crawl around to find a new feeding site. Crawlers are the best stage to target for control of any scale and for wax scale the time is now. Crawlers are emerging from eggs under the heavy wax covers on campus right now. At this stage crawlers can be killed very easily as they are small and unprotected. Thus horticultural oil is a very viable option. Systemic products such as neonicotinoids make the plant toxic so crawlers and later stages will be killed as they feed. More information can be found at or

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.