Saturday, May 4, 2013

Pest Alert for Week of May 5th


From: Steve Frank, Extension Entomologist

Midge With An Eye on Maples

The ocellate gall midge, Acericecis ocellaris causes an ocellate (single-spotted), pale green to yellow, often bright red-margined gall. Galls are 5 to 6 mm in diameter and occur primarily on foliage of red maples but also A. saccharinum, A. spicatum, and A. pennsylvanicum. I found galls this week on trees in central Georgia so if you have not seen the here yet you will soon. Galls typically appear in May and contain a single, translucent midge larva. Larvae exit the gall and drop to the ground to overwinter as pupae. These are actually quite attractive critters that could even improve the appearance of trees. Just think, if someone bred a tree with yellow and red eye-shaped dots it would be all the rage. That said, these midges usually only occur a few at a time and will not harm tree health. Find out more about maple pests in a free e-book:

Rose Sawflies

I found these sawflies on knockout roses this week in Georgia. I also found some on my roses in Raleigh that were slightly smaller. They are probably the curled rose sawfly, Allantus cinctus, but I am waiting on a positive identification. In any case you can look for damage to leaves by these and other sawflies. Small larvae typically skeletonize the leaves. Larger larvae consume entire leaves. Scout to this damage and also for feces which are a sure sign of something feeding on your plants. If infestations are large a contact insecticides such as a pyrethroid or acephate can be applied. Conserve is also labeled for sawflies. Small infestations in home landscapes could be managed with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap.

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