Wednesday, July 31, 2013

USDA-FSA Holds Sign Up for Farmland Damaged by Flood and Excessive Rain

News Release from USDA

The following news release has come from Buncombe County FSA offices:  News Release from USDA
If you are located in another county you should call your local FSA office to determine if similar funds are available.

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

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pest Alert for Week of July 29th


From: Steve Frank, Extension Entomologist

Debris-carrying Green Lacewing Larvae are Active and Everywhere!

Green lacewing larvae are common predators of several soft-bodied pest arthropods across the United States. Their prey includes but is not limited to: scale insects, spider mites, aphids, thrips, and eggs of pest insects. They are useful in biological control because of their generalist and voracious feeding habits. Lacewing larvae are often compared to alligators due to their elongate, slender body shape and are typically yellow and brown in color with six legs. These larvae have large pincer mouthparts that they use to penetrate bodies of prey, paralyze them, and literally suck out their insides. They use these mouthparts to devour several hundred prey per week. Lacewings are known to be cannibalistic if they cannot find any other food source. This is one reason that they deposit their eggs individually on long hairs that suspend them above the leaf surface out of reach. These eggs are common and can be easily found on leaf surfaces. 

Some, but not all green lacewing larvae, develop a camouflage cover which hides them from predation by other insects. These are called debris-carrying lacewing larvae because they pick up plant tissue debris and other insect debris and attach it to their back. This camouflage makes them difficult to recognize by natural enemies and the inexperienced human eye. Often times they will appear to be a cluster of tree lichen until you notice small legs underneath or it start to move. They can currently be found on most plants just by scanning leaf surfaces. I have seen several recently without looking for them. These insects remain larvae for two to four weeks at which point they develop into winged green lacewing adults. Adult lacewings are not predators and primarily feed on plant nectar. The adults are commonly attracted to lights at night and can often be found around your home.

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

Monday, July 22, 2013

IR 4 Survey

Please consider going to the attached link to fill our a national survey regarding to pest management strategies and needs:


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

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pest News for Week of July 22nd


From: Steve Frank, Extension Entomologist

Mimosa Webworms

In Raleigh we are seeing the initial webbing created by mimosa webworms. These are annual pests of mimosa trees which many people including me consider pests in their own right. However, if you are one of the many folks who love mimosa trees sans messy caterpillar webbing then it is time for action. The best way to prevent heavy infestations and extensive webbing is to prune out the nest when they are small (now). Moths overwinter as adults so reducing the abundance of caterpillars in your tree could help reduce infestations next year. Most insecticides available for caterpillar control will also control mimosa webworm, but remember that contact is difficult since they live in water proof bags so rely on stomach poisons for best control.

More information on caterpillars can be found at:


From: Mike Waldvogel, Extension Entomology

Mosquito-borne Diseases

On July 4, I sent an e-mail about the rains increasing some pest problems. Some problems are nuisance pests (such as millipedes), but others such as mosquitoes pose a greater problem particularly with the possibility of diseases such as  Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), LaCrosse Encephalitis, and West Nile Virus. As I suggested in that e-mail, it would be prudent for horse owners to get their animals vaccinated.    

Some of you may have already seen yesterday's reports that Brunswick County had its first confirmed equine fatality from EEE ( 

Despite the name, the disease affects not just horses but people as well. Unlike some other disease-causing viruses of medical importance, you can't get EEE from contact with an infected person or horse.  Mosquitoes become infected when they bite an infected bird and those mosquito species then feed on other birds thus increasing the reservoir of virus in the bird population during the course of the summer. Other mosquito species that bite these same birds act as "bridges" by dining again on horses or people who now become infected.  
Children and the elderly are the biggest concern and so we need to urge our clients to take appropriate protective measures and use insect repellents (see We still recommend the usual measures of emptying rain-filled containers and other objects as well as unclogging gutters, drainage ditches, etc. However, mosquitoes that can transmit EEE will also breed in floodwaters and salt marshes and for that reason personal protection is critical. Many of these mosquitoes are active at dawn and dusk and so altering are activity times can help (but are not a guarantee against mosquito bites). Again, we also urge horse owners to consult with the veterinarian about vaccinating their animals against these mosquito-borne diseases.

I would also add that people with dogs that spend a great deal of time outdoors need to make sure they are keeping up their pet's monthly heartworm medications since some of the same mosquito species that are increasing in numbers can also transmit dog heartworm.  

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

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pest News for Week of July 15th


From: Steve Frank, Extension Entomologist

News About Neonicotinoid Insecticides

Neonicotinoids include products such as imidacloprid (Merit, Marathon, various homeowner products made by Bayer), dinotefuran (Safari), acetamiprid (TriStar), and thiamethoxam (Flagship). All the chemicals in this group are systemic and move to plant issue once applied. This includes nectar and pollen. These products have been under scrutiny lately due to their negative effects on pollinators. See this report:

Recently there was a large bee kill in Oregon apparently due to misapplication of a neonicotinoid to a flowering linden tree. Labels typically state “Do not apply to flowering plants or when pollinators are present” or something similar. In response the Oregon Department of Agriculture has temporarily restricted use of dinotefuran while it investigates the incident. More information about this incident is in a recent article:

It is important to correctly use all insecticides by professionals and homeowners.

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

Monday, July 15, 2013

Impatiens Downey Mildew Update

The information I pasted below is an excerpt from an online newsletter called ‘Acres Online’, put out by Ball Publishing. If you are interested in receiving the full copy for yourself go to

Downy Mildew update: Spring 2013

Despite being known in the U.S. since the late 1800s, impatiens downy mildew (IDM) didn’t rear its ugly head in landscape plantings until a couple seasons ago. And in 2012 it was devastating in pockets of the country. So how has the 2013 season been when it comes to our beloved impatiens?

First, IDM did impact production numbers. Best as I can gather from my contacts, wholesale seed and plug sales were down around 30% from 2012.

As for the disease itself, I checked with Ball’s plant pathologist Colleen Warfield for a landscape update. According to Colleen, the disease is still active in Florida, confirmed in Hawaii, and it’s been found recently in San Diego County. However, in the Eastern U.S., there has only been one confirmed report of IDM on I. walleriana in the landscape, and that was in late May. And there is an unofficial report from an Internet blogger who just found it in her Ohio garden. But so far, there are no other confirmed reports on regular impatiens. However, there have been a couple of reports of IDM on I. balsamina, a naturalized plant better known as spotted snapweed or garden balsam. That’s bad news, since we now know of a second host plant.

For the very latest update, Colleen and Margery Daughtrey will be presenting “Impatiens Downy Mildew—Are We Any Closer to Control?” at the Short Course on Saturday, July 12 from 10:45 to noon in room E170. Be there!

Is it in your area? Remember, just because your impatiens have some yellow leaves doesn’t mean it’s IDM. Look for the presence of white sporulation (down) on the underside of the foliage. If you think you’ve seen it in your landscape, let Colleen know at

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Research on Boxwood Blight

Boxwood Blight

Research continues to go on by our various researchers across the US.  Miranda Ganci, one of our graduate students, working with Dr. Kelly Ivors has released some interesting information about this disease about some of the partially resistant cultivars of  varieous Buxus sps.  For more information and to read the most current  research document please visit this link:  Boxwood Blight

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