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Week of August 21, 2017
Second-generation Florida Wax Scale crawlers should be out now or very soon. I saw the cameo stage on some plants, ideal for spraying, and saw not-yet-hatched eggs under other adult scale. These require a bit more time before spraying. Monitoring of individual sites will determine the best time to spray.
The Ornamental Horticulture Research Center posted this on Facebook: Same symptom; two causes, European Pepper Moth (tenative ID) showing up in north and south Alabama. Symptoms are similar to Fusarium which is also common on mums. If it is the caterpillar, look for webbing and frass at the base of the plant and feeding on the lower stem. With Fusarium, one side of the plant often wilts and dies and you can find vascular discoloration and sometimes white or salmon spore masses on the stem.
I had another state hold up a shipment of azaleas a few years ago due to fear of this pest. At that time I did not know of any down here in Mobile. Tropical webworm was thought to be the pest living at the base of the plants. Apparently now we need to be on the lookout for the pepper moth.
More info here.
Some redbanded thrips were seen on autumn and holly ferns in the same house. Damage looked fairly old, with white leaves on a number of plants, especially along the aisles. The grower had thought that the plants got too hot. I didn't find very many adults and nymphs, but they were present. Characteristic black spots similar to lace bugs were seen.
Albert Van Hoogmoed
AL Dept of Agriculture
Mobile and Baldwin Counties
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