Pinyon Needle Scale- A menace to our beloved Pine trees!

p3Pinyon pine is a beautiful tree, offering incredible structure to a desert. One of the slowest growing trees among the conifers, the Pinyon pine can take up to a hundred years to produce a single cone. The trees yield edible pinyon nuts, which are widely eaten by the Native Americans. Annual harvest of wild pinyon nuts exceeds a million pounds! The wood, especially when burned, has a distinctive fragrance, making it a common wood to burn in chimineas.  The pinyon pine trees are also known to influence the soil in which they grow. Sadly, these amazing trees are under attack by small, black, bean shaped invasive insects known as the Pinyon needle scales. These insects can cause the leaves of Pinyon pine trees to fall off and could also kill the tree!

p2These tiny, sap-sucking insects kill the needles and severely weaken Pinyon pines in forests. Reduced new growth and stunted needles are common on trees suffering repeated attacks. The needle length is reduced and needles drop prematurely. Heavy infestations frequently kill small trees and predispose weakened larger trees to attack by other insects. Feeding by adult females and nymphs causes the needles to turn yellow and prematurely fall. Most defoliation occurs on older needles, producing a tufted appearance with younger needles primarily persisting on infested trees. Small trees with scales can die in a few years when untreated. However, larger trees suffer more slowly, losing one or a couple branches at a time until they die.

p1This insect is most common and damaging in the United States, particularly in southern Colorado. Historic outbreaks were noted in 1957-1963 in southeast Nevada and southwest Utah, affecting several hundred thousand acres. In 2009, approximately 7% of Nevada’s pinyon forest mapped was affected by this insect. In 2010, nearly 1,161,000 acres of the approximately 9,950,000 acres of pinyon in Nevada were mapped as scale-defoliated. This represents 11.6% of Nevada’s pinyon forest!

The graveness of the issue can be better understood from the following article,

Pinyon needle scale eggs killing trees in some AZ cities


Allison Miller

Apr 11, 2011

 PRESCOTT, AZ – Spring is providing us with warmer temperatures and beautiful spring blooms.

However, these warmer temperatures have already caused native insects, called pinyon needle scales to emerge. 

These insects can cause leaves of Pinyon pine trees to fall off and could also kill the tree.

Because of the warm temperatures, the female scales have already laid their eggs on the trees and will hatch in May. 

They can be found over thousands of acres including the Prescott area up the northwest to the Williamson Valley and are also spreading across the Payson area.

They look like noticable clusters of yellow eggs held together in loose, white, cottony webbing found in branch crotches, along the underside of branches, on the trunk, and at the base of the tree.

Bob Celaya, Forest Health Specialist says the eggs need to be spotted and treated as quickly as possible since they can kill small trees within a few years and large trees may take several years to die.

Evidently, unless proper measures are taken, the Pinyon pines may soon become extinct due to the Pinyon needle scale. Infested pine trees can be treated with chemicals and insecticides or by washing off the eggs from the surface of the trees before they get a chance to hatch. However, the efforts and costs associated with these methods, as well as the environmental safety concerns about applying toxic insecticides, make these techniques less feasible on a broad scale in natural areas.

At C Tech Corporation, we offer a safe and foolproof solution to deal with these tiny insects. Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous product that primarily repels insects from the application. It is a broad spectrum repellent which works against almost 500 species of pestering bugs thus efficaciously fending them away from the application. The best feature of this product is that it is environmentally safe and causes no harm to the insect as well as humans and the environment. It is available in masterbatch and lacquer form, and as a liquid solution. To keep these insects at bay, this product can be coated on the tree trunks in lacquer form. The repelling mechanism of the product would ward off the Pinyon needle scale and any other insect that could harm the pine trees. Thus, using Termirepel™ would effectively ensure that our cherished pines remain safe and protected from this destructive pest!

Termirepel™ against Aphids!

download (5)Aphids, also known as plant lice, are diminutive, soft-bodied, pear-shaped insects which feed on plants, typically during the spring and summer seasons. Aphids are amongst the most common type of garden pests and are commonly green in color, though they can also found in pink, brown, yellow and black. There are over 200 species of aphid s, some of which will only feed on specific types of plants, while the majorities are content to eat a myriad of different plants. Aphids are capable of asexual reproduction and can spawn throughout most of the year, sometimes producing nearly 100 young per aphid in the course of just one week. Because reproduction occurs so rapidly, what starts out as a small aphid problem in a garden, farm or greenhouse can quickly become an infestation without adequate intervention.

Aphids are mostly less than 1/4 in. (6 mm) long. Some are wingless; others have two pairs of transparent or colored wings, the front pair longer than the hind pair. In typical aphids (family Aphididae), two tubes called cornicles project from the rear of the abdomen and exude protective substances. Aphids feed by inserting their beaks and sucking sap from stems, leaves, or roots.

download (2)Many kinds of aphids secrete a sweet substance called honeydew, prized as food by ants, flies, and bees. This substance consists of partially digested, highly concentrated plant sap and other wastes, and is excreted often in copious amounts. Certain aphid species have a symbiotic relationship with various species of ants that resembles the relationship of domestic cattle to humans; hence the name “ant cows” for aphids. The ants tend the aphids, transporting them to their food plants at the appropriate stages of the aphids’ life cycle and sheltering the aphid eggs in their nests during the winter. The aphids, in turn, provide honeydew for the ants.

Damaging aphid populations may develop over a span of several years. Generally medium to low annual rainfall zones are at a greater risk than high annual rainfall zones. Although aphids usually arrive earlier in high rainfall zones, their populations are often kept at relatively low numbers. This is believed to be due to mortalities caused by a combination of strong winds and rain, high natural enemy numbers such as parasites, and fungi, which thrive in high humidity. Direct feeding damage, occurs when colonies of 30 or more aphids develop on individual growing tips.

download (1)The degree of damage depends on the varietal susceptibility, the growth stage of the crop, the percentage of plants infested, the number of aphids per growing tip, and the duration of the infestation. Feeding damage often has no obvious signs or symptoms, although heavily infested plants may be covered in black sooty molds, which live on the sugary honeydew excreted by aphids, and flowers may be aborted. Other signs of damage include down curled leaves and wilting. The damage causes yield and quality losses, by reducing seed size and weight and numbers of pods per plant.

The damage done by aphids is due to a number of causes, including loss of sap, clogging of leaf surfaces with honeydew, and growth of molds and fungi on the honeydew. Leaf curl, a common symptom of aphid infestation, occurs when a colony attacks the underside of a leaf, causing its desiccation. The downward curl provides protection for the colony, but the leaf becomes useless to the plant. Some species also transmit viral diseases of plants. Among the aphids causing serious damage to food crops are the grain, cabbage, corn root, apple, woolly apple, and hickory aphids and the alder and beech tree blights. Direct damage caused by aphids feeding can cause yield losses of more than 50% in susceptible Lupin varieties. Yellow lupins are the most prone to aphid colonization and occasionally feeding damage may be so bad that crops fail to yield.

Let us take a look at the below article:

Aphids damage early crops

06 Aug, 2013 05:00 AM

There has been significant aphid damage to early sown crops, particular in central NSW.

Pest Facts reported there were many accounts of damage in the Central Tablelands region around Mudgee, NSW.

The damage began in July once the resistance imparted by seed treatment wore off.

Oats have been one of the worst impacted crops.

Oat aphid, corn aphid, and rose grain aphid favor barley, but are found in all cereal crops. Heavy infestations of these sap-sucking insects cause the crop to turn yellow, be stunted and generally appear unthrifty.

All three aphids can damage crops by feeding on them and in some instances by spreading barley yellow dwarf virus.

The above article shows the extent of damage these creatures can cause. There have been various other articles published which illustrate the extent of damage caused by aphids. According to a recent study by researchers at Iowa State University aphids has become a threat to soybean in the recent years because they possess a unique ability to block the genetic defense response of soybeans and may open the door for other pests to do even more damage to the crops. Their research further made a significant contribution as the scientist stated that Aphids emerged as a serious threat to Iowa soybeans around 2000. The insects are native to Asia and most likely came to the United States via international travelers or plants brought into the country.  In the years since, aphids have caused soybean farmers major headaches, reducing yields in affected fields by up to 40 percent, a scientist said.

These creatures thus cause a lot of damage in the agricultural sector. Also, they invite more pests like the ants to the plants further endangering them. Conventional methods used to combat them include the use of toxic pesticides which are extremely hazardous to the environment. New methods need to be developed to do away with aphids for good. The method used should be 100% effective and should not endanger the environment in any way whatsoever.

Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous insect and pest repellant. It can be best described as a termite aversive. It is effective against a multitude of other insects and pests like weevils, beetles, thrips, bugs, aphids etc. It works on the mechanism of repellence and therefore does not kill the target as well as non-target species. Being non-toxic, it does not harm the soil and environment. Termirepel™ can be added to a thin agricultural film to protect plants and crops from insects like aphids. It can also be incorporated in irrigation pipes to ward off pests.

Mediterranean fruit fly: Agricultural pest

The Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratimedfly1tis capitata or Medfly) is considered the most important agricultural pest in the world. The Medfly has spread throughout the Mediterranean region, southern Europe, the Middle East, Western Australia, South and Central America and Hawaii. The first of numerous U.S. mainland infestations occurred in Florida in 1929. It has been recorded infesting a wide range of commercial and garden fruits, nuts and vegetables, including apple, avocado, bell pepper, citrus, melon, peach, plum, and tomato

The Mediterranean fruit fly attacks more than 260 different fruits, flowers, vegetables, and nuts. Thin-skinned, ripe succulent fruits are preferred. Host preferences vary in different regions. Although several species of cucurbits have been recorded as hosts of the medfly, they are considered to be very poor hosts. Some hosts have been recorded as medfly hosts only under laboratory conditions and may not be attacked in the field. Knowledge of the hosts in one country often aids in correctly predicting those which are most likely to be infested in a newly infested country, but what may be a preferred host in one part of the world may be a poor host in another.

In some of the Mediterranean countries, only the earlier varieties of citrus are grown, because the flies develop so rapidly that late-season fruits are too heavily infested to be marketable. Some areas have had almost 100% infestation in stone fruits. Harvesting before complete maturity also is practiced in Mediterranean areas generally infested with this fruit fly.

The damage to the crops caused by Medfly mainly results from oviposition in fruit and soft tissues of vegetative plant parts, feeding by the larvae and decomposition of plant tissue by invading secondary microorganisms.

medfly2Larval feeding damage in fruits is most destructive. When they attack fully mature fruit, it develops water-soaked appearance on them, thus making them undesirable to eat. Young fruits become distorted and usually drop. The larval tunnel provides entry points for bacteria and fungi that cause the fruit to rot. These maggots also attack young seedlings, succulent tap roots, and stems and buds of the host plant. In addition to physical damage, Medfly inflicts economic damage due to costs associated with quarantine and monitoring programs, limits on export from fly infested areas, and quarantine treatments of fruit from infested areas.

Let us take a look at the article below:

med news

The Battle over the Medfly

MARCH 16, 2014

 Ceratitis capitata. To a Muggle’s ears, it sounds like an incantation from a Hogwarts wizard. If only the matter were whimsical.

medfly3Ceratitis capitata may be better known by its nonscientific name: the Mediterranean fruit fly, or Medfly to its friends. Only the Medfly has no friends, certainly not among fruit and vegetable growers, and certainly not among anyone interested in reasonably priced produce undamaged by these insects, whose eggs, hatched under the skin of, say, a tomato or a peach, develop into larvae that feast on the pulp. California, the nation’s fruit basket, with a $40-billion-a-year agricultural industry, feels especially vulnerable. How that state has handled Medfly scares going back more than three decades is the focus of the latest installment of Retro Report, a series of documentary videos that take a second look at major news stories from the past.

This week’s video returns us to the early 1980s. A severe Medfly infestation had led Jerry Brown — California’s governor then, as he is now again — to authorize widespread aerial spraying of malathion, an insecticide that shattered the fly’s nervous system. Unfortunately, it also shattered the nerves of many Californians, who feared that diffusing this pesticide in the air was unhealthy for children and other living things. They were hardly reassured by officials’ insistence that malathion had little toxicity for humans; it was even being used to kill head lice. Nor were they impressed when a state official named B. T. Collins — speaking of whimsical — drank a glass of diluted malathion in 1981 to demonstrate that it caused no harm beyond perhaps upsetting his stomach a tad. (Mr. Collins died 12 years later at a fairly young age, 52, but of a heart attack, not of malathion-induced complications.)

In September 1982, California officials pronounced themselves lords of the flies, proclaiming victory over the rascals. Their self-congratulatory toasts proved premature, as new infestations erupted in the late 1980s and early 90s. After another campaign to eliminate them, officials declared victory once more. But James R. Carey, an entomologist at the University of California, Davis, suggested even then that Californians should disabuse themselves of the notion that the Medfly and cousins like the Mexican fruit fly were alien invaders thumbing rides into the state in contraband fruit. Rather, he said, they had taken up permanent residence. And in a study issued last summer, Dr. Carey and colleagues reported finding at least five and maybe nine species of the pests across California. But the populations, the researchers said, were relatively small, which meant there was still time to devise new anti-fly strategies.

The preferred method of control today — actually, one that began as far back as the 1980s — is to radioactively sterilize male flies in the laboratory. By the billions each year, the altered males are released into the air, free to have their way with any female flies that may be around. No offspring are produced. Over time, Medfly populations have shrunk.

medfly4But they are still around. Yet one does not hear much about them these days. That may be because many Americans are less disturbed by winged pests than they are by certain methods of attempted eradication. Plain and simple, large-scale spraying frightens people, especially if they have small children. That is what really rattled Californians in the 1980s. We are, of course, not including fruit and vegetable farmers in that state, who had every reason to fear economic ruin.

The very word “pesticide” can be toxic. One result is the occasional food scare. America has had its share of them.

In 1959, after traces of a carcinogenic pesticide were found in some supplies of cranberries in Washington and Oregon, panic spread nationwide, around Thanksgiving no less. Cranberry sauce was conspicuously absent from many holiday tables that year. In 1962, Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” was published, leading to a ban on the pesticide DDT and creating for many a fear that the nation’s entire food supply might be tainted. In the late 1980s, apples became the fear du jour because orchards had been sprayed with the chemical Alar. In more recent years, outbreaks of the deadly West Nile virus had some New Yorkers wondering if they were better off taking their chances with mosquitoes bearing the disease than with pesticide sprayings.

Not everyone, however, believes the nation to be endlessly at risk. Some experts say that anti-pest chemicals are generally used in amounts far too small to harm humans. A federal review of malathion in 2000, for example, found that it posed no threat to people when used properly.

Still, Americans fret. One beneficiary is the organic-food movement. What could be better than natural?

But organic foods are not necessarily free of pesticides, many of which occur in nature. If mishandled, they could kill just as effectively as any lab-engineered product. There is, too, organic food’s relatively high cost; it is beyond the reach of many. And so one argument goes like this: If some people reduce their consumption of healthful fruits and vegetables, whether out of fear of pesticides or an inability to afford organic, are they not doing themselves at least as much potential harm as they would by simply accepting anti-pest chemicals as an inescapable part of modern life?

Debates over such matters seem unlikely to end anytime soon. Even Ceratitis capitata has had its defenders, hard as that may be to believe. The Evening Independent of St. Petersburg, Fla., reported in August 1929 that a play called “The Mediterranean Fruit Fly” was being performed at a local Methodist church. “This humorous little skit,” the newspaper said, “carries the moral that something good comes out of everything, even a Medfly plague.”

medfly5In this age of jet transportation, the “medfly” can be transported from one part of the world to some distant place in a matter of hours, which greatly complicates efforts to contain it within its present distribution. Once it is established, eradication efforts may be extremely difficult and expensive. In addition to the reduction of crop yield, infested areas have the additional expense of control measures and costly sorting processes for both fresh and processed fruit and also vegetables. Some countries maintain quarantines against the medfly, which could jeopardize some fresh fruit markets if it should be established in Florida.

It has been estimated that if control methods were not used, medfly would infest 100 percent of over 200 fruit and vegetable species. All citrus is especially susceptible to warm winters. Only early maturing varieties of stone fruit or fruit fly tolerant varieties of fruit such as some lemon cultivars and avocados can be grown without insecticide applications.

Thus a method needs to be devised to keep these creatures away from infesting the fruits and vegetables. The conventional toxic and hazardous chemicals used for combating the pest problems are inefficient and ineffective.

At C Tech Corporation, we offer a safe and effective solution to deal with these insects. Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous product that primarily repels insects from the application. It is a broad spectrum repellent which works against almost 500 species of pestering bugs thus efficaciously repulse them away from the application. The best feature of this product is that it is environmentally safe and causes no harm to the insect as well as humans and the environment. It is available in masterbatch and lacquer form and as a liquid solution. To keep these insects at bay, this product can be coated in lacquer form or added in mulches or films. This product work on the mechanism of sustainability and green technology and therefore significant in today’s time and date as ecology salvation has become the prime focus.

Tent caterpillar: The eating machine

Tent Caterpillars are moderately sized species in the genus Malacosoma and in the moth famForest_Tent_Caterpillarily Lasiocampidae. Species occur in North America, including Mexico, and in Eurasia. Twenty-six species have been described, six of which occur in North America. Some species are considered to have subspecies as well. They are often considered pests due to their habit of defoliating trees. They are among the most social of all caterpillars and exhibit many noteworthy behaviors.

Tent caterpillars are readily recognized because they are social, colorful, diurnal and build conspicuous silk tents in the branches of host trees. Some species, such as the eastern tent caterpillars, Malacosoma americanum, build a single large tent which is typically occupied through the whole of the larval stage, while others build a series of small tents that are sequentially abandoned. Whereas tent caterpillars make their tents in the nodes and branches of a tree’s limbs, webworms enclose leaves and small branches at the ends of the limbs.

Full-grown caterpillars (2 inches long) are sparsely hairy and black in color with a row of pale blue spots on each side. They have a white stripe down the center of their backs that makes them easy to identify. Adults (1-1/2 inches long) are reddish brown moths with two white bands running diagonally across each forewing. Host plants include cherry, apple, and crabapple, but may be found on a variety of shade trees as well.

They damage plants by chewing on leaves, flowers, shoots, and fruit and sometimes by boring into wood. Caterpillars in fruit or wood can be difficult to manage. They are hidden most of their life and can cause serious damage even when numbers are low.

tent-caterpillar-tentIn agricultural production, the preferred hosts of this pest are cherry, cabbage, kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, crabapple, and apple. They also occasionally attack other deciduous ornamental shrubs, shade, and forest trees. The silky tents spun by the caterpillars make landscape trees unsightly, and the caterpillars are annoying when searching for food or a suitable place to spin their cocoons. When tent caterpillars are abundant, they frequently eat all the leaves on a tree which weakens it, but seldom kills it. The foliage on the host tree may be stripped from all the twigs within a distance of three feet from the nest.

caterpillars-cover-poleTent caterpillars can be fast- feeding and ruthless pests to have in your crop. The damage they can cause can be severe to the point of total crop loss through complete defoliation. Most medium-sized to large trees can handle two to three consecutive years of defoliation, but most of the crops produced by growers do not fall into this category. To most growers, a large infestation can spell doom.

Recently tent caterpillars are proving to be the newest threat to the electric industry. Dozens of power outages have been reported in recent times due to these caterpillars. Sam Houston Electric Cooperative’s line technician Virgil Cain said on the utility’s blog “The caterpillars can completely cover a piece of electrical equipment; they can actually disrupt the insulating ability of the equipment and cause a power outage”. Members are seeing them all over their homes, on outbuildings and all over our power poles, transformers, and other equipment,” said Mary Kate Pedigo, communications specialist for Livingston-based Sam Houston EC.

bulding“Line techs are seeing swarms so thick along the neutral that you can’t even see the line,” said Pedigo. “In recent years we’ve had to remove hundreds of thousands of dead trees from our sights of the way because of the drought, and we expect to see even more as a result of caterpillar damage.” In the northeast of Houston, undulating masses of moth larvae have coated transformers, utility poles and insulators, causing system faults, tripping breakers and sizzling fuses into failure mode. Line technicians have been changing out damaged components across several counties of the co-op’s service territory.

The following article will explain just how detrimental tent caterpillar can be:

news cat

Tent Caterpillars Cause Power Outages in East TexasTop of Form

Published at 10:55 AM CDT on Apr 8, 2015

Untitled Over the past week, Sam Houston Electric Cooperative members have experienced dozens of power outages caused by “tent caterpillars.” The caterpillars can actually disrupt the insulating ability of electrical equipment and cause a power outage

Spring means bluebonnets are popping up across Texas, but that also means insects are back. Tent caterpillars are so abundant in East Texas that some residents have been left in the dark.

Sam Houston Electric Cooperative said the colorful caterpillars have been hatching by the millions and covering homes, trees, and electrical equipment. Line technicians report the caterpillars can engulf transformers, resulting in blown fuses.

“The caterpillars can completely cover a piece of electrical equipment,” said Sam Houston Electric Cooperative line technician Virgil Cain. “They can actually disrupt the insulating ability of the equipment and cause a power outage.”

The caterpillars not only swarm equipment they also feed on leaves, particularly of oak trees.

According to Texas A&M Agri Life, they can defoliate a tree causing permanent damage. The damage could cause trees to fall on power lines causing power outages.

cat2Eventually, the caterpillars will emerge from cocoons as brown and yellowish moths with a one-inch wingspan. They no longer feed on vegetation but they do lay eggs and the life cycle starts all over again.

Tent caterpillars are not usually very difficult to detect. Regardless of size, color and area of activity all of which are easily identifiable for what they are and can be simple to control if multiple and aggressive steps are taken quickly.

There are very few solutions available to combat a modern-day plague of tent caterpillars. Damage can be reduced by removing and destroying tents and caterpillars as soon as they are noticed, but this technique is not always effective. Insecticides are used to control tent caterpillars, but this method is hazardous and may cause long-lasting consequences to the crops and humans who consume them.

C Tech Corporation offers a non-toxic and non-hazardous product, Termirepel™ to protect the crops and cables from these ravenous insects. It is an environmentally safe product that works by repelling the insects without causing any harm to the target or non-target species.  Termirepel™ is available in concentrate and lacquer form. It can also be used as a liquid solution.  Termirepel™ can be safely incorporated into the PVC insulation of wires and cables or coated on surfaces to keep tent caterpillars away from the application.  Termirepel™ can also be incorporated in agricultural films and mulches for the protection of crops against these creatures.

Viburnum leaf beetle!

leaf Pyrrhalta viburni is a species of leaf beetle native to Europe and Asia, commonly known as the viburnum leaf beetle. It was first detected in the United States in Maine in 1994. In England the Royal Horticulture Society has named Pyrrhalta viburni as the country’s “number one pest species”. The viburnum leaf beetle is approximately 4.5 to 6.5 mm in length. The head, thorax and elytra are generally brown, and the anterior edge of the elytra is slightly dark. The dorsal surface is covered with dense golden-grey hair. In overall appearance, VLB resembles the elm leaf beetle except for minor differences in size and color. Generally, the elm leaf beetle is slightly larger with a body length of 5.8 to 6.8 mm. In addition, the elm leaf beetle has a light brown body with a dark stripe on the edge of each forewing, almost reaching the apex.

viburnum leaf beetle a pest that has the potential to become a serious problem in nurseries and landscapes in Pennsylvania. Adults and larvae feed on plants belonging to the genus Viburnum, sometimes causing their death. This species is native to Europe, but it has been detected in Canada and more recently, in western and central New York and Maine. The viburnum leaf beetle was first detected in Erie County in 2001 in northwestern Pennsylvania. During 2008 it was found in Bradford, Centre, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Monroe, Montour, Pike, Potter, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Venango, Warren, and Wayne Counties. Recently, this species was also identified from Indiana and Butler counties in Pennsylvania. This species is closely related to the elm leaf beetle.

This pest feeds on viburnum and seems to prefer viburnums with little hair (pubeditedescence) on the foliage that includes Viburnum opulus, EuroV. dentatum, arrowwood viburnum, and V. trilobum , American cranberrybush viburnum. This pest will also feed on V. lantana , wayferingtree viburnum, V. rafinesquianum , Rafinisque viburnum,V. acerifolium , mapleleaf viburnum, V. lentago , nannyberry viburnum, and V. sargentii , Sargent viburnum. Thus, many of the viburnums affected are species native to the United States.

Both larvae and adults feed on foliage between the midrib and larger veins. Feeding usually takes place on the lower leaf surface. Larvae can skeletonize young leaves by June. This is the first sign of an infestation. Emerging adults continue feeding on viburnum. Plants that have been defoliated for two or three consecutive years may die.

Let us take a look at how these beetles are causing damage in western Pennsylvania:

tribe news




Viburnum leaf beetles have made way to Pa., but you can limit damage

By Jessica walliser ; Friday, July 3, 2015, 6:26 p.m.; Updated 8 hours ago

The viburnum leaf beetle (Pyrrhalta viburni) is a relatively new pest to Western Pennsylvania. Now found in parts of eastern Canada and several states in the Northeastern United States, this little beetle was accidentally introduced to North America from Europe in the 1940s. It was first noted in Pennsylvania in 2001. Gardeners have been reporting its presence in our part of the state for the past few years.

The viburnum leaf beetle targets only viburnums, with some species being more susceptible than others. This pest will not feed on any other species of plants. Heavy infestations can completely defoliate shrubs and cause significant dieback.

Adult beetles are about a quarter-inch long, with the females being slightly larger than the males. They are brown with darker markings along their sides. The antennae are almost as long as their bodies. Adult beetles can only be seen from early July through October, when females are actively chewing holes in small branches to insert their eggs. These egg-laying sites are often lined up in a straight row on the underside of a young twig.

The eggs overwinter on the plant, and by early May, they hatch. The resulting larvae are 12-inch long, wormlike, creamy-yellow grubs with dark markings. They’re found on the leaf undersides where they dine on the foliage. They can quickly skeletonize the tender, new growth, leaving only the leaf veins intact.

By early to mid-June, the larvae are finished feeding. They climb down to the ground to pupate. In early July, the adults emerge from pupation and go on to lay more eggs. There’s only one generation per year, but that single generation is capable of causing a whole lot of damage.

Viburnum leaf beetles are particularly fond of several species of viburnum, including arrow wood viburnums, American cranberry bush viburnums, black haw viburnums and European cranberry bush viburnums.

However, there are also several species of viburnum that seem to be fairly resistant to the beetles. These include Korean spice viburnums, Burk wood viburnums, and leather leaf viburnums.

Though viburnum leaf beetles are new kids on the block, there are some ways you can keep them from damaging your viburnums. First, plant only resistant species. Second, prune and destroy any infested twigs after the egg-laying period ends in the fall. Simply lift the twigs up to inspect their undersides. This is best done after the leaves have fallen off. Prune off any twigs with evidence of the characteristic lined-up egg-laying sites (they’ll appear as little bumps of sawdust-like material in a straight row).

Many predatory insects feed on viburnum leaf-beetle larvae, including ladybugs, lacewing larvae, soldier beetles, predatory stinkbugs, and ground beetles. Encourage these insects by planting lots of flowering herbs and annuals in your landscape.

Organic pesticides are also effective against the feeding larvae, especially when used as soon as damage is noted. Spinosad-based products (such as Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew) are useful, as is insecticidal soap. Be sure to spray both upper and lower leaf surfaces.

larvdam600Pesticides used to control this viburnum pest, several (including organic pyrethrins) are contact poisons that also kill the beneficial insects. What makes this pest such a problem is that it feeds rapidly, and can defoliate a shrub (eat all the leaves) in a few days, leading to the death of the plant if this happens for two or three consecutive years. This pest has a fairly simple life cycle, beginning with larvae hatching from eggs in spring. These feed on leaves, then in early summer crawl down the stems to pupate in the soil. The adults emerge in midsummer, feed again on leaves, mate, and lay eggs which overwinter until next spring. Luckily, not all viburnums are created equal when it comes to feeding preference of this pest. Species that are most resistant to this pest still may become partially infested yet usually have little or no feeding. The most resistant species you should consider for landscapes if this pest is in your area include the Koreanspice, Judd, double file , leather leaf tea, and Siebold viburnums.

The most susceptible species you should avoid planting or consider replacing if this pest is nearby included arrowwood (dentatum), possum-haw (nudum), and cranberrybush (opulus) viburnums. Still susceptible, yet not as much so, are the mapleleaf (acerifolium), wayfaringtree (lantana), Sargent (sargentii), and Wright (wrightii) viburnums. Many of the other species you may find are likely moderately susceptible.

If planting resistant species or replacing susceptible ones isn’t an option, consider least-toxic control options before reaching for an insecticide. There are several beneficial insects that feed on viburnum leaf beetle larvae, including lady beetle larvae and adults, lacewing larvae, and spined soldier bug nymphs. Adults of both the lady beetle and spined soldier bug also eat viburnum leaf beetle adults. Thus one needs to b very careful in taking measures against these pests. We need a solution that helps protect our shrubs and plants from damage, while at the same time does not harm the environment or other beneficial insects in any way. So, how do we fight this pest?

At C Tech Corporation, we offer a safe and effective solution to deal with these insects. Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous product that primarily repels insects from the application. It is a broad spectrum repellent which works against almost 500 species of pestering bugs thus efficaciously repulse them away from the application. The best feature of this product is that it is environmentally safe and causes no harm to the insect as well as humans and the environment. It is available in masterbatch and lacquer form and as a liquid solution. To keep these insects at bay, this product can be coated in lacquer form or added in mulches or films. The repelling mechanism of the product would keep off the viburnum leaf beetle and any other insect that could harm our shrubs and plants.

Stink Bug: Agricultural pest

 Brown marmostink bug1rated stink bug (BMSB), or simply the stink bug, is an insect in the family Pentatomidae, and it is native to China, Japan, and Taiwan. It was accidentally introduced into the United States, with the first specimen being collected in September 1998. The brown marmorated stink bug is considered to be an agricultural pest, and by 2010–11 had become a season-long pest in U.S. orchards.

According to North Dakota State University, there are 4,700 species of stink bugs in the world, with about 250 in the U.S. and Canada. It is known as the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) as it gets its name from the brown marbling pattern on its back.

Brown marmorated stink bug are sporadic pests of most deciduous tree fruits and can occasionally cause severe damage. The name stink bug comes from the insects’ habit of exuding a fluid, which has a strong and usually disagreeable odor, from glands between the legs.

The brown magri pestarmorated stink bug is an agricultural pest that can cause widespread damage to fruit and vegetable crops. In Japan it is a pest to soyabean and fruit crops. In the U.S., the brown marmorated stink bug feeds, beginning in late May or early June, on a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and other host plants including peaches, apples, green beans, soybeans, cherries, raspberries, and pears. It is a sucking insect, a “true bug“that uses its proboscis to pierce the host plant in order to feed.

This insect is becoming an important agricultural pest in Pennsylvania. In 2010, it produced severe losses in some apple and peach orchards by damaging peaches and apples.  It also has been found feeding on blackberry, sweet corn, field corn and soyabeans.  In neighboring states, it has been observed damaging tomatoes, lima beans, and green peppers.

These insects can produce allergic reactions in some individuals who are sensitive to the bugs’ odor (an aeroallergen). These chemicals are produced by dorsal scent glands. Individuals sensitive to the odors of cockroaches and lady beetles are also affected by the stink bug.  Additionally, if the insects are crushed or smashed against exposed skin they have been reported to produce dermatitis at the point of contact.  This is particularly important regarding agricultural workers picking fruits and vegetables.

In agriculture, stink bugs have been more of a problem in the Mid-Atlantic States like Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. The U.S. Apple Association estimated that stink bugs caused $37 million in damage to apple growers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia in 2010.They have also been a real headache for home gardeners in these states.

The article below would better explain the damage caused by these insects.


Farmers worry about harvest as stink bugs make a mess in NW region

Originally published June 22, 2015 at 8:50 pm Updated June 24, 2015 at 3:39 pm

By Hal Bernton – Seattle Times staff reporter

VANCOUVER, Wash. — on a hot June day, Joe Beaudoin ducked into the shade of his orchard to check for peaches with shallow dimples — the telltale signs left by the brown marmorated stink bug.

This invader from Asia has a formidable appetite for the berries, tree fruits and vegetables that Beaudoin grows on his 80-acre farm.

This spring, even before the trees sprouted all their leaves, the bug already had begun to pierce the tiny peaches to suck out juice.

“This is our third year finding them,” Beaudoin said. “But I have never seen the damage so early.”

Beaudoin expects more crop losses in what is shaping up to be a big year for the stink bugs.

stink_bug_11The same mild temperatures that sabotaged the region’s snowpack were a boon to these bugs, reducing their mortality during the coldest months and generating plenty of early spring bounty for forage and as climate change unfolds in an increasingly interconnected world, the warmer weather forecast for the decades ahead could make the Northwest a more welcoming region for some of the pests that arrive from elsewhere.

The stink bugs get their name from the scent they release, which some describe as akin to a musky cilantro. They are well-entrenched in the Portland-Vancouver area, and — to a lesser extent — in Seattle. In both cities, some urban homeowners have been beset by infestations as the bugs find indoor spaces to overwinter.

These insects have also spread south through the Willamette Valley, where Oregon State University researchers have purposefully mixed in the stink bugs with the grape crush to try to figure out how many insects it takes to mess with the taste of the region’s fabled Pinot Noir.

“We should be able to keep them out of the wine, but even if they get in, we’re looking at some processing steps so that you can get rid of the flavor,” said Elizabeth Tomasino, an Oregon State University researcher.

So far, in the orchard country of Central Washington, only a few stink bugs have been found in nearby residential areas, and there are still plenty of questions about how well they can adapt to such an arid area.

But these farmers are on alert.

Spurred by the government phase out of some insecticides, they have under taken a major effort to develop alternative pest controls. If the population booms in their orchards, they would likely dramatically step up their spraying.

The weird warm weather has also boosted the populations of another recent Asian invader: a tiny fly called the spotted winged drosophila that lays its eggs in the fruit of cherries, berries and other crops. This year, Beaudoin says he had to spray his strawberries, marionberries and blackberries once a week to keep these fruit flies at bay.

The stink bugs attack a broader range of crops — including the apples that are Washington’s most valuable harvest.

Hurting harvests

The brown marmorated stink bugs grow to less than an inch long and are shaped like a shield.

They can be differentiated from native U.S. stink bugs, which have not been a big pest problem, by two white bands on their antennae.

These insects have a complicated life cycle, living for up to a year and evolving through five different stages before adulthood, when their wings enable them to cover many miles in search of food. In the Northwest, they typically produce one generation per year, but due to the warm weather this year, they may produce two.

Their destructive power was amply demonstrated in Pennlysvania, which was where the bug was first detected in the United States back in 1998. Over time, their numbers grew, and in 2010 the bug contributed to severe losses in apple orchards, scarring the fruit with so many blemishes that some acreage was not worth harvesting.

Homeowners also have had creepy experiences with the stink bugs, with some in eastern states reporting thousands infesting their residences.

4Beaudoin’s farm location — within the Vancouver urban boundaries and close to residential subdivisions where stink bugs overwinter — makes his acreage particularly vulnerable to attacks. And during the past three years, his operations have evolved into a kind of field laboratory for the study of the insect’s Northwest behavior.

Beaudoin was surprised to find, at least in his orchards, the bugs appeared to show a decided preference for Russet and Granny Smith apples but left more than a dozen other varieties untouched. He lost several rows of one variety of peaches, but not others. And 90 percent of his French pumpkins were lost to the stink bugs, which penetrated from the ground,

Researchers are scrambling to figure out not only what are the most effective insecticides to use on the stink bugs, but also when best to apply them. So far, for Beaudoin, that’s still uncertain.

“This is all new. For timing, it’s just going to be a guess,” Beaudoin said.

Tastes like … bugs

As the bugs spread from the Portland area in search of food, the vineyards of Western Oregon represent close-by targets. So far, they have not shown up on grapes in sufficient quantities to pose a problem for winemaking, according to Tomasino, the OSU researcher. If they did, blowers used during sorting could hopefully keep them out of the crush.

5But with so much at stake, OSU researchers decided to figure out how many stink bugs it would take to taint the wine, and what consumers thought of that product.

They made wine in 2012, 2013 and 2014, then served it up after a year of aging in blind taste tests with untainted vintage. (All the wine fell well within the Food and Drug Administration thresholds for insect levels in the crush, according to Tomasino.)

The researchers concluded that the recipe for a decidedly stink-bug flavored Pinot was three and a half insects per cluster of grapes, which is well above the levels found to date in the vineyards.

 About 10 percent of those who blind tasted the stink- bug wine didn’t mind the flavor.

Others who sampled the wine either disliked or strongly disliked the stink- bug taint.

“It does two different things,” Tomasino said. “It masks a little bit of the fruitiness, and then in your mouth the main compound from stink bugs is cilantro, and of course that’s not something you would associate with a high-quality wine.

Hopes for a treatment

The stink bug could potentially wreak the most damage in Washington east of the mountains, where many high-value crops are grown with irrigation.

Even amid this desert agriculture, invasive species can sometimes take hold. In the orchards of the Yakima basin, farmers have long battled the codling moth of West Asian origin.

To fend off the codling moth, farmers for years repeatedly sprayed apples with azinphos-methyl, an organophosphate pesticide derived from World War II-era nerve agents.

Brown marmorated stink bugs crawl on a peach in Allentown,… (Peter Shearer / Oregon State University) 

The chemical was phased out of the orchards in 2012 by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Today, most apple growers get much of their control by a gentle alternative. They hang small wire dispensers in the trees that flood the orchards with pheromones and disrupt the moth’s mating cycle. This approach also enables more beneficial insects to build up in the orchards and help keep other pests under control.

“It’s been a major success but it’s been a long, long road to figure out how to manipulate those moths to keep them from finding each other,” said Peter Landolt, a U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist based in Wapato.

There’s no similar treatment for stink bugs.

Instead, with azinphos-methyl now off-limits, farms in areas with stink bugs have turned to other compounds — such as pyrethroids — that kill a wide range of insects. Then, with the beneficial insects knocked back, they sometimes have to turn to additional sprays to treat other pests that move in.

“We’re afraid of what will happen if they get here,” said Jim Doorink, an apple grower in the Yakima Basin. “The products we use against it are broad spectrum and indiscriminate.”

Researchers are hoping to come up with alternative treatments, such as introducing natural predators that can feed on the stink bugs, or finding some way to attract masses of the bugs to a lethal trap.

At the Wapato research station, stink bugs dwell in a plexiglass cage. Chemist Lee Ream picks one up with tweezers and tickles its belly so the stressed-out bug emits a pungent aroma.

The scent has undergone detailed analysis, but researchers still have a long way to go to figure out the stink bugs.

Some, such as Landolt, are hopeful that the lack of water and climate extremes of the desert climate will limit the bugs’ populations.

Doorink, as he gazes out from his hilltop house on thousands of verdant irrigated acreage, is less optimistic.

“I think all the (dry climate) is going to do is affect how quickly they can get established here,” he said. “There are plenty of places out there for them.”

StinkbugPWManagement options for this invasive insect are currently limited. Agricultural setting management relies on chemical control. Brown marmorated stink bug is susceptible to several widely used insecticides but they are ecologically harmful to both target and non-target species.  Leaching of these insecticides in the ground causes soil pollution and also reduces the fertility of the soil.

C Tech Corporation, an Indian based company has come up with a novel solution to deal with such problems. Termirepel™ is an aversive for termites and insects. It has unique qualities which range from being non-toxic and non-hazardous to being “ECO-FRIENDLY”. Aggressive species are further deterred from attacking by advanced mechanisms like aversion, feeding deterrents, mating disruption, reproduction cycle inhibition, growth impairment and chemo sterilization thus modifying their response towards the Termirepel™ containing products resulting in them staying away from the application. Thus, Termirepel™ actually helps in modifying insect behavior. It does not harm or kill the insect but just repels them away from the application.