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Pest Problems

August 28, 2014

This has been a somewhat amazing week in that I have been at the office for the bulk of it. I have gotten a lot of work done and have been busy writing columns.  I continue to get questions and pictures of new cases of crape myrtle scale.  There is a lot of discussion going on about control measures, and recent studies are showing great promise with the systemic insecticide called imidacloprid–commonly called Merit or Bayer Advanced Tree & Shrub insecticide.  If you have crape myrtle in your landscape, I would suggest checking them for symptoms.  So far they have not been spotted north of central Arkansas, but time will tell.

Crapemyrtle A scale  8-25-14 Crapemyrtle C 8-25-14These sucking insects are the white specks you can see in these pictures on the stems, leaves and trunk.  The problem with a contact insecticide is that the scale insects creep under the peeling bark protecting themselves from the insecticide.

In addition to this pest, we have also discovered the emerald ash borer in Arkansas and the reports are not good.  More information continues to come out about this pest, and spread is assumed to have come from the movement of firewood from out of state to a camping or hunting site.

As if we don’t have enough insect problems!

Yesterday I also sent out information to all the counties to help participate in nematode research.  Nematodes are microscopic worms in the soil.  There are good and bad nematodes, but the bad ones infest the roots of healthy plants and cut off the supply of food and water to the plants.  Dr. Robert Robbins on the Fayetteville campus is trying to find more samples to find out what species we have in the state. As you are cleaning up your gardens or pulling up spent plants, if you notice that the roots are stunted or have nodules on them, take a sample in to your local extension office so they can send them up to the UA.  Here is an example
nematode root knowWhile the weather has continued to be hot and dry, predictions are that rain is headed our way and the intense heat is going to break.  Let us hope that is the case! One more day until a holiday weekend and three full days with nothing planned!  That will be the last respite for awhile, as programs are heating up statewide.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Shelly Moran permalink
    August 29, 2014 12:13 am

    Janet, stink bugs have ravaged my tomatoes. How does one spray for them (and what product is recommended) without contaminating all the tomatoes on the vines?

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