Phytophthora Blight First 2018 Report in Ohio – Huron County

Phytophthora blight was diagnosed last week in pepper plants from Huron County, Ohio.  This is several weeks earlier than we normally see Phytophthora blight in northern Ohio, but heavy rains and periods of high temperatures likely contributed to an early appearance of the disease.  Growers should scout both peppers and cucurbits for typical symptoms of Phytophthora blight  Phytophthora is a water mold that thrives under conditions of high moisture and high temperature. It produces motile spores (zoospores) that are attracted to plants, then form a structure that allows them to infect, and aggressively attack any type of plant tissue. Zoospores can be splashed onto leaves, stems and fruits during rain events and overhead irrigation. Phytophthora blight is often seen first in low spots or other poorly drained areas of production fields, but the disease also occurs on well-drained, even sandy soils if the environmental conditions are right.  An integrated, preventative program to manage Phytophthora blight is more effective than in-season rescue treatments with fungicides.  During the growing season, fungicide application is the main option for management of Phytophthora blight (see below). In small plantings prompt removal of diseased plants is also recommended.

Effective management of Phytophthora blight in peppers requires an integrated approach:

Crop rotation.  Phytophthora produces structures called oospores that can survive for a number of years in the soil.  Plan to rotate out of peppers, cucurbits or green beans for 4-5 years if Phytophthora blight has been a problem.

Resistant varieties.  A few pepper varieties are resistant to the root rot phase of the disease.  In general, these varieties are susceptible to the crown rot phase, which affects foliage and fruits. Varieties with moderate to good resistance to Phytophthora blight are: Paladin, Aristotle, Declaration, Intruder, Vanguard (bell); Hechicero (jalapeño); and Sequioa (ancho).

Well-drained soil. Avoiding standing water is critical to limiting the movement of Phytophthora from plant to plant.

Avoid surface water for irrigation. We have found Phytophthora in irrigation ditches and ponds as early as late June in vegetable production-intensive areas in Ohio.  Using surface water for irrigation is risky, especially if Phytophthora is present in fields near surface water sources.

Plant on raised beds. Prepared properly, raised beds will help prevent standing water near pepper plants.  If possible beds should be domed, and there should be no depressions in the soil surrounding the plants.

Sanitation.  Phytophthora can be moved from an infested field to a clean one on soil clinging to boots, equipment, etc.  Power washing to remove soil is a good first step, followed by rinsing with a sanitizer.  Do not build cull piles containing discarded peppers or cucurbits – plant material needs to be disposed of, preferably by burying, far from fields and surface waters.

Fungicides.  There are a number of fungicides labeled for use on peppers to manage Phytophthora blight  (see table below).  The newest product, Orondis, has very good efficacy against this disease. It is available as a pre-mix with either Revus (Orondis Ultra), Ridomil (Orondis Gold) or Bravo (Orondis Opti). There are many restrictions on the use of Orondis – including the number of applications (no more than 1/3 of total applications for Phytophthora blight) and when it can be applied (to the soil or to the foliage but not both).  Orondis Ultra and Orondis Gold can be applied in transplant water or through the drip, although Orondis does not move much in soil and emitters need to be right next to the plant.  If the pepper variety is susceptible to Phytophthora blight, it may be a good idea to apply Orondis Gold or Orondis Ultra at planting, and follow up later with a program containing at least two of the fungicides with activity against Phytophthora (see table). If the pepper variety is resistant to Phytophthora, any of the three Orondis products can be used in a foliar fungicide program that includes other effective fungicides. The Bravo component of Orondis Opti will not help with Phytophthora blight, but will control anthracnose.  Orondis Gold is considerably more expensive than Orondis Ultra and Orondis Opti, and resistance in Phytophthora to the Ridomil component of Orondis Gold has been found in numerous locations.

For in-season control where an at-plant application of one of the Orondis products has not been made, foliar applications can be very effective if undertaken preventatively. Results of our research in 2016/2017 on squash indicated that Orondis Ultra could be alternated with Presidio, Ranman or Tanos + Kocide with equivalent results (see chart Squash Phytoph Orondis foliar 1 slide-2eauh2g). 

Spray Drift 102

A few weeks ago, in Drift 101, I suggested that farmers should be cautious before concluding that sick crops are a result of herbicide drift from neighboring fields. Symptoms attributed to drift may be caused by other factors. Nutrient deficiencies may cause chlorosis (yellowing) and necrosis (tissue death), symptoms easily misinterpreted as resulting from herbicide exposure (

The herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba invariably cause distorted growth of foliage (Figure 1), but so can various environmental pollutants especially when those are concentrated in the greenhouse (Figure 2).

Figure 1: Typical response of tomato foliage to low-dose (simulated drift) of 2,4-D.

Figure 2: Distorted growth of greenhouse tomato thought caused by fumes from incomplete combustion from wood heater. Photo courtesy of M. Badertscher (OSUE Hardin Co).

Likewise flood conditions, during which root systems are completed saturated with water for prolonged periods, are known to induce leaf twisting and formation of adventitious roots (Figure 3), symptoms associated with exposure to 2,4-D (Figures 1 & 4).

Figure 3: Adventitious root formation on stem of tomato following 3 days of flooding conditions (root zone saturation).

Figure 4: Adventitious root formation on stem of tomato following exposure to low-dose 2,4-D.

Even when herbicides are the cause, symptoms can occasionally be misleading and point incorrectly to a nearby field. Consider the case of glyphosate, still the most commonly used herbicide in the Midwest. Glyphosate is quickly absorbed by crop leaves and translocated to growing points. On most crops glyphosate damage becomes obvious 4 or more days after drift because new growth is chlorotic. On tomato, chlorosis most often appears as bands across the base of the leaflets (Figure 5). However in a small number of drift events, chlorosis may not appear at all; instead glyphosate induces leaf and petiole curling and twisting, symptoms reminiscent of 2,4-D or other synthetic-auxin herbicides.

Figure 5: Characteristic basal-chlorosis of new tomato leaflets caused by glyphosate drift.

Figure 6: Occasional ‘auxin-mimic’ symptoms that occur in a small percentage of glyphosate drift events.

Soil residues of environmentally persistent herbicides used in previous growing seasons must also be taken into account. Trace amounts of herbicides in the ALS and AHAS families can cause symptoms similar to those caused by 2,4-D and dicamba. Imazethapyr (Pursuit) is an AHAS herbicide used on soybean that controls weeds at low doses of 3-6 oz/Acre. In our lab, tomato flowering was sensitive to doses of the herbicide equivalent to 1/1000th of the field dose. This finding indicates that soil residues of imazethapyr applied two or more years before planting may still be sufficient to injure field grown tomato, as may drift of the herbicide from a nearby or not-so-nearby application.

Many more similar examples could be provided; hopefully, the take home message is that diagnosing crop injury symptoms is a complicated matter that must take several factors into consideration and can easily lead to mistakes being made. Tread cautiously.

IPM – Insect Pest Scouting and Management – Late May to Early June 2018 – Central Ohio

These insects, some pests, some beneficial, were noted from scouting efforts in central Ohio from mid-May to early June 2018.

Imported Cabbageworm

One of the most common predators of the brassicacea family of vegetables is the larval form of the cabbage white butterfly, called the imported cabbageworm.  The butterfly is a constant presence in Ohio as our most common butterfly species.  It lays eggs on cabbage family plants and the larval forms feed on the foliage.  They can be difficult to spot due to coloration but feeding damage and frass (fecal material) can be observed via scouting.

The focus is on the cabbageworm fecal material, called frass, at the base of the leaf in the bottom of the picture. The cabbageworm can be difficult to locate due to camouflage but the frass and pattern of leaf damage indicates to keep looking to locate the predator.


The butterfly lays very tiny eggs a single egg at a time on the leaves using her ovi-positor.


Egg size with penny added to picture for reference.

Control is by scouting for eggs, which can be difficult, or for by early recognition of larvae and damage.  Hand removal is very effective for small plantings.   Organic control (check the label carefully) is possible with spinosad products.

Virginia Fact Sheet on Spinosad

Imported Cabbageworm Fact Sheet


Cucumber Beetles

Cucumber beetles are a major pest in vegetable plantings. The adults have emerged from their over wintered areas to start feeding on plants and laying eggs in the soil at the base of cucurbit family plants.


Feeding damage to the cotyledons and early true leaves of the cucurbit family from over-wintered cucumber beetle adults prior to egg laying.

Cucumber beetles are a serious pest of cucurbit family plants due to feeding on foliage, flowers and fruit.   Control can be difficult.  They also vector a devastating bacterial wilt disease that can quickly kill plants and has no treatment.

Cucumber Beetle Fact Sheet


Egg Scouting

A good habit to use when scouting for insect pests on plantings is to look at the underside of the leaves for eggs.  Many of the insect pests lay eggs singly or in clusters on the underside of leaves, where if undetected, will hatch into larvae that will feed on the foliage.  This egg cluster was noted on oregano.  I suspect these eggs to be from Box Elder bugs, which do not normally feed on oregano.  Both a Box Elder and related Sugar Maple are in the vicinity of the oregano planting.



Slugs will be more numerous in production areas that have high organic matter content. They can feed and damage foliage. Early control is critical to avoid build up and infestation of a production area during a growing season.

Control of slugs can be achieved with organic products containing iron phosphate.  Slug Factsheet from PSU



This is the larval form of a night moth.  It curls up around the stem of a plant and feeds until the stem is cut in half and the plant has been killed.  They feed at night commonly so a grower would notice a dead plant that looks cut in half.  Digging around the base of the plant can sometimes find the causative agent.

Dusky Cutworm. Found when digging around base of dead cucurbit plant.

Cutworm Fact Sheet


Ground Beetle – Beneficial

Not all insects are pests,  some are beneficial and are feeding on pest and assisting the grower.  Proper identification will allow the backyard grower, community gardener and urban farmer to know what to keep and what to treat.

Ground Beetle Fact Sheet Ohioline


If you have questions or concerns about an insect pest located via scouting, contact your Extension office for assistance with identification.


Spray Drift 101 – May 18, 2018

Crop samples submitted to the OARDC Weed Lab ( with suspected herbicide drift injury symptoms sky-rocketed in 2017 and early indications are for the same trend in 2018.  This is happening mainly because vegetables and fruits are much more sensitive to the 2,4-D and dicamba herbicides grain farmers are now using to kill weeds that are no longer sensitive to glyphosate alone.  There is always some drift; but when crops have an elevated sensitivity to the compounds moving in the environment, everyone sees the effect.

Already in 2018, most grain fields have received burndown sprays containing 2,4-D (and some with dicamba) mixed with glyphosate. Predictably samples from injured fruit and vegetable fields, and orchards are being submitted for diagnosis.  So far, roughly 50% of the samples received are not showing symptoms characteristic of herbicide drift, and that’s significant because our lab rarely receives the samples until they have cleared a pathology screen.  So, while crop injury from drift is up significantly, there are still relatively few instances of damage where drift is clearly the culprit.

A general deterioration in farm community relationships has already occurred in some states, as a result of recent conflicts arising over drift.  Grain, vegetables, fruits, landscapes and natural ecosystems have been damaged sometimes with tragic consequences, following the expanded use of 2,4-D and dicamba. Human nature being as it is, we all tend to look outside to explain our problems before we look inward.  Considering this, it is important to consider other possible causes of crop injury before assuming occurrence of drift from the neighbors’ fields.

  • Keep in mind that the injury symptoms associated with 2,4-D and dicamba are indirect responses of the plant to stress, and may have other causes. For example injury caused by glyphosate, used by most vegetable farmers, can sometimes resemble injury caused by 2,4-D.


  • Volatile by-products of incomplete combustion (think of heating a greenhouse or high tunnel) are also known to cause symptoms on bedding plants not unlike those caused by herbicides.


  • Inadequate decontamination of spray equipment used to apply glyphosate, 2,4-D or dicamba may leave behind trace amounts that are enough to cause injury in a subsequent application to a sensitive crop.


  • Carryover of herbicides used on previous rotational crops, sometimes going back two growing seasons, may cause symptoms on vegetables that can be confused with those resulting from 2,4-D or glyphosate drift.


  • Environmental conditions, in particular flooding during and after crop establishment, may induce symptoms that can be confused with herbicide injury, or they may exacerbate the effects of exposure to trace amounts of residual herbicides in the soil that would normally have no affect.


So, ‘what’s a farmer to do?’, to reduce the likelihood of being hurt by drift from nearby fields?


  • Communicate! Talking with the neighbors is first and foremost. This can be difficult considering consolidation of grain farms and rental of land; but communication is vital in protecting your crops.  Explain that the crops you grow are very sensitive to herbicide drift, and that drift can result in a complete yield loss of a very high value harvest.


  • Communicate! Sign up with the Ohio Sensitive Crop Registry.  Steve Smith, Director of Agriculture with the Red Gold Company, reports that incidents of tomato crop injury from drift have declined dramatically since they required their contract growers to register with the sister-program Field Watch (previously known as Drift Watch).  We know that most, if not all, commercial applicators check the Ohio Sensitive Crop Registry before going out to apply herbicides, so registering is clearly the cheapest (it is free) insurance available.


  • Communicate! Steve also reports that placing “No Drift” signs along field edges helped tremendously.


  • Pay attention to pesticide applications on nearby (and not so nearby) fields. Applications in early morning and evening are especially prone to inversion conditions that keep tiny droplets of spray suspended and prone to drift. It will be prudent to keep a written list of observed applications with date, time and observed conditions (are tree branches in motion, flags straight out, etc?). Photographs taken with a smart phone can be location, date and time stamped.


  • Scout your fields at least every 2-3 days paying special attention to field edges where incoming drift will likely have the greatest effect. Symptoms of glyphosate injury usually take 3 + days to become apparent.  Symptoms of 2,4-D and dicamba can develop in less time, often within 24 hours, when growing conditions are ideal.


  • If you see injury anywhere scout the entire field and the hedgerows. Look for patterns.  Drift usually leaves a path of injured weeds, shrubs and trees (look up) along the way. Trace the path to its apparent origin.


  • Photos are very important but equally so, you need a written description of what each photo is attempting to illustrate and where it was taken. Photograph injured plants and plants that are healthy.  Check each photo to verify that it shows the symptom you are trying to capture.  If it doesn’t, take another in different light, from a different angle, or distance.


  • Create a map of the field or mark an existing map, showing where photos were taken and outlining areas affected and not affected.


  • Communicate! Talk to the neighbor, or the applicator if it was a commercial job. Explain that you have injury, that you have reason to suspect it was drift, and that you are monitoring the situation.  Ask them to identify what pesticides were applied.


  • Maintain normal growing practices. If you seek a settlement you must have yield data, and if yields are lower than expected you do not want your failure to maintain the crop to be the reason.


  • The decision to contact the ODA is personal, although an argument can be made that pesticide applications resulting in drift should always be reported. If you contact ODA there is no cost to you for their services, including their analysis of crop tissue for pesticide residues, but once you have contacted them be certain that they will conduct an investigation.


Thinking about the above points it should be obvious that maintaining high quality and complete field records, year in and year out, is important when drift occurs.  Being able to 1) substantiate your own crop and pest management practices validates that you were not the cause of the problem, and 2) past yield records from the field affected will help support a claim for lost yield.


Remember to communicate with your neighbors each year.  Keep in mind that many grain farmers have no idea how valuable an acre of produce can be.


Finally sign up with the Ohio Specialty Crop Register.  Past experience indicates this may be the single most important step you can take to protect yourself.

Pumpkin Cover Crop Demonstration Plots

Cover crops have been used for decades on diversified vegetable farms.  Over the past 5-10 years there has been a resurgence in the use of cover crops as nutrient management, nutrient scavenging, and water quality have come under increasing scrutiny and focus.

Several researchers at OSU have conducted work on the use of cover crops in both field crop and specialty crop systems.  In 2005 and 2006, Andy Wyenandt (graduate student) and Dr. Mac Riedel (emeritus Dept. of Plant Pathology), worked on several cover crop combinations to determine which mixtures seemed to be the best fit for most pumpkin operations in Ohio. Based on the goals at the time to select a cover crop or mixture that persisted through the growing season and generated enough biomass to suppress weeds and soil borne diseases such as Fusarium, determined that fall seeded winter rye was one of the best options.

One unexpected outcome of this research overwhelmingly embraced by growers who adopted this management practice was how clean the fruit were at harvest, requiring little or no additional washing, especially during rainy autumn weather.  Later research focused on modifying a solid stand of winter rye using modified tillage to create more suitable planting or transplanting zones.  Now that soil building and ecology has becoming increasingly more important to growers, cover crop mixes are being used that go beyond just covering the soil, and seek to increase beneficial microbial activity in the soil.

On September 21, 2017, five cover crop mixtures were broadcast seeded and then worked into the soil using a cultimulcher at the Western Ag Research Station in South Charleston with the purpose of being used in a pumpkin seeding or transplanting demonstration in 2018. The cover crop mixes range from simple to diverse, with some of the same earlier goals to cover the soil, reduce weeds and diseases, keep the fruit clean, and enhance soil building and microbial activity.

The cover crop mixes were purchased through Walnut Creek Seeds. The species, ratios, seeding rate, and cost are as follows:

  1. Scavenger mix (60 lb/A, $36/A) – 94% winter rye, 6% tillage radish
  2. Nitro plus mix (60 lb A, $44/A) – 74% winter rye, 22% crimson clover, 4% nitro radish
  3. Soil builder plus mix (50 lb/A, $56/A) – 60% winter rye, 20% crimson clover, 16% hairy vetch, 4% tillage radish
  4. Nitro soil builder mix (60 lb/A, $88/A) – 30% winter rye, 27% winter barley, 17% crimson clover, 11% hairy vetch, 6% sun hemp, 3% tillage radish, 3% cabbage, 3% sunflower
  5. Custom blend (58 lb/A, $197/A) – 34% crimson clover, 52% Pacific gold mustard, 14% tillage radish

Three-foot swaths of each 30’ plot were sprayed out with glyphosate on 15’ row spacing that will be rototilled for transplanting pumpkins in late May or early June. Images shown below are of initial seeding and growth in the fall, followed by growth in the spring as of May 7th. Though some cover crop mixes listed up to eight plant species, most of them winter killed, leaving only winter rye, crimson clover, and hairy vetch seen growing in any of the plots.

There will be additional reports on this demonstration project as the season progresses, and it will be a stop during the pumpkin field day on August 23rd.





Welcome to OSU’s Spotted Wing Drosophila YouTube Channel – Jim Jasinski, Celeste Welty, and Elizabeth Long

It’s that time of the year again when berry, grape, and peach growers throughout Ohio have to start thinking about Spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) on their farm.  Getting growers and Extension educators familiar with this pest, how to monitor, identify, manage, etc., has been a significant focus of faculty in the Dept. of Entomology and the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program.  So, in addition to hanging baited traps in your fields, take a few minutes to increase your SWD IQ by perusing the information and videos below.

To date, there have been six hands-on workshops held around the state over the past six years, two webinars and dozens of meetings where updates on current research have been given for the benefit of both growers and Extension educators.

In an effort to establish a greater online presence about various aspects of SWD management, a series of videos have been created and placed on the OSU IPM YouTube channel ( which can be accessed at anytime. The focus of each of these videos is briefly described below, and placed in order from deploying the trap in the field (first step) to conducting a salt water test (last step).

  1. Complete SWD orientation webinar – In this video, all aspects of SWD are introduced including biology, damage, distribution, how to deploy and service traps, how to move trap contents (insects) to vials, how to sort through vial contents to identify male and female SWD, how to perform salt water tests, and finally an overview of chemical and non-chemical management strategies. This webinar contains three of the videos mentioned below; 1. How to transfer trap contents to a vial, 2. How to identify male and female SWD adults, and 3. How to conduct a salt water test on fruit. 82 minutes long;

  2. Setting up a spotted wing Drosophila Scentry trap including lure and drowning solution – In this video, you will be shown how to assemble a Scentry trap by adding a commercial lure and drowning solution. Considerations such as where to place in your field are discussed (edge vs. interior) and where in the crop canopy to place the trap to achieve optimal SWD catch conditions. 3 minutes;

  3. How to rejuvenate an old SWD Scentry trap – In this video, you will be shown how to take an old faded Scentry SWD trap that has been used for several seasons and restore it to full functionality with some basic tools and a few common items, such as red duct tape, binder clips, pliers, and 14 gauge galvanized wire. 5 minutes;

  4. How to transfer SWD trap catch to a vial in the field – In this video, you will be shown how to transfer the contents of a SWD trap over to a vial for proper storage and later identification. Once the trap catch has been successfully moved to a vial, it can be securely transported to where the stereoscope or other high powered magnifier resides. The vial contents can then be emptied into a small dish for use under a microscope or other magnifier, where SWD adults and non-target insects can be sorted and identified. 5 minutes;

  5. How to sort and identify Spotted Wing Drosophila adults using a stereoscope – In this video, you will be shown what tools and supplies are needed to transfer insect samples from a SWD trap or vial to a petri dish to begin the sorting and identification process. Both male and female SWD flies are sorted and identified in this video, which incorporates a live demonstration of the sorting process through the lens of a stereoscope. This is a very unique perspective and should give a very close “real world” experience of how to manage and sort samples. 6 minutes long;

  6. How to conduct a salt water test (Updated) – In this updated video, some recent tips were added to the overview of how to conduct a salt water test. This demonstration shows producer’s how to determine if fruit has been infested with SWD larvae, which is a reflection of their spray program efficacy. All the supplies needed plus images of the larvae (maggots) floating in the salt solution are shown. 6 minutes long;

The SWD workshops, webinars, and video series have mainly been supported by USDA NIFA grants 20147000622507 and 20177000627174, while OSU’s overall SWD program have been funded by several sources including USDA NIFA and the Ohio Vegetable and Small Fruit Research and Development Program.












Good Agricultural Practices (GAP’s) Training

Image result for good agricultural practices

Wednesday, May 23, 2018  4p – 7p

OSU Extension Madison County is hosting a GAP’s Training Class (Good Agricultural Practices) at the Procter Center, 11235 OH 38, London, OH. Click here for registration.

What is a GAPs Class?

•An educational course that covers good agricultural practices or ‘GAPs’, which help reduce the risk of on-farm produce contamination
•Attending the OSU GAPs class does not equate to being ‘GAPs Certified’

T o p i c s I n c l u d e :

• Water Quality
• Worker Training, Health & Hygiene
• Manure and Compost Handling
• Domestic and Wild Animals
• And More

Inversion and Drift Mitigation Workshop to be held April 10 – Cindy Folck

Do you know the weather conditions that contribute to inversions? A workshop on April 10 will focus on tools to help farmers recognize inversions and other weather conditions that affect pesticide drift, for example dicamba. Aaron Wilson, weather specialist and atmospheric scientist, will discuss weather trends and how to recognize inversions. Additionally, workshop attendees will learn about the new tools available through the Ohio Sensitive Crop Registry by Field Watch to increase communication between field crop and specialty crop growers.

The workshop will be April 10, from 10 a.m. to noon. Farmers can attend the workshop in person for no charge at the Ohio 4-H Center on the Ohio State University Columbus campus. Farmers can also attend virtually for no cost. Links for registration for in-person or virtual attendance are available at Pesticide applicator recertification credit will only be available at the in-person workshop at the Ohio 4-H Center in Columbus. For more information, contact Cindy Folck at or 614-247-7898.

Topic Details
Understanding Inversions and Weather Conditions
How to recognize an inversion and other weather conditions that affect applications
Speaker: Aaron Wilson, Weather Specialist & Atmospheric Scientist, OSU Extension, Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center

Using Tools for Applications in the Ohio Sensitive Crop Registry
New tools are available in the sensitive crop registry to meet label requirements, plan herbicide applications, and integrate with spray application equipment
Speaker: Jared Shaffer, Plant Health Inspector, Ohio Department of Agriculture

 Attend virtually:
Attend in-person: Ohio 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Dr., Columbus, 43210
No cost to attend. Pre-registration required for in-person attendees at
For more information, contact Cindy Folck,, 614-247-7898

–Core commercial and private pesticide credits available only at the Columbus in-person location–
–No pesticide credit given for virtual/internet attendees–

The workshop is being supported by the Ohio IPM Program and USDA NIFA 20177000627174.

Hopeful news about stink bug biocontrol

The news about the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) has generally been bad over the past few years, as this new invasive pest has continued to expand its range within the USA, causing increasing problems as a pest of fruit, vegetable, and field crops. We know that our native natural enemies have not been able to provide much biological control of BMSB, but there has been hope about potential biological control of BMSB by a tiny wasp that parasitized BMSB eggs in China. The wasp is Trissolcus japonicus, nicknamed the samurai wasp.

USDA entomologists at Newark, Delaware, have been conducting intensive studies of the samurai wasp over the past 10 years with the hope that it could be introduced into the USA for control of BMSB, but thus far its introduction has not been approved. However a significant event occurred in 2014, when the samurai wasp was detected outdoors in Maryland, where it apparently showed up on its own, probably via a parasitized BMSB egg mass present in cargo shipped from Asia. In 2015, the samurai wasp was also detected in Virginia, Delaware, and Washington State. In 2016, it was detected in New Jersey, New York, and Oregon. In 2017, it was detected in Pennsylvania. Once an exotic species like this has been detected, it can be studied and intentionally spread within any State, but it is not allowed to be transported across State lines.

In Ohio, as part of our involvement in a multi-State project on BMSB management, we surveyed for the possible presence of the samurai wasp within Ohio in 2017. To do this, we collected fresh egg masses from our lab colony of BMSB; we deployed the egg masses in the field by clipping them to the underside of leaves, mostly on plants in wooded edges adjacent to fruit and vegetable crops. The egg masses were left outside for 3 days, then brought back to the lab where we observed whether they eventually hatched into stink bugs or if they were parasitized. We deployed 544 egg masses between May and September at several Ohio locations. Over the winter, we have been working our way through these samples, and identifying wasps that emerged from parasitized eggs. This past week, we found that wasps that emerged from two egg masses were identified as the samurai wasp. The two egg masses were deployed in Columbus in early August 2017. This finding that the samurai wasp has spread to Ohio is quite exciting. We plan to do additional surveys in 2018 to determine whether it is present at additional locations within Ohio.


by Celeste Welty, Extension Entomologist

Spotted Wing Drosophila Workshop – April 5th

The spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) was first observed in Ohio in 2011.  This tiny fly is now a major pest of small fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, & blueberries), grapes, and peaches for anyone producing these crops from backyard to commercial scale growers throughout Ohio. What makes this vinegar fly different from other related flies is it attacks healthy uninjured ripening and ripe fruit, not old or damaged fruit like other flies.

So what is the best way to learn how to identify, monitor, and manage SWD? By attending our SWD workshop where these topics will be tackled one by one, including how to use a stereoscope to see these flies up close, how to properly use and service the SWD traps, and how to manage the pest once it arrives at your farm (see flyer below). The meeting has been scheduled from 9am-noon on April 5th at the Washington County Extension office, located at 202 Davis Avenue, Marietta, OH 45750.

Growers from anywhere in Ohio can attend, but due to space limitations, we can only accept the first 20 growers who apply, so be sure to register for this workshop by March 29th. There is a $10 fee to attend the workshop which will be collected at the beginning of the workshop to cover refreshments and snacks. Click on the link below to sign up for the class.

All attendees will receive one Scentry SWD Trap and 1-2 Scentry SWD lures to help get you started monitoring for this pest, along with vials filled with male and female SWD to use as reference specimens.

If you have any questions about the workshop, please contact Jim Jasinski ( or Marcus McCartney ( This workshop is sponsored by the OSU Dept. of Entomology, Dept. of Extension IPM Program, and USDA NIFA.