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SPOTTED LANTERNFLY MANAGEMENT WORKSHOPS

OSU EXTENSION & HORTICULTURE AND CROP SCIENCES

SPOTTED LANTERNFLY MANAGEMENT WORKSHOPS

Join us to learn more about identifying, monitoring, and managing the newly invasive Spotted Lanternfly. Two sessions each day will be provided to cater to commercial growers

and homeowners. Please select your preferred session and location in the registration link. Commercial growers will receive Pest Ed recertification credits for attendance.

NOVEMBER 8 | NOVEMBER 15 | MARCH 3 | APRIL 11

COMMERCIAL GROWERS 2:30 – 4:30 PM | GENERAL PUBLIC 5 – 7 PM

Location: Eastern Agricultural Research Station – Extensions Operation (Nov 8) | Butler County Extension Center (Nov 15) | TBD (Geneva Mar 3, Findlay Apr 11)

Cost: Free to attend

Details: Register at https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0vV5sP8K1oQI8jY

Contact information: Maria Smith (smith.12720@osu.edu) or Amy Stone (stone.91@osu.edu)

Fall Armyworms March Across Ohio

Published on
Fall Armyworm

OSU Extension county offices across the state are receiving e-mails and phone calls about Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda, family Noctuidae) causing substantial injury to turfgrass.  Thus far, it appears that fall armyworm is the dominant culprit rather than Yellowstriped Armyworm (S. ornithogalli) and Common Armyworm (Mythimna convecta).

Fall Armyworm

Fall and yellow-striped armyworms are semi-tropical species that “fly” north each season.  We often get both species in Ohio in August and September when they replace black cutworms that most superintendents see on their greens and tees.  Both species also attack field crops, especially corn and small grains.

Fall Armyworm

Every few years (usually 3-5 years), we get a massive buildup of these pests in the southern and transition turf zones.  Reports of heavy armyworm activity have been coming out of Oklahoma to North Carolina for the last two months.

We believe adults from those outbreaks were picked up in the storm front that came from the south across much of Ohio about four weeks ago.  The adults of these moths have been known to travel 500 miles, even more, in 24 hours.  They can get into the jet stream and move vast distances, then drop down to find suitable host plants.

Fall Armyworm

Adults tend to lay eggs on the flat leaves of trees and flowers that overhang turf, especially turf that has been recently fertilized.  Each adult female can produce an egg mass that contains 100 to 500 eggs.  The females are also attracted to night lights, and they will attach their egg masses to the light posts!  If there are large areas where no plants or structures are overhanging the turf, the females will lay strips of eggs on grass blades.

Fall Armyworm

The eggs hatch in 5-7 days and the larvae usually take three to four weeks to complete their 5-6 larval instars.  The mature larvae dig into the thatch or upper soil and pupate without making a cocoon. The pupae take about two weeks to mature. So, the complete life cycle takes about 50-60 days.

Direct Control

Armyworms are so named because of their habit of moving en masse to greener pastures once they’ve depleted their food supply.  It is not uncommon for the caterpillars to move from field crops into nearby turfgrass.

Fall Armyworm

Fall Armyworm

Once they move into turfgrass, the caterpillars will continue feeding until there is no more food or they complete their development, whichever comes first.  If the plant food is exhausted, the armyworms will become meat-eaters with the larger caterpillars eating the smaller caterpillars to complete their development.

Fall Armyworm

Turf that has had the canopy removed by the caterpillars will have the crowns and upper roots exposed to direct sunlight.  The crown rests on the soil surface and is the growing point for both blades and roots.  On sunny days, the area where the crowns are located can easily reach 120 to 130-degrees F which will “cook” them or dehydrate them.  Loss of the crowns means the loss of the entire turfgrass plant; the turf is dead.

Fall Armyworm

Thus, the first step in protecting the turfgrass plants is to kill the caterpillars before they completely devour the turfgrass canopy.  This involves the direct application of insecticides.

Most turf managers are appearing to have success with their pyrethroid applications.  However, we are getting reports from the agricultural markets that pyrethroids are not working well, so alternative chemistries should be considered.

Fall and yellowstriped armyworm populations often develop resistance to insecticide categories that are extensively used in the agricultural markets.  Since our populations arrive from more southern regions, some moths may have arrived here in Ohio after their ancestors have been exposed to several applications of pyrethroids, carbamates, or organophosphates.

If you do not see a rapid kill of any fall armyworm population after the application of a pyrethroid, consider using an alternative.  The diamides such as chlorantraniliprole (e.g., Acelepryn) or tetraniliprole (e.g., Tetrino) have excellent caterpillar-killing abilities.   Both are registered for turfgrass usage and can be used at their lowest label rates for curative caterpillar control.  Two combination products that contain a neonicotinoid plus a pyrethroid and seem to overcome any resistance are Aloft (clothianidin+bifenthrin) and Alucion (dinotefuran+bifenthrin).

Finally, azadirachtin-containing products are effective for control of all types of turfgrass-infesting caterpillars.  Azatin O, Azaguard, and Neemex 4.5 are three such products and each is certified organic (OMRI).   Note that Azatin XL is not registered for turfgrass use.  These alternative insecticides are often difficult to find in over-the-counter outlets, but none are restricted-use insecticides (except for Aloft GC which is used on golf courses).  Those that are not restricted use can be purchased by homeowners through internet vendors, but you will need the proper equipment to apply these commercial products.

Turfgrass Recovery

Turfgrass will recover with a little help from properly timed fertilizer applications if the insecticide applications were made quickly enough to protect a substantial percentage of the turfgrass canopy.  However, if the canopy has been completely removed, the crowns need to be protected from dehydration through irrigation.

Turfgrass Irrigation

On golf courses, superintendents are used to syringing their greens and tees on such hot days as a method of cooling the turf crowns and keeping them hydrated.   If possible, we also recommend watering damaged areas in the heat of the day to keep the crowns cooled down and hydrated.  This should be kept up until a visible green cover returns to shade the crowns.

Home lawn recovery also involves watering to keep the crowns hydrated as well as fall fertilizer applications to support the regrowth of the blades.  Fortunately, the first fall fertilizer application can be made right now.  The fertilizer products should include a slow-release form of nitrogen to support turfgrass growth over a longer period.

If there is a concern that crowns are being lost, for example, if irrigation is not possible during high heat conditions, now is the time to look for grass seed as the supply of seed is down this year.  However, here are a few points to consider.

While perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) will germinate quickly and provide rapid cover of damaged areas, we are also seeing a fair amount of grey leafspot which is killing perennial ryegrass.  We recommend using a slit-seeder (= slice-seeder) to seed turf-type tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea).  If possible, a blend of multiple cultivars should be used.  The cultivars that have been developed in recent years have a color and texture that match Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis).

Slit-Seeder

Tall Fescue

Also, most turf-type tall fescues have endophytes that produce alkaloids that are toxic to armyworm and sod webworm caterpillars as well as other insects that feed on grass blades such as chinch bugs and billbugs.  These seed products may have “endophyte-enhanced” on the bag or indicate the cultivars are resistant to insects.

Chinch Bug

NOTE:  we do not recommend Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue (KY-31) for use in lawns.  Although this was a naturally occurring variety found in Kentucky decades ago, it has very poor qualities for use as turfgrass.  KY-31 is most suitable for soil stabilization such as along highways.  It looks pretty good at 65 mph.

Newest additional to the Paulding County Extension Office.

With the passage of the Paulding County OSU Extension levy in 2020 and funds being released in 2021, the Paulding County Extension Office had the opportunity to expand the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) program area. Our newest addition to Paulding County Extension, in the role of Family and Consumer Sciences, Extension Educator is Casey Bishop. The FCS Extension Educator will focus on information and resources in the areas of Health People, Healthy Finances, and Healthy Relationships.

Bishop is a graduate of Jacksonville University with a bachelor’s in Psychology, and the University of North Florida with a master’s in Counseling. Coming from Florida, she brings her experience in a psychiatric setting working with individuals with substance abuse and mental health issues. More recently, she worked at Cypress Creek Juvenile Offender Correctional Center. At CCJOCC, Casey gained her Professional Teaching Certification in Social Studies and Exceptional Student Education and became Lead Educator. Continue reading

Maple Leaf Development and Heavy Seed Production

Author Joe Boggs Published on May 5, 2021
Maple Seed

Concerned Ohioans are reporting their maples have stunted leaves or no leaves at all; particularly towards the top of the tree.  Several issues can produce thinning maple canopies including poor site conditions, girdling roots, a vascular wilt disease, etc.  However, it’s unlikely one of these issues has become so common or multiple issues have converged to produce a general widespread maple malaise throughout Ohio.

It’s more likely the common condition of thin maple canopies is a condition common to maples.  Indeed, red (A. rubrum), silver (Acer saccharinum), and sugar maples (A. saccharum)  in many regions of Ohio, as well as Indiana and Kentucky, have produced loads of winged seeds (samaras).  The challenge is that the timing of the blooms and thus seed production varies widely between the three dominant maple species in Ohio with red maples usually the first to bloom and sugars the last.

Continue reading

Poison Hemlock and Wild Parsnip are Bolting and Blooming

By Joe Boggs (Published on May 16, 2021)
Additional note from Sarah Noggle, Extension Educator in Paulding County. Poison hemlock has been found in Paulding County. The densest populations have been located along the railroad beds and also old fence rows. 

Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) is one of the deadliest plants in North America.  Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) sap can produce severe, painful skin blistering.  Both are commonly found growing together in Ohio and both are beginning to “bolt” and bloom meaning the clock is quickly winding down for controlling these non-native nasties.

Wild parsnip

Poison hemlock

Wild parsnip

These non-native weeds are members of the carrot family, Apiaceae.  The old name for the family was Umbelliferae which refers to the umbel flowers.  The flowers are a key family feature with short flower stalks rising from a common point like the ribs on an umbrella.  Queen Anne’s lace (a.k.a. wild carrot) (Daucus carota) is often used as the poster child for carrot family flowers.  This non-native blooms much later in the season. Continue reading

What’s going on with Lumber Prices?

By Brent Sohngen, Professor Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, The Ohio State University

In case you haven’t noticed, lumber prices have increased a lot over the last year.  Based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Lumber Price Index, which you can find here, lumber prices have increased 180% since April 2020.  This increase started last fall and has continued ever since. So, why have they risen, and how high will they go?

Let’s start with the first question, why have they risen?  The economic explanation is relatively straightforward: Demand rose rapidly due to pandemic-related building, and supply is really inelastic, as we say in economics.  Thus, while the demand for wood has increased dramatically, the supply of wood hasn’t been able to keep up.  Let’s break this down.

Consider the demand side first.  The construction sector, specifically building and remodeling houses, is one of the largest demanders of lumber in the US and around the world.  New home starts and construction spending cratered at the beginning of the pandemic, but they rebounded pretty quickly.  Remodeling in particular seems to have picked up a real head of steam.

While demand for new construction and remodeling is hot, it’s actually now at about the same level as before the pandemic. So something else must be going on.  One of those something else’s is the price of steel, which has also increased dramatically in the US. Steel is a substitute for wood, especially in commercial construction, and rising steel prices have also driven up demand for lumber and other things that can be made out of wood or steel. Continue reading

The Elusive Deer-Proof Garden

“No plant is safe from deer under all conditions,” said Marne A. Titchenell, a wildlife program specialist at The Ohio State University. Instead, she recommends a “toolbox approach” of strategies.
“No plant is safe from deer under all conditions,” said Marne A. Titchenell, a wildlife program specialist at The Ohio State University. Instead, she recommends a “toolbox approach” of strategies. Credit…Getty Images

By Margaret Roach – Published by The New York Times sharing information from a colleague Marne Titchenell

The bad news? It doesn’t exist. But there are still plenty of things you can do to deter what some call ‘nuisance wildlife.’

Think of her as a conflict-resolution specialist — except that at least one party in almost every dispute that Marne A. Titchenell of The Ohio State University negotiates is a four-legged, fur-bearing individual stubbornly disinclined to negotiate.

“In the past week alone,” said Ms. Titchenell, whose official title is wildlife program specialist, “I have answered skunk, groundhog, bat, vole, and mole questions. And, of course, ones about deer.”

Ms. Titchenell’s primary professional role is educating Ohioans about wildlife ecology, biology, and habitat management. When she lectures to gardeners, farmers, or the nursery industry, she asks for a show of hands (virtually these days) from the audience when she names challenges they have faced. Then she runs through photos of animals that in backyard or agricultural settings may be referred to as “nuisance wildlife.”

“By the time I get to deer,” she said, “most people raise their hand.” Continue reading

Become a Dandelion Detective and learn about the value of lawns!

Dandelion Detectives is a STEM activity targeting 3-7 graders where participants work together to measure the value of weeds for insects. Dandelion Detectives will take place over the summer of 2021. Participants can be located in Ohio or surrounding midwestern states.

Join Dr. Mary Gardiner, OSU Department of Entomology for a free Dandelion Detectives webinar on May 10th at 7 PM EST

Register Here

Mary will discuss the value of turf habitats for biodiversity and introduce Dandelion Detectives, a youth-focused community science program!

Continue reading

The Bee Short Course for Community Scientists: Building skills of community scientists interested in wild bee conservation.

Free, monthly webinars to build skills of community scientists interested in bee conservation. All sessions are at 10 AM EASTERN on the third Friday of the month, May – November. The same link will allow you to join each session.A collaborative effort from the OSU Department of Entomology, The Chadwick Arboretum, and Learning Gardens, and The US National Native Bee Monitoring Research Coordination Network (RCN).

Registration Link

All sessions are from 10 – 11:00 AM Eastern on the third Friday of the month, May – November 2021

Please note: the focus of this series is wild bee conservation, not honey bee management.

  • May 21: Randy Mitchell, The University of Akron, Bee Botany 101
  • June 18: Jamie Strange, The Ohio State University, Melittology 101: An Intro to Bee Science
  • July 16: Olivia Carril, author, and biologist, Methods of Collecting and Documenting Bees
  • August 20: Heather Holm, author, and biologist, Insect Photography and Using iNaturalist to Observe and Document Wild Bees
  • September 17: Sam Droege, USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab, Tips and Tricks from The Handy Bee Manual
  • October 15: Mary Gardiner, The Ohio State University, Contributions of Community Science to Entomology: Benefits for People and Nature
  • November 19: Molly Martin, Bee City USA/The Xerces Society, From Community Science to Advocacy in Action: Case Studies in Conservation