Farm Pesticide Disposal Dates

The ODA has announced the 2022 pesticide disposal dates and locations for farmers.

“The program assists farmers with a free of charge, safe, and environmentally responsible disposal of unusable, outdated pesticides. No household or non-farm pesticides are accepted, nor are pesticides accepted from commercial companies.”

For more information see the link:

Scouting Notes From the Wayne County IPM Program

Here are our weekly observations and notes from the fields around Wayne County from the week of June 20-24, 2022.

Vegetable Crops

Now is a critical time to be monitoring your cucurbit crops for cucumber beetles. Early populations may not seem as evident due to the presence of insecticide in treated seed, however, as the efficacy of the seed treatment diminishes, the cucumber beetle feeding will begin to increase. The threshold for beetles while the plants are in the 2-4 leaf stage is 1 beetle per plant. Once the plant is above the 4-leaf stage, the threshold increases to 3 beetles per plant. The greatest chance for impactful feeding damage and bacterial wilt infection via the cucumber beetle occurs during early season feeding.

Squash bug found in Wayne County on yellow squash. Cucumber beetles feeding in the background. F. Becker, 2022.

Also, of note in cucurbits, the excess moisture and warm conditions allowed for development of some phytophthora cases. If you suspect that you have plants infected by this pathogen, avoid spreading it in your fields by removing and destroying infected fruit and plant material. An integrated approach to managing this disease includes practices such as avoiding excess water, sufficient crop rotations and fungicide treated seed. Additional findings in cucurbits included squash bugs being found this week in an early planting of yellow squash.

An area of yellow squash plants lost due to phytophthora, F. Becker, 2022.

Continue to monitor onions for thrips populations. The recent heavy rain may have prevented populations from building, however, hot dry weather, combined with the increased size and number of leaves can provide the opportunity for thrips numbers to escalate rapidly.

In tomatoes our scouts noted some observations of early blight and Septoria.

Remember to check your crops for any signs of foliar diseases, especially with the amount of soil splashing that took place in the last few weeks. Bacterial and fungal diseases can be spread on the lower leaves of plants when heavy rains splash soil and pathogens onto the foliage. Overall, stress from high temperatures has been evident in a majority of the crops that we are scouting.

Small Fruit and Orchards

Male SWD, Thomas Becker photo, 2022

Female SWD, Thomas Becker photo, 2022.

Spotted winged drosophila have been caught in traps around Wayne County. As we move out of strawberry season into raspberries/blackberries/blueberries, the SWD populations will begin to increase leading to possible infestations in ripening brambles and blueberries.

In apples, we continued to find strikes of fire blight. Conditions have been ideal for fire blight development, although dryer conditions may hinder further development. This week we continued to find aphids in apple trees. Our IPM program identified populations of green apple aphids in several orchards as well as a case of wooly apple aphids. Both aphid species can cause significant damage at this time of year. Accordingly, diligent scouting is a crucial aspect to not allowing either of these aphid species from getting out of hand. The heavy rains likely knocked back some of these aphid populations, but it will be important to monitor aphid populations as dry conditions take hold.

We have had sustained catches (over threshold) of both Codling Moth and Oriental Fruit Moth in apple and peach orchards, respectively. Over the last week, both Codling Moth and Oriental Fruit Moth populations have been trending downward, however, numbers have still exceeded the thresholds.

Now is the time to be managing early season diseases in apples. Scab, rust and powdery mildew are the three main diseases of concern at this point in the season.

Once strawberry harvest is over, it is a good time to consider renovation of the patch. The goals in renovation are to reduce plant numbers by narrowing the rows, remove old foliage (reduces diseases), control weeds, and reduce insect pests. After renovation, regular irrigation and weed control are essential. High yields next year depend on having large, healthy, vigorous plants when fruit buds are initiated in late summer.

We have started catching grape berry moth in our traps.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Spotted

Spotted-wing Drosophila (SWD) is one of the major pests of cane berries, blueberries, black berries, strawberries and peaches. Last week it was detected in Greene, Monroe, Geauga and Wayne counties but likely is present and active in most Ohio counties at this point in the season (

Spotted wing Drosophila male (L) and female (R).

Recall that this pest is relatively new to Ohio, first discovered in 2011, and has the distinction from other drosophila flies of being able to attack whole, healthy fruit as they begin to blush and ripen.

The best way to monitor for this pest on your farm is to use a trap with either a commercial lure or apple cider vinegar as a bait.

Spotted wing drosophila baited Scentry trap.

If you do this, it will be necessary to empty the trap weekly and look through the catch to identify the male (with the spot on its wing) or female (which has an enlarged serrated ovipositor) using a stereoscope. Remember that the threshold for this pest is 1 SWD fly, male or female. Once the threshold is exceeded, trapping can be halted. This can be a fairly intensive endeavor but has been described in detail in various videos posted to the OSU IPM YouTube channel (setting up trap, identification, salt water tests, etc.).

If you choose not to monitor for this pest and have had SWD on your farm before, it is nearly 100% certain they will return once fruit is in the blush or ripe stage, so you should prepare to manage based on their assumed presence. A fact sheet on SWD giving more detail on management and biology with an up to date list of insecticides can be found here:

Once you decide to stop harvesting in a certain block, insecticide treatment for SWD can be halted. For smaller or organic growers, some cultural methods including use of black mulch, pruning and netting have been shown to reduce and delay infestation.

Medina County grower talking about his exclusion netting project to manage SWD.

Notes from the Pumpkin Patch – June 26

The seasonal pattern of too wet to do any field work has relented to extremely dry conditions given the past week of temperatures in the 90’s. I managed to get caught up on planting the last of my trials, side dressing those trials with emerged plants and applying herbicides in anticipation of rain.

Perhaps the biggest pest to note over the past week was Squash Vine Borer becoming active in Greene and Coshocton counties ( This pest can cause some plant loss if active in fields (egg laid on stem, hatches into caterpillar which bore into the plant stem and can no longer be successfully treated) but usually not more than five percent of plants are infested. In prior years I have seen losses up to 30% in some of my research plots.

Squash vine borer adult on pumpkin leaf.

One way to determine if this pest is active near your field is to observe a large purple and orange moth flying around the field, but the best way is to use a pheromone trap. Once increases in trap catches are seen, 2-3 applications toward the base of the plant every 7-10 days is an effective control measure. Foliar insecticide options are listed in the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide ( I produced a short video on monitoring and treatment options as an overview on the OSU IPM YouTube site (

SVB pheromone trap.

Not much other pest activity to note at the research station but it was obvious to see while working around the various trials which hybrids had been treated with FarMore FI400 and which ones were not based on their Striped cucumber beetle feeding levels. I also saw my first Spotted cucumber beetle of the season this past week.

Spotted cucumber beetle.

Spotted cucumber beetle.

Keep an eye out for the third major early season pest, Squash bug, which should be making an appearance soon.

Squash bug adult.

Squash bug eggs.

Insecticide options and reminders for cucurbit pest control this summer

As you create your pest management programs for the rest of the season, make sure you keep pollinators and natural enemies in mind. Most cucurbits are obligately reliant on pollinators to set fruit and secure high yields. Further, many common cucurbit pests are controlled by natural enemies. For example, aphid infestations are often curbed by parasitoid wasps (pictured below). Ideally, non-chemical options should be prioritized (e.g., exclusion netting, trap cropping) but we don’t always live an ideal world. If you need to make an insecticide application, choose compounds with reduced toxicity to beneficial insects (options are shown below in Table 1).

  • Scout your field. Try to only spray when you need to spray. Use thresholds (described below in Table 1) to determine when an insecticide application is necessary. It’s possible that your preventative pyrethroid application is doing more harm than good. Pyrethroids in particular have a high “flaring potential” since they can disrupt natural enemies that provide FREE pest control.
  • Rotate chemistries. Take the IRAC code into consideration before you make an insecticide application and limit the number of sprays with the same insecticide class. This will prolong the efficacy of insecticide materials for the future.
  • Pollinator protection. While many insecticide products are safe to apply during the bloom period (although you still can’t apply during pollinator foraging), there are a fair number of neonicotinoids and pyrethroids that are not safe to apply during the bloom period at all (listed in Table 1 as ‘Highly toxic’). If you plan to use these products, make sure you position them well before or after bloom to limit negative effects on pollinators.

– Ashley Leach (OSU Entomology) and Jim Jasinski (OSU Extension)

Preparing for Cucurbit Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew colonies on the underside of a pumpkin leaf. Fungicide applications should start when these colonies are first observed during scouting. It is important to check both surfaces of the leaves. Photo by Josh Amrhein.

Powdery mildew usually appears on pumpkins and other cucurbits in Ohio beginning in early July. The pathogen does not overwinter in Ohio; infections result from spores blown into the area on the wind.  Powdery mildew is favored by moderate to high temperatures and high humidity. However, unlike most other fungal plant pathogens, it is inhibited by free moisture on the leaf surface.

Signs of infection are small circular powdery growths on either side of the leaf. These spots enlarge and can eventually cover most of the leaf surface and kill the leaves. Stems and leaf petioles are also susceptible, but the disease is not observed on fruit. In pumpkins, powdery mildew may also attack the “handles”, which can be further damaged by secondary pathogens. It is time to start scouting cucurbits for powdery mildew.

Powdery mildew is managed using disease-resistant varieties and fungicides. Pumpkin and squash varieties vary in resistance to powdery mildew; in general, the more susceptible the variety, the more fungicide needed. The choice of fungicide is important because insensitivity to overused fungicides is common. It is critical that a fungicide resistance management program is followed. Alternate fungicides in different FRAC (Fungicide Resistance Action Committee) groups, indicating different modes of action against the fungus. Fungicide applications should begin when the disease first appears and incidence is low. Fungicides that are labeled for use against cucurbit powdery mildew can be found in the searchable Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers.

OSU evaluations of efficacy of powdery mildew fungicides in Ohio in 2021 indicated that Aprovia Top, Luna Experience, Inspire Super, Rally, Miravis Prime, Luna Sensation, Microthiol Disperss, Vivando and Procure provided very good control of powdery mildew on pumpkins (see table below).  Velum Prime, Cevya, Prolivo and Gatten provided good control of powdery mildew on upper leaf surfaces but poor control on the lower surfaces.

Quintec provided good control in 2021 but in other years and other states has failed due to resistance. Fontelis, Bravo Weather Stik, Merivon Xemium, Pristine, and Torino have been shown to provide poor or variable control in Ohio or other states and are not recommended.

Always check label for full list of allowed crops and use recommendations and restrictions.

Scouting Notes from the Wayne County IPM Program

Here are our weekly observations and notes from the fields around Wayne County from the week of June 13-17, 2022.

Vegetable Crops

The Colorado Potato Beetle larvae have hatched and are now feeding in both potato and eggplant. When approaching plants to look for them, be cautious. When the beetle is startled, they drop to the ground and may be difficult to see. They do significant damage to the foliage and can cause significant reduction in yield. The Colorado Potato Beetle also has a history of developing resistance to insecticides being used as control measures. This has limited our choices for treatment options. The best way to prevent further resistance is to avoid using the same insecticide repeatedly. At the current plant stage for potato, the threshold is approximately 1 beetle per plant. For eggplant, it is 25 beetles per 50 plants.

In summer squash/zucchini, we are seeing an increase in the number of cucumber beetles. The seed treatment on these plants is beginning to reach the end of it’s efficacy. For fall vine crops that have just been planted in the last week or so, that seed treatment should still have a few weeks of efficacy left.

In onions, we have noticed an increase in the number of thrips, in many cases approaching an action threshold. Threshold is 25-30 thrips per plant. This week we also found more incidences of slippery skin which was confirmed by the vegetable pathology lab at OARDC earlier this month. Slippery skin is caused by Pseudomonas gladioli. This bacterium is spread via soil splashing from heavy rains and enters the plant through natural openings or openings from mechanical injury. Given the heavy rains we have experienced in the past week, it would probably be a good idea to get out and check your onions.

Overall, tomatoes are continuing to grow rapidly in the greater Wayne County area, with some plantings of field tomatoes beginning to set blooms. We did have a case of timber rot identified in the West Salem area in field tomato. It is important to practice good crop rotations and rotate out of a crop family completely for at least 3-4 years. A complete crop rotation will help to break up disease and pest cycles. Similar to onions, tomatoes can contract bacterial diseases from soil splashing. If you have tomatoes, it may be worthwhile checking the lower canopy of your plants to monitor the presence of any diseases.

Our IPM pest scouts have continued to find Mexican bean leaf beetles in the green beans this week. Light foliar feeding was observed.

With the warmer weather and plants maturing rapidly, the slug threat has greatly reduced in the last week. Any new transplants should still be monitored for feeding, however there should be less of a slug presence for the rest of the growing season.


Small Fruit and Orchards

This week we continued to find aphids in apple trees. Our IPM program identified populations of green apple aphids in several orchards as well as a case of wooly apple aphids. Both aphid species can cause significant damage at this time of year. Accordingly, diligent scouting is a crucial aspect to not allowing either of these aphid species from getting out of hand. The heavy rains likely knocked back some of these aphid populations, but it will be important to monitor aphid populations as the weather dries out a bit.

In apples, we continued to find a few instances of fire blight. Conditions have been ideal for fire blight development, so it is not much of a surprise to see some cases.

We have had sustained catches (over threshold) of both Codling Moth and Oriental Fruit Moth in apple and peach orchards, respectively. Over the last week, both Codling Moth and Oriental Fruit Moth populations have been trending downward, however, numbers have still exceeded the action thresholds.

With the storms over the course of the last week, it is not unlikely that we will see some yield loss from wind, heavy rains, or hail damage in many of the area’s fruit trees.

Now is the time to be managing early season diseases in apples. Scab, rust and powdery mildew are the three main diseases of concern at this point in the season.

Strawberry leaf diseases may appear unsightly right now, however, now is not the time to be managing these leaf diseases. Once harvest is done and during patch renovation it is recommended that you address these concerns, either with a fungicide or with resistant plant varieties. This is also a critical time to be watching for fruit rots such as Botrytis.

Grapes are currently around the buckshot berry stage. It is still possible to spray for and manage black rot during this time.

How to Grow Your Best Tomatoes This Season

Tomatoes are a taste of summer that we all look forward to.  We have had  a challenging year so far for sure.  A cooler wet spring has given way to some serious heat going forward.  Here is some great information on how the backyard grower, community gardener, or urban farmer can get a healthy tomato crop this season.

First up is a webinar class that details best ways on tomato production: Check out Tomatoes 101



Tomatoes face multiple weather and temperature challenges.  We just came through some serious 3 inch rain events.  That can cause disease for our tomato friends,  check out this informative article with pics to help you Keep Your Tomatoes Healthy in Wet Weather.

This summer is predicted to be HOT!  While tomatoes are a summer crop,  excessive heat can decrease production.  Check out this article to learn How to Keep Your Tomatoes Healthy in Hot Weather.

Early Season Notes from the Pumpkin Patch

Between the end of May and first 10 days of June, getting trials planted has been challenging with showers just about every 3 days. Typical field work ahead of direct seeding or transplanting (tillage or burn down) into our research and demonstration plots at South Charleston was definitely a “hurry up to wait” scenario. Hopefully most of you are having better luck at getting these crops in the ground!

As soon as I did manage to get some seeds and plants in the ground, there were quite a few pests waiting to pounce; read on and find out who!

Striped cucumber beetle – This is a pest that we expect to find every season. While it was reported several weeks ago in Southern Ohio, it made an appearance this past week in South Charleston. Notice the characteristic feeding damage on the lower cotyledon surface and on some of the early leaves. If FarMore FI400 seed was used not much damage should be expected but for untreated plants, scouting every few days while seedlings is important, followed by foliar sprays if beetles go over threshold (0.5 – 1 beetle / plant). Foliar insecticide options for all pests can be found in the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide (

Striped cucumber beetles in a semi-dead state beneath FarMore FI400 treated plant.

Characteristic striped cucumber beetle feeding

Salt Marsh caterpillar – A sporadic pest that is primarily a foliage feeder. While feeding can be fairly severe, typically very few plants are affected. The injury looks similar to that of striped cucumber beetle feeding shown above.


Salt marsh caterpillar found on feeding on pumpkin transplant

Black cutworm – Another sporadic pest found especially in no-till fields where winter annuals such as chickweed and other weeds are present during seeding or transplanting. If a burndown herbicide is applied or other disturbance to the field is made, these caterpillars will move to and feed on fresh plants, including pumpkin or squash seedlings. The damage is characteristic cutting of the stem at the soil line and often the cut stem and leaves will be pulled into the soil. To find the cutworm caterpillar, lightly dig around the cut plant to find and destroy the pest or risk other seedlings being cut.

stem cut

Partially cut seedling stem

cut stem and caterpillar

Fully cut stem and caterpillar

close up of cut stem, leaf feeding and caterpillar

Close up of cut stem, leaf feeding and caterpillar

Field mice and voles – In reduced tillage situations or fields planted with cover crops, there is an increased risk of depredation by several species of mice and voles which can feed on a variety of plant parts including leaves, stems, roots and seeds of plants. They have a particular fondness for pumpkin and squash seed, and can move down a planted row systematically digging up and eating every seed for stretches up to 50 feet. Even newly emerged seedlings aren’t safe from feeding as the cotyledons and radical (main root) can be chewed off, killing the plant.

In every direct seeded trial at the research station this year, we have lost between 30 to 95% of stand due to seed feeding, so this is a major consideration for us to decide if a trial gets direct seeded or transplanted. For growers, the size of the operation and effort to raise transplant needs to be evaluated against the expense and time lost to replanting (7-10 days) which can affect marketing and field harvest, possibly impacting sales.

There are a few ways to minimize mouse and vole seed and seedling depredation including increasing field tillage to disturb nesting areas, reducing the rate of cover crop planted to provide less cover for these vertebrates and providing perching structures near the field to invite raptors to prey on these pests. Planting in warm soils will promote faster germination and limit the time seed is vulnerable to depredation.

The only approved chemical treatment is an in-furrow application of zinc phosphide pellets. This is a Restricted Use Product and is not allowed to be broadcast on the field.

Seed feeding

Seed feeding

Cotyledon feeding

Cotyledon feeding


Vertebrate pest

Insect Pest Data Going Visual!

For the past few years members of the IPM Program have been working hard to upgrade how insect pest data is displayed to end users such as growers, consultants and other educators, mainly because spreadsheet data is so 1990’s!

chart image

Along with the transition from spreadsheet to graphical data, we are beginning to add key points and interpretation to help end users make management decisions about the current pest status. Our goal is to make insect activity trends easier to understand while wrapping in some useful pest management decision points. There might still be a few bugs to work out of the system but overall it should be functioning as intended.

While we don’t have all of the key pests for specialty crops listed, we do have most of the major pests for fruit and vegetables online at this point. If there is a pest you want to see monitored, drop us a note and we’ll see if we can add it. We are still fine-tuning timely cooperator data entry (meaning all data collected may not have been entered into the system for display) and some pests have just begun to be monitored for so trends may be difficult to see. Also, pest graphs with no data are populated with a large “NO DATA” tag in the body of the graph. Along the top of each graph is the county where the trapping data is being collected. Multiple sites in one county are numbered Greene 1, Greene 2, Greene 3, etc.

The new website can be found here:

Below is a screen capture of the new site. If you have questions or comments about the graphs let us know. We hope you enjoy the new interface experience!

insect data