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)

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

Initial Summary of Specialty Crop Listening Session

The following article was written by Jim Jasinski, Professor, Department of Extension; Jamie Strange, Chair, Department of Entomology and Ken Scaife, CFAES Director of Operations.

Since early 2020, The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) administrators, faculty and educators have been engaged in discussions addressing the interaction and relationship between the University and the diverse needs of specialty crop stakeholders. Specialty crops as defined by the USDA include fruits, vegetables, nuts, nursery crops, flowers and other horticultural crops.

To assess the relationship between OSU and specialty crop stakeholders, four activities have been initiated and completed to date.

1. Phone interviews with traditional large scale specialty crop farm operators to understand their individual concerns.
2. Phone interviews with official specialty crop groups and organizations that represent the interest of individual stakeholders to understand their overarching concerns.
3. Conducted a Statewide listening session via Zoom; Part 1 allowed Department representatives to share current specialists’ expertise via short three minute video segments. (can be viewed here on YouTube –
4. Conducted a Statewide listening session via Zoom; Part 2 solicited specialty crop stakeholder needs in facilitated feedback sessions.

The next step in the process involves sharing a short summary of the listening session data gathered where the preliminary needs and gaps of the broad stakeholder community given by growers, consultants and official crop associations in attendance during the statewide Zoom listening session.

Specialty Crops Represented by Report
There were multiple calls for engagement to various specialty crop stakeholders prior to the Zoom listening session, during the session and after the session concluded. A list of the most economically important crops mentioned during all of those requests is represented below. This is only a snapshot of the crops represented at the time and should not be generalized to commodity needs across the entire state. In general, fruit and vegetable crops, flowers and herbs are represented, along with Maple products and mushrooms. Crops listed that are not considered specialty crops include sunflower, field corn and soy based products.

graph of crops

Listening Session Discoveries
1. Below are the summary of comments received when asked to name the top major research and education needs over the next few years.

-Address specific pests / issues; Spotted lanternfly, Colorado potato beetle, flea beetles, carrot weevil, peach borer, other invasives, Paw Paw production and pest management, IPM, beneficial insects / biocontrol
-Address no-till/organic production, herbicides, crop inputs, variety trials, emerging crops, potatoes, climate control – how it effects crops, economics, GAPs & food safety, logistics, post harvest handling, weeds, cut flowers, new raspberry hybrids (breeding/eval?), better information access / types, farm expansion, local supply chains, produce aggregation, value added, season extension, labor, automation of planting, canning efficiency, soil health
-Address research on specific diseases such as Phytophthora, Buckeye rot, bacterial diseases in multiple crops, disease impacts on industry/processing, copper replacements, organic support
-Consumer education (local production and consumption cycle), specialty crop value in rural communities
-Marketing, beginner farming, legal, hops liaison, food hub, branding, better educational materials
-Automation of planting/harvesting, technology for crop production, energy efficient processes
-Shared facilities, incubator kitchens/parks
-Help with measuring carbon, soil health, sustainability reporting tools, maple quality

2. Below are the summary of comments received when asked to name the top areas that CFAES and Extension should continue to address in the next few years.  

-Research chemical and cultural control of plant diseases and insects; Integrated Pest Management; diagnostic services; monitor and report pest pressure, presence and severity
-Weed control – develop new herbicides, crop rotation/cover crops, chemical registration
-Variety trials – evaluate new and emerging varieties for yield, quality, disease resistance – fresh market and processing vegetable crops were primarily mentioned
-Support for obtaining new labels / registrations for chemicals
-Support for existing OSU crop breeding programs
-Interest in new market opportunities, industry marketing trends
-Education on food safety, GAP training, FSMA
-In-person programs or Extension visits are valued
-Multiple forms of communicating Extension information (social media, newsletters, email/hard copy, workshops and in-person programs); distilling relevant production and management information; draw expertise from other land-grant universities; communicate information on regular basis
-Critical mass of OSU personnel needed to support specialty crops
-Minor mentions – urban farming; organic agriculture; Paw Paw, maple syrup; soil health; cut flowers; high tunnels; beginning farmers; ag statistics; farm business/management; labor

3. Below are the summary of comments received when asked to name the top major research and education gaps that CFAES and Extension should address in the next few years.

-The primary area for improvement involved connecting OSU faculty, staff, and students with producers. Many people identified a lack of communication as a problem and others recommended more on-farm visits as a solution
-Production issues were the second most mentioned areas for improvement. These included pest control, disease management, production methods, and breeding and varietal trials of new cultivars as most important issues
-Multiple participants identified the need for more research on organic production including, pest and disease management, cropping systems, and connecting growers to markets
-The need to increase OSU staffing within departments and extension offices was identified, as was the need to connect growers and researchers to funding
-Marketing, especially helping new producers connect to markets, was noted as an area that needs more attention
-Several participants noted issues related to tree products including fruit, syrup, and carbon sequestration
-Various other areas of growing need for research and extension included farming in solar arrays, urban agriculture, and serving disadvantaged communities

Next Steps
The accumulated information from the phone interviews and listening session are being shared with CFAES administrators, Department Chairs, Specialists and Extension Educators in order to assess the needs, strengths and gaps in current interactions with specialty crop stakeholders. Action based on this input will be forthcoming to help address and improve current relations.

In the next few months, expect opportunities to have in-person meetings to discuss the findings with large blocks of specialty crop stakeholders, such as but not limited to, processing vegetable crops, fruit crops and other vegetable, nursery or floral crops.

Thresholds triggered across state for Codling moth control

Codling moth is on the move! In the graph below, we have degree day models for 4 different sites across Ohio (Piketon, Columbus, Wooster, and Ashtabula). As expected, the southern sites (Piketon, Columbus) show higher Codling moth activity compared to our more northern sites (Wooster, Ashtabula). Make sure to time first or second cover sprays in line with egg-laying hatch. Generally, the first cover spray can be applied when eggs are at 3-5% hatch and then a second application around 10-14 days later.

Degree day model of Codling moth activity across 4 sites in OH. Data was taken from NEWA.

Depending on the insecticide product you want to apply, you can use the following table to determine when applications are needed based on the development of Codling moth in your area. For example, if you are looking to target Codling moth populations with insect growth regulator like Rimon, make sure you make your first application between 50–75 degree days. However, if you are planning to use Exirel wait until 150-250 degree-days. As you consider your insecticide program for the second generation of Codling moth, make sure you rotate your chemistries or IRAC codes. Please note that there are other products to control Codling moth, and this is not an exhaustive list of insecticides that can control Codling moth. Consult your Midwest fruit pest management guide for more options and information.

Please note that this DOES NOT include all options to control codling moth in apple.

Spotted Lanternfly Video – Scouting Tips  

Article contributions by Jim Jasinski, Amy Stone, Thomas Dehaas, Ann Chanon (Dept. of Extension)

While it has generally been a cooler than average spring this year, a few hot days have pushed accumulated degree days past the point where Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) have begun emerging from their overwintering egg masses from known populations in Cleveland. Given the northern emergence location of this pest, it is nearly certain emergence has begun all over the state.

Slf map by degree days

To help scout for early SLF stages, Amy Stone of Ohio State University Extension is featured in a video describing how to locate and identify SLF egg masses and nymphs, both black and red stages (

In general, the early nymphs are smaller and mostly black with white spots, almost spider or tick like, while the last nymph stage is the largest and mostly red with black and white spots.

Spotted Lanternfly has been detected primarily in the northern and eastern parts of the state but can be easily transported to any corner of the state so we hope the general public and growers remain vigilant in looking for this new pest. If a suspected SLF stage is found, please report to ODA ( or any OSU Extension educator. Take pictures, collect stages and carefully note location as someone will be sent back to confirm detection.

Striped Cucumber Beetles Already Active

My Extension colleague in Pickaway County sent me a quick note and picture over the weekend that the Striped Cucumber Beetle is actively searching and feeding on transplanted or emerged cucurbit crops. Given how cool the temperatures have been the past few weeks I thought it was a bit early but these past few days of 80+F have certainly activated them out of their overwintering locations and into nearby fields. Like the canary in the coal mine, this pest alert from southern growers should help growers in central and northern Ohio prepare to scout and manage transplants or emerged seedlings of cucumber, squash, zucchini, pumpkin or melon.

Striped cucumber beetle.

The active ingredient applied in the picture below is imidacloprid, a systemic insecticide which is very effective at controlling beetles, as evidenced by the pile of dead cucumber beetles on and near the treated plant. Because this product is systemic in the plant, there are also residues that will accumulate in the pollen and nectar. Foraging honey bees, bumble bees, squash bees and other pollinators that collect these food resources may not be outright killed but more subtle sub-lethal effects might be detected when brought back to the nest. So, decisions about pesticide selection, pest severity, timing and non-target impacts need to be considered before use.

dead cucumber beetles

Dead cucumber beetles, Champ Henson.

To prepare for the arrival of striped cucumber beetles, consider reviewing a short but detailed video of several management options (beetles/plant thresholds, systemic seed treatment, use of transplants and in-furrow application) posted to the OSU IPM YouTube channel (

Foliar insecticide recommendations for all crops including cucurbits can be found in the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide (

Recall that while seedlings can survive and outgrow minor beetle damage, it is key to prevent bacterial wilt transmission while the plants are most susceptible prior to the 3-4 leaf stage. Bacterial wilt infected plants will become symptomatic once there is high demand to translocate water from the roots to the shoots, such as the time of fruit enlargement. No treatments are available to reduce bacterial wilt once a plant is infected.

Springtime is Spray Time: Here are Some Tips for Better Spraying -Erdal Ozkan

Applying pesticides requires a high level of skill and knowledge. Increases in the size and complexity of sprayers over the years require even more attention to efficiency, efficacy, and safety. Although each crop requires a slightly different approach to the application of pesticides, some general principles apply to almost all spraying situations. Here are my top 10 recommendations (not in a particular order) that will make spraying efficient and effective resulting in a higher level of biological efficacy expected from pesticides applied:

1. Select the best nozzle type and size for the job. Although each component of the sprayer plays a role in achieving success in pesticide application, nozzles play the most significant role. Nozzles come in a wide variety of types and sizes. Each type is designed for a specific target and application. Most manufacturers’ catalogs and websites have charts showing which nozzle type is best for a specific job. Any of the following factors may be the deciding one when selecting the most appropriate nozzle for the job: Sprayer operation parameters (application rate, spray pressure, ground speed); the type of chemicals applied (herbicide, insecticide, fungicide, fertilizers); mode of action of the chemical (systemic or contact) for spray coverage requirement; application type (broadcast, band, directed, air-assisted); risk of spray drift; and specific nozzle or droplet size requirement given on the product label. Once you determine the best nozzle that will be best for a specific spraying situation, you need to determine the appropriate size of that nozzle that provides the application rates (gal/acre) prescribed by product labels under various operating conditions (spray pressures and travel speeds). More information on selecting nozzle type and size is outlined in Ohio State University (OSU) Extension publication FABE-528, “Selecting the Best Nozzle for the Job.” (


  1. Carefully read and follow the specific recommendations provided in sprayer operator’s manuals and labels of pesticides applied. For example, the labels of 2,4-D or Dicamba herbicides include specific requirements for nozzles and operating pressure ranges. If you use any other type and size of nozzle and operate them outside the pressure range requirements given by the pesticide manufacturers, you are violating the pesticide label, and therefore the law. Remember, the label is the law!
  2. Keep spray drift in mind when spraying. Although complete elimination of spray drift is impossible, problems can be significantly reduced by awareness of the major factors that cause drift, while taking precautions to minimize their influence on off-target movement of droplets. The nozzle you select and the weather conditions at the time of spraying are the two most influential factors affecting generating as well as reducing spray drift. Keep nozzles as close to the target as possible while still producing a uniform distribution of spray on the target. If weather conditions (wind speed and direction, humidity, temperature, inversions) are not favorable, and there is concern about spray that might result in drift, wait until there is no longer that element of doubt. Extensive information related to factors influencing spray drift, is in OSU Extension publication FABE-525. “Effect of Major Variables on Drift Distances of Spray Droplets.” (
  1. Maximize pesticide deposit and coverage on the target which may be different part of the crop canopy. For example, when applying a fungicide to manage Fusarium head blight or “head scab,” on small grains, the target is the head, not the leaves. On the other hand, when spraying for soybean sclerotinia stem rot (white mold), the most critical area that needs to be treated with fungicides is where flowering takes place. Nozzle selection has a significant influence on whether or not the droplets reach the specific target location in the canopy. For example, the twin-pattern nozzles or a single flat-fan nozzle tilted at a forward angle of 30 to 45 degrees down from the horizontal is definitely best for the application of fungicides for wheat head scab. It is, however, the worst setup for soybean insects and diseases, such as aphids and white mold, respectively.
  1. Slow down when spraying. Spray coverage is usually improved at slower speeds. The higher the travel speed, the greater likelihood of spray drift.
  2. Calibrate the sprayer. A sprayer can only be effective, efficient, and safe if properly checked and calibrated well before the sprayer is taken to the field, and periodically during the spraying season. Some may argue that most sprayers are now equipped with sophisticated rate controllers and ground speed sensors, and calibration is not necessary. Unfortunately, not all electronic controllers can detect flow rate changes on each nozzle on the boom, and none can detect changes in spray pattern. The primary goal with calibration is to determine the actual rate of application in gallons per acre, and then make adjustments if the difference between the actual rate and the intended rate is greater or less than 5% of the intended rate. There are several ways to calibrate a sprayer. One easy method is explained in the OSU Extension publication FABE-520, “Calibrating Boom Sprayers.” ( Be safe. Wear protective clothing, goggles and rubber gloves, and respirators if required on the label, when calibrating the sprayer, doing the actual spraying, and cleaning the equipment.
  3. Check uniformity of application. How uniformly the chemical is deposited on the target is as important as the amount applied. Maintain uniform deposition of spray material on across the entire width of the target area. Non-uniform coverage results from using misaligned or clogged nozzles, using nozzles with different fan angles, or from uneven nozzle height across the boom. These common problems result in streaks, untreated areas, or over-application of chemicals.
  4. Understand how to calculate the amount of chemical product to mix in the tank. Although your sprayer may be in good condition and calibrated frequently, if the correct amount of chemical is not put into the tank, it can still result in unsatisfactory pest control. Detailed information on how to calculate the proper amount of chemical to add to the spray tank is provided in the OSU Extension publication FABE-530. “How Much Chemical Product Do I Need to Add to my Sprayer Tank.” (
  1. Take advantage of technological advancements in spray technology, such as GPS, automatic guidance systems, and independent control of nozzles using the PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). Update and upgrade your sprayer with these technologies that can be easily integrated in your existing sprayer.
  1. Consider using a sprayer that is equipped with air-assisted boom when coverage in lower parts of the canopy is essential for control of some insects and diseases especially under full, dense canopy conditions, such as soybeans sprayed in late season.

For more information on this topic, please read the OSU Extension publication FABE-532, “Best Practices for Effective and Efficient Pesticide Application.” ( Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have a specific question that was not addressed in this and other OSU Extension publications I mentioned in this article.

Happy spraying!