Sign-Up Info for the 2022 IPM Scouting Season

The enrollment period for the 2022 Wayne County IPM scouting program is now open. Please call the Wayne County OSU Extension Office at 330-264-8722 if you are interested in signing up or for more information about the program. Enrollment forms are being sent in the mail to previous program participants.

More information about the IPM program and details on how to enroll may be found here: 2022 IPM Forms

Bugging Out in the Fall

When people think of fall, most people think about the leaves changing colors, cooler temperatures, and all things pumpkin spice. When I think of fall, I think of all the bugs that make their presence known when temperatures and leaves start to drop. After a summer of warding off the threats of biting and stinging insects, you might let your guard down during this time of year, however, if you aren’t a fan of having 6 legged visitors in your house, it would be a good idea to do what you can to prevent some of the following common invaders from finding their way into your home.

One of the most prevalent home invading insects, and one that you may have already had problems with this year is stink bugs, specifically the brown marmorated stink bug. Per their name, it is best not to go after these with the fly swatter when spotted due to the unfriendly aroma that is released when threatened or crushed. As temperatures drop, the stink bugs begin to look for shelter indoors and seemingly are able to find even the smallest entry point into the home and make their way through the house via ducts, crawl spaces and other openings.

Another bug, which is sometimes confused for the stink bug is the Western conifer seed bug (WCSB). The Western Conifer seed bug is in a family of true bugs known as the “leaf-footed bugs”. The WCSB is a larger insect than the stink bug, overall lighter in color, with a longer body and enlarged femora on their hind legs. These bugs, as well as stink bugs, can often be heard before they are seen. Both of these insects produce a loud buzzing noise when they are in flight, and are not necessarily the most graceful at landing, when often the buzzing cuts off with an abrupt thud as they glance off of a window or lamp shade.

An additional true bug species that is commonly found in the fall hanging out on the exterior of homes and buildings is the boxelder bug. This species is found commonly on or around boxelder, ash, and maple trees. The appearance of the insect is mostly black or dark brown, with red “veins” appearing on the wings and abdomen, often forming a red “V” on the back of the insect. Throughout the summer, you may occasionally find them in your yard and garden, but once the season changes, they begin to seek for a place to over winter and may cluster on homes, warming in the sun and seeking a point of entry. Should a few find their way in, they are fairly quite in the house, mostly keeping to themselves behind walls and siding.

The multicolored Asian lady beetle is another common fall invader and may be the most annoying of them all. They can bite (more of a pinch), have a putrid smell and stains if crushed or threatened and are always active and in the way, unlike the boxelder bug. Adults vary in color from bright orange to a dull yellow or pale color, and they may have full dark spots, some spots, or no spots. These beetles are not the same as our native lady beetle species and are not a protected species.

There are several other insects like cluster flies, grain beetles, Indian meal moths, and other creatures like centipedes and silverfish that can be found in and around homes and buildings in the fall and winter. The most important step in managing these pests from entering the home is prevention.

All it takes to allow for these bugs, beetles, and other pests to get in is a small crack or crevice under a window, along a roofline, or behind the siding. A common point of entry in newer homes is via loose vinyl panels used for siding and loose soffit panels. When insects enter via the soffits, it is very easy for them to find their way into the attic, progressively finding their way through the wall cavities and eventually making their way into open living spaces. The drawback with vinyl panels is that they are hung with some spaces to account for expansion in the heat, however, this creates a challenge when attempting to prevent bugs from invading in the fall. Where you are able, make sure that cracks and holes on the exterior are sealed. While there are some cases where insecticide applications are warranted and effective, they can be costly and, in most cases, will not completely control the insects.

The other challenge in managing insects in the fall around your home is that first thing in the fall, while temperatures are still dropping and before we start in on really heating the house, the insects will be relatively inactive. It really isn’t until we turn the thermostat up and the furnace kicks on that we see major activity from the insects. Once the heat turns on, the insects may perceive this falsely as springtime and become active and are in search of food and water. Due to this, it is best to keep all food sealed, remove garbage, and prevent excess moisture, all in an effort to remove potential food and water sources.

Using a vacuum to remove insects can be an option, however, keep in mind that many of these bugs and beetles can produce a nasty smell and if you use the vacuum, either empty it quickly after use, or have one dedicated to insect removal.

Try as we might to keep the insects out, seemingly there will always be a few who find their way in. The positive thing about these insects is that none of them are a concern with regards to potential for structural damage to the home. Most of them do not bite, do not cause damage to structural or cosmetic features in the home and do not lay eggs or reproduce while inside. Regardless of the harmlessness of many of these pests, it is still an annoyance to share a living space with them, and gives us another household chore to deal with, year in and year out.

Wayne County IPM Notes from the Week of August 9 – 13

Agronomic Crops

There was a significant reduction in potato leaf hopper counts this week. This drop is likely due to timely cutting in the fields we scout, along with frequent heavy rains. When wetter weather, or with days that have heavier morning dews occur, potato leafhoppers can diminish quickly due to the entomopathogenic fungi that can cause the population to collapse. When these conditions occur, and populations of potato leafhoppers drop, there is no need to treat.

Field corn is pushing R3-R4, as the silk is now drying down all the way to the kernel and the kernel is filling out and the ears start into maturity. In soybean, pods are developing all of the way up the plant, and pods are starting to fill. As pod fill begins to occur, it is a critical time to be watching for insects like stink bugs that would be damaging the pods and developing seeds.

Vegetable Crops

Squash vine borer damaged plants.

This week brought about many sightings of squash vine borer larva. The adult squash vine borer moths were actively flying and lay eggs about a month ago. We are now seeing plants that are declining in health and when inspected further, are oozing frass and have stems that look shredded. When we split the stem of these plants, in nearly every instance, we found at least one, if not several squash vine borer larvae. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to reverse such severe damage.

A large squash vine borer found feeding in a pumpkin plant.

Flea beetles are feeding on young cabbage and broccoli, and the cabbage worm butterflies are finding their way into these plantings as well. We are starting to see some damage in peppers from the European corn borer and expect the ECB and CEW numbers in the traps to increase in the next week or so.

Small Fruit and Orchards

As apples and peaches are harvested, do not let your guard down on the late season generations of codling moth and oriental fruit moth. This past week was another week of rising codling moth numbers, and consistent oriental fruit moth catches, although the oriental fruit moth numbers have not gone back over threshold.

Grapes damaged by grape berry moth larvae.

Grapes are starting to ripen, and as the season progresses, we are still finding consistent trap catches of grape berry moth. Although it may be too late for some varieties, you may still be able to protect later maturing varieties with a treatment for grape berry moth.

Wayne County IPM Notes from the Week of August 2 – August 6

Agronomic Crops

All of the corn that we are scouting is now at least R1. It is important to keep an eye out for pests like Japanese beetles or northern corn rootworm beetles that can cause damage to the crop by feeding on and clipping the silks. Clipped silks can significantly reduce the amount of successful pollination.

Soybeans are starting into pod development. At this time of year, insect pests like stink bugs and bean leaf beetles can cause pod and seed damage, which directly impacts yields. The forecasted hot and dry weather will be favorable for large populations of spider mites showing up in fields.

This is an important time of year to have adequate moisture, for corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. Corn and soybeans need adequate moisture for complete ear and pod fill, respectively. After recent cuttings, alfalfa fields are slow to put on significant regrowth, which can lead to concerns with potato leaf hopper feeding.

Vegetable Crops

We are still continuing to find new infections of downy mildew, and increasingly more frequent in younger plantings of cucumbers. It is highly recommended to treat your cucumbers for downy mildew, especially in plantings where harvest is not expected to start for several more weeks.

Powdery mildew is slowly but surely spreading onto more area pumpkin patches and squash plantings. If you have plantings of squash that you are done picking in, it would be best to terminate these plantings to reduce the amount of inoculum that is present, especially if younger plants are nearby.

A lot of area growers are still struggling with bacterial diseases in tomatoes and peppers and root rots like pythium and phytophthora in pepper plantings. The warm and damp conditions that we experienced during July are partially to blame for rapid onset of many of these diseases. Hot and dry weather, however, can help to slow the spread of bacterial diseases.

Small Fruit and Orchards

We are finding Spotted Wing Drosophila in the traps that we have set out in peach blocks. While peaches are not a preferred host for SWD, some damaged and infested fruit can still occur. To the best of your ability as a grower, it’s a good practice to pick frequently and keep the ground around the trees clean. Culled fruit provides a food source and suitable habitat for many pests and diseases and removing the cull fruit can help prevent or reduce the severity of issues. Codling moth counts continued to increase this week. Oriental fruit moth counts in our traps continued to decline. In grapes, we are finding consistent catches of the grape berry moth.

Wayne County IPM Notes from July 26 – July 30

Agronomic Crops

Now is the time to scout for stink bugs in corn and soybean fields. At this time, the corn we are scouting is between the R1 and R3 stage. Soybeans are consistently around R1 and R2. Stink bugs can cause kernel damage in corn and pod damage in soybeans. Scouting along field edges will help you find stink bug populations, as they begin infesting fields from the edges and work their way inward.

In our scouting of sunflowers, our IPM team found what we determined to be bacterial stalk rot of sunflower. The stalks were very easy to push over, raising concern for lodging. The center of the stalk, about a third of the way up the plant, had become very soft, rotten, and thus lost all structural integrity. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done this year about the stalk rot, however, a rotation of at least 4 years away from sunflower, combined with good weed control, can help to break up the disease cycle and prevent any residue or other plant species from over wintering the pathogen.

Vegetable Crops

Septoria leaf blight is beginning to work its way up tomato plants in the area. This fungal foliar disease, over time, can result in significant loss of foliage and over all a reduction in productivity and longevity of the plant.

Cucurbits are facing a lot of disease challenges right now, including powdery mildew, downy mildew on cucumbers and cantaloupe, and plectosporium. While we consistently see both the mildews, plectosporium can be a little more sporadic and when it occurs, it can cause significant yield loss if left uncontrolled.

The only major issues we have identified this week in terms of insect pests was the continuation of flea beetles feeding on very young cole crop transplants. Make sure you do not allow flea beetle populations to get out of hand.

Small Fruit and Orchards

Codling moth activity has increased in many of the orchard where we have traps set. Overall, though, the apple crop looks very abundant and healthy this year. In peaches, we have started finding spots of bird damaged fruit, as well as damage from Japanese beetles. Our IPM program has put out a SWD trap in some peaches to keep an eye on the SWD populations in peach blocks. In small fruits, Japanese beetles continue to be the main pest of concern as the season begins to wind down. In grapes, we did find some grape berry moth adults in our traps and encourage anyone with grapes to keep an eye out for the grape berry moth adult, or damage to the grapes from the larva.

Wayne County IPM Notes from the Week of July 19 – 23

Agronomic Crops

Rapid crop growth and development is a common sight around the area in corn and soybean fields. The majority of corn fields have tasseled

Alfalfa field in bloom.

and are beginning to silk. Soybeans are flowering and pod development is starting to occur.

We are beginning to find some foliar diseases affecting corn fields, as well as the continuation of insect damage from flea beetles, grasshoppers, armyworm, and several other pests. Soybeans are still being fed on by a wide variety of foliar pests. Our focus will start to shift to pod feeding pest, such as stink bugs and bean leaf beetles. Read more on Corn and Soybean management decisions.

Potato leaf hoppers are remaining consistent in population in alfalfa fields. We are seeing populations either at or below threshold. Some fields have cases of leaf spot; however, we are not seeing any fields with any severe infections at this time.

Vegetable Crops

Powdery mildew found on a cucurbit plant in a Wayne County field.

The Vegetable Pathology Lab at OARDC has confirmed several more cases of downy mildew, on both cucumbers and cantaloupe. It is important to take steps to either protect your crop or stop the spread of any ongoing infections. Powdery mildew is also spreading rapidly through the area. Although some heavy rains may have slowed its spread, favorable conditions have led to some fields rapidly becoming infected.

Flea beetles feeding on young green cabbage plants.

Bacterial diseases continue to spread in pepper and tomato plantings. Pay close attention to these crops in particular, and make sure that you are taking the necessary precautions so as to not spread bacterial diseases. Bacteria can be spread from plant to plant via clothing, equipment, or animals. More from APS

Flea beetles are feeding heavily on recently planted cole crops, which left uncontrolled can cause stunted and underperforming plants. Another insect we have seen quite a few of is the squash vine borer. Although these are not typically going to harm large numbers of plants, they can still be a nuisance, especially in smaller plantings.

Small Fruit and Orchards

 This week we found our first incidence of scab in apples. While this was only an isolated find on a few leaves, it is a good reminder to take some time to scout your apple trees and look for any signs of scab. Oriental fruit moth numbers were significantly above threshold again this week. Japanese beetles were also

Severe damage from Japanese beetles feeding on the foliage of apple trees.

still feeding heavily in many of the fruit crops we scout. Spotted wing drosophila are still being found in all of our traps, and for anyone with small fruit in the area, it is recommended that you treat for SWD.

Wayne County IPM Notes from the Week of July 12th – July 16th

Agronomic Crops

Crop development progressed rapidly in the last week with the abundance of moisture and warm temperatures. Corn plants are either tasseling or nearly there, soybeans have started to flower and overall, there was a lot of new growth.

European Corn Borer and Armyworm found feeding in field corn. The ECB was found feeding on this tassel that has yet to emerge.

Japanese beetles continue to feed in corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. Stink bugs are also out in corn and soybeans, although, stink bugs are more damaging later in the season during ear and pod development, respectively. We are also finding an uptick in worm damage in corn, from both the European Corn Borer and Armyworm.

Potato Leaf Hopper counts were at or below threshold this week. Considering that many alfalfa fields are starting into bloom, we anticipate that fields will be cut before our PLH counts would go over threshold.

Vegetable Crops

Of most importance, the Vegetable Pathology Lab in Wooster confirmed Downy Mildew on a cucumber plot at OARDC. Cucumber growers are highly encouraged to begin taking action to protect their plants, especially as more cases are confirmed around the area.

Japanese beetles are out in force this year and continue to be one of the most consistent insect pests from week to week on a wide range of crops. Other insect pests of note included Colorado Potato Beetles that have migrated off of harvested potato plantings in into tomato and eggplant plantings. In squash, we have still been finding quite a few squash bug egg masses. Squash Vine Borers have also been spotted in some area pumpkin plantings.

Colorado Potato Beetles feeding on a tomato plant. Tommy Becker photo.

During these heavy rains, we have noticed a significant amount of soil splashed up onto the plants and fruit. This will likely encourage more disease incidence. Accordingly, take extra time and care to scout your crops in the coming weeks.

Sweet corn pests like corn ear worm and European corn borer are not showing much activity in our traps. We occasionally find damaged tassels from ECB feeding, however, we have yet to have any fields go over the 10% damage threshold.

Small Fruit and Orchards

 Between last week and this week, we have seen a sustained flight of oriental fruit moth in area peach blocks as our traps have been well over threshold for the last two weeks. Our codling moth traps still do not show much activity.

Over ripe Lodi apple that had spilt following a heavy rain.

We did find some interesting things while scouting apples this week, including blister spot on some “Delicious” apple varieties and Lodi apples that had burst and fell off the trees due to being over ripe.

As a note for all small fruit growers, all of our traps for SWD in the area are currently catching SWD, therefore, we recommend you treat your small fruit. Pay close attention to the label, especially the REI (re-entry interval) and PHI (pre-harvest interval). Another note for all fruit crops, Japanese beetles are feeding on grapes, apples, peaches, and blueberries. The beetles can do significant defoliation as well as damage to the fruit.

 

Wayne County IPM Notes for the Week of July 5 – July 9

Agronomic Crops

             Potato leaf hopper counts seem to be remaining constant, staying below threshold in alfalfa fields. Other insects, such as Japanese beetles in sweet corn, or grasshoppers in soybeans, are not holding steady, instead, we are seeing increasing population numbers and an increase in foliar feeding activity. Corn fields have seen an uptick in activity and feeding from armyworm.

In some fields, where moisture seemed to be limited due to spotty rain showers, we have started to see some nutrient deficiencies, more specifically potassium. Adequate soil moisture is key to have nutrient uptake through mass flow, and when nutrients like potassium are not taken up in adequate amounts, the effects of lack of moisture can compound.

Vegetable Crops

             High tunnel tomatoes were one of the areas of focus for disease development this past week. Many high tunnel tomatoes are currently experiencing cases of leaf mold. As a side note on high tunnel tomatoes, we did observe a thrips outbreak in a high tunnel, where heavy feeding by the thrips was causing significant discoloration on the foliage and stunting of the plants. Peppers took up the other focus with disease development, mainly due to favorable conditions for bacterial diseases to manifest.

Flea beetles seemed to make a comeback this week. Several fields of cole crops were over threshold for flea beetle counts. Japanese beetles are continuing to feed in the majority of the crops planted in the area. Other insects like squash bugs are starting to be found more frequently, specifically in early planted summer squash.

Sticking with cucurbits, we are starting to find spots of powdery mildew in plantings of zucchini and yellow squash. It is important to scout your crops and look for powdery mildew, especially if you have succession plantings of young cucurbit crops nearby. Powdery mildew is easily spread onto younger plants, so it is recommended that you keep up with spraying for powdery mildew and terminate the older infected plantings once you are done harvesting.

Small Fruit and Orchards

 First and foremost, we have found spotted winged drosophila in our area. The threshold for SWD in small fruit is 1 fly. Since we are now finding adults, we encourage growers to also do salt tests on the berries to check for larvae.

Wooly apple aphids continue to show up in the several apple orchards in the area. These are a tough pest to get under control due to their protective waxy coating.

OFM counts in some peach blocks were above threshold for the first time in several weeks. OFM counts remained well below threshold.

Wayne County IPM Notes From the Week of June 21-25

Agronomic Crops

            This week was a good week for crop growth and development. We are now seeing V6 to V8 corn and soybeans reaching V2-V3 in most

Northern Corn Leaf Blight lesion on a corn leaf.

areas. As the crops continue to progress, they become more tolerant of early insect pests like cutworms and slugs. Overall, there are not many concerns with our agronomic crops at this point in the season. We are, however, starting to see the arrival of some more common summer pests.

Japanese beetles have started to make their presence known in corn and soybean fields across the area. We are also finding an increasing number of grasshoppers, especially in soybean fields. This week we also noted our first sighting of Northern Corn Leaf Blight.

In alfalfa, we have not observed any large counts of potato leaf hoppers to this point. There are a few out there, but nothing has been over threshold so far.

Imported cabbage worm eggs in the red circles and a recently hatched caterpillar circled in yellow.

Vegetable Crops

            Imported cabbage worm butterflies are laying a lot of eggs on cole crops. It is important to scout the crops for the eggs as well as the larvae, in order to have a better grasp on when the larvae are hatching and causing damage. This will also help ensure efficient and timely insecticide applications.

Aphids are continuing to be present in many of the vegetable crops that our IPM program scouts,

Thrips feeding in on onion leaves in the center of the plant.

however, we are finding a lot of beneficial insects that are feeding on the aphids and helping to either maintain or eliminate populations. Japanese beetles also are present now in many of the crops in our area.

This week was also the first week that we really noticed an increase in thrips in onion plants. As the leaves get larger and offer more shelter for the thrips, the populations are able to multiply rapidly.

Some sweet corn in the area is tasseling, silking and in some cases, nearing harvest. We have noted some European Corn Borer feeding in tassels. If 10% of silking plants are damaged by ECB, a treatment is warranted. In some fields, this threshold was met, and growers started on a spray program for their tasseling and silking corn.

Small Fruit and Orchards

Aphids in the apple trees continued to be the main pest this week. We found more clusters of wooly apple aphids, which are now working their way out onto the new shoots and green growth. Our trap counts for OFM remain well below threshold.

OFM traps in peach blocks were also well below threshold, however, we did see an increase in the trap counts of Greater and Lesser Peach Tree Borer.

Strawberry season is winding down. Our SWD traps in strawberry patches yielded 0 SWD. Harvest is starting in some area blueberry and bramble patches. Grape clusters are developing nicely and starting to put on some size.

Wayne County IPM Notes From the Week of June 14-18

Agronomic Crops

Bindweed wrapping up a corn plant.

The corn planted in our area is really starting to outgrow any early concerns that may have been had regarding insect pressure. The corn is also out growing many of the competing weeds, however, it is still recommended to do what you can to reduce the weed pressure on the corn plants. Soybeans also have seemed to escape most of the insect pressure; however, we are now seeing large areas of heavy feeding from deer and groundhogs.

We noted in our scouting this week on the large amount of 2nd cutting alfalfa coming off. 2nd cutting came and went without many concerns, and very limited pressure from insects. We will continue to scout for potato leaf hoppers, especially on the regrowth after 2nd cutting.

Vegetable Crops

            This growing season, so far, has been all about the bugs. We have not had a huge amount of disease pressure

Squash bug eggs on summer squash.

on the vegetable crops in our area. We have, however, continued to find more insects impacting local crops.

Newly spotted insect pests this week included Japanese Beetles, thrips, and squash bugs. The Japanese Beetles were found in silking sweet corn, the thrips are being found in onions and the squash bugs are being found laying eggs in summer squash plantings.

 

Japanese Beetle found in a sweet corn stand.

In green beans we are still seeing a light population of potato leaf hoppers and a few bean leaf beetles feeding here and there. Cucurbits still have some cucumber beetles feeding, as well as some aphids. Aphids are not picky about which crops they are in, as we continue to find them in a variety of crops, including peppers and tomatoes. Both eggplant and potatoes are dealing with flea beetle and Colorado potato beetle. The Colorado potato beetle larva are becoming very prolific in some areas and causing significant defoliation. Cole crops, while also dealing with pressure from flea beetle, are now seeing an increase in activity from the imported cabbage worm caterpillar.

Small Fruit and Orchards

Aphids and mites are being found in fruit trees, primarily apple trees. This week, we began to find European red mites, green apple aphids and wooly apple aphids. Trap counts for CM in apples and OFM in peaches were all below threshold, with many traps reporting zeros.

The biggest update in our pest outlook in small fruit was not an insect, instead it involved birds. There was bird damage being found in strawberries, as well as in blueberry areas where the berries are starting to color. Some growers are using netting to exclude the birds from blueberry plantings. This is a lot of work but saves a lot of berries from being damaged.