Sterile male screwworm fly marked with a numbered tag to study fly dispersal, behavior, and longevity. Photo credit: Peggy Greb, USDA-ARS.

From the USDA-APHIS website:

The presence of New World screwworm (Cochliomyia hominivorax) in Key deer has been confirmed by USDA-APHIS in Big Pine Key, Florida. New World screwworms are fly larvae (maggots) that can infest livestock and other warm-blooded animals, including people.

See alert here: USDA Confirms New World Screwworm in Big Pine Key, Florida



Key deer. Photo credit: Marc Averette, creative commons.

First report of bronze bug in Mexico


William M. Ciesla, Forest Health Management International, Bugwood.org

From PestLens:

During a 2015 survey, the bronze bug, Thaumastocoris peregrinus (Hemiptera: Thaumastocoridae), was found infesting Eucalyptus camaldulensis (river red gum) and E. globulus (Tasmanian blue gum) trees in Mexico. This is the first report of T. peregrinus in Mexico and in North America.


Jiménez-Quiroz, E., J. M. Vanegas-Rico, O. Morales-Martínez, J. R. Lomeli-Flores, and E. Rodríguez-Leyva. 2016. First record of the bronze bug, Thaumastocoris peregrinus Carpintero & Dellapé 2006 (Hemiptera: Thaumastocoridae), in Mexico. Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology 32(1):35-39. Last accessed August 25, 2016, from http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.3954/1523-5475-32.1.35.

Cole crop grower survey


Bagrada hilaris female left, male right. Photo credit: GEVORK ARAKELIAN, LA County Dept. Agriculture, Bugwood.org

The Biosecurity, Research and Extension (BRE) lab at the Department of Entomology and Nematology is conducting a survey related to cruciferous crops in order to better understand the current practices used for the scouting and management of agronomic pests and invasive species in Alachua County and beyond. The data from the survey will help to identify current problems of growers in our area and how we can change our current IPM practices to help them. We are also raising awareness about a potential invasive species, Bagrada hilaris, which is currently found in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas. This insect can cause major damage because of its preference to feed during the early stages of plant development, which can cause the seedling to die, or cause damage to the apical meristem which will lead to unmarketable crops. The BRE lab is currently working with this insect pest in quarantine to better understand its ability to establish in Florida. To read more about this potentially invasive pest, Click here.

If you are a grower of crucifers and would like to be a part of the survey process, please fill out the survey at this link. It should not take longer than 10 minutes of your time. Grower Survey, Cole Crops

The password to get into the survey is “colecrops


          The Center for Disease Control has issued a travel warning for a Miami neighborhood where Zika has spread.                           Everything you ever wanted to know about the Zika virus and its spread across North and…

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When  designing a privacy hedge, its a good idea to use multiple species of shrubs. The ficus whitefly destruction was an example of what can happen when we have a monoculture (one plant species in a hedge). I now see a replacement monoculture of Clusia (pitch apple) and hopefully we won’t have a new Clusia insect or disease which will wipe out these new hedges. For longterm sustainablilty, think of hedges composed of multiple-species to avoid pest ruination (an IPM tactic)!
See native plant selection ideas in our new video filmed at the Naples Botanical Garden with Chad Washburn:
Sweetpotato whitefly (Photo by Jeffrey W. Lotz, FDACS)- be on the lookout for the new Q strain, especially on hibiscus, lantana and crossandra. This one can be a major problem on 100’s of species of vegetables and ornamentals.
Oleander caterpillar numbers seem to be on the increase  compared to the last few years. If you see these beautiful, wasp-like moths (above), look for the clusters of eggs (above) they are depositing and clip the leaves off! Repeating generations of caterpillars can wreck the appearance of an oleander hedge! The caterpillars (below) are a day-glow orange with soft black hairs. See more at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/IN/IN13500.pdf

Doug Caldwell, Ph.D.
Doug is the Commercial Landscape Horticulture Extension Educator and landscape entomologist with the University of Florida.
The Extension Service is an off-campus branch of the University of Florida, Institute of the Food and Agricultural Sciences [IFAS] and a department of the Public Services Division of Collier County government.