UF/IFAS experts address palm pest spreading into two additional South Florida counties- February 9

MIAMI-DADE, Fla –  University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is holding a free webinar on Phantasma scale, a pest affecting palms and other ornamental plants detected late last year in St. Lucie and Martin counties.

In December 2021, Phantasma scale was discovered in these two counties during a survey led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in conjunction with UF/IFAS and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry. Prior to the survey, the pest was detected in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Phantasma scale feeds on palm fronds and leaves, causing blotchy, yellow damage, leaf drop and plant death in extreme cases, said Henry Mayer, a commercial horticulture agent at UF/IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County.

“Phantasma scale has the potential to affect many palm species in nurseries and landscapes in Florida,” Mayer said. “Our goal for this webinar is to promote awareness of the problem and educate the participants about early detection and identification.”

In Florida’s nursery and greenhouse sector, palms alone account for approximately $400 million annual sales according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Homeowner associations, lawn care professionals, pest control industry professionals, nursery growers and Extension agents are invited to the free webinar on Feb. 9 from 9:30 am. to 11 a.m. The webinar will provide an update on the pest, how to identify the symptoms and what management practices are available.

Continuing education credits (CEU) are also available for industry professionals in the pest control and landscape industry from Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, International Society of Arboriculture, Landscape Inspectors Association of Florida and Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association. Interested in participating? Register for this free webinar with this link http://go.ufl.edu/tnltf30 .

Palm trees are an important ornamental in Florida’s landscape and economy. For the nursery and greenhouse sector, palms alone account for annual sales of approximately $400 million in Florida and well over $1 billion in the US, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

For additional resources on the pest, reach out to your local UF/IFAS Extension office:

For inquiries on the webinar, please contact Henry Mayer at hmayer@ufl.edu



The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents.
ifas.ufl.edu  @UF_IFAS


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Posted: January 23, 2022

Category: Home Landscapes, Pests & Disease, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: FDACS ARS, Florida Department Of Agriculture And Consumer Services, Phantasma Scale, UF/IFAS Extension, UF/IFAS Extension Martin County, UF/IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County, UF/IFAS Extension Palm Beach County, UF/IFAS Extension St. Lucie County

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