Why? The goal of this study was to highlight the importance of active surveillance for tick-borne pathogens, by describing their prevalence in ticks collected from school yards and suburban parks, and to guide the use of integrated pest management in these settings.
Study sites included 32 parks and the grounds of 19 schools on Long Island, in the lower Hudson Valley, and in the NY’s Capital Region. Ticks were collected from the environment using white flannel tick drag cloths, either using a transect protocol for school grounds or a presence-absence scheme in parks.
Collected ticks were primarily Ixodes scapularis (blacklegged tick), plus: the newly invasive Haemaphysalis longincornis (Asian longhorned tick), Ixodes dentatus, and Dermacentor variabilis (dog tick).
Blacklegged ticks are the smallest ticks that feed on people. The poppy seed sized nymph is considered the most dangerous.
Ticks were then sent on to the Cornell Animal Health Diagnostic Center for analysis of pathogen presence, with details such as collection site, time of day and weather conditions, life stage.
Experts tested all I. scapularis for the presence of 17 different pathogens. Diseases found in the ticks collectedin 2017-2018 included: Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (anaplasmosis), Babesia microti (Babesiosis), Borrelia miyamotoi, Powassan virus, Heartland virus, Rickettsia, and SFTSV. In some cases, a tick carried two or three pathogens.
What does this mean for you?
-Ticks are commonly found where athletic fields border woodlots. Schools should monitor their grounds for ticks and consult with extension services to understand the risks.
-Encourage school officials to contact the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program for help developing a plan to manage tick risks while minimizing impact on the health of people and the environment.
-Understand that social distancing while hiking may push you towards the edges of even wide, flat trails, so you may brush up against vegetation with ticks–It’s important for park and wildlife preserve visitors take protective measures.
-Help increase awareness across all residential areas, public spaces, and rural areas of the Northeast.
-The distribution of Powassan virus on Long Island is broader than previously documented. Powassan virus can be transmitted after just minutes of attachment.
-Preventative measures including frequent tick checks and permethrin-treated clothing are important year-round to prevent tick bites.
-Dogs, cats, and horses are susceptible to tick-borne diseases and should be monitored and treated in consultation with your veterinarian.
Note: This surveillance study captured the first sample of the invasive Asian longhorned tick species, Haemaphysalis longicornis, in NY.
Qin Yuan, Sebastian G. Llanos‐Soto, Jody L. Gangloff‐Kaufmann, Joellen M. Lampman, Matthew J. Frye, Meghan C. Benedict, Rebecca L. Tallmadge, Patrick K. Mitchell, Renee R. Anderson, Brittany D. Cronk, Bryce J. Stanhope, Ava R. Jarvis, Manigandan Lejeune, Randall W. Renshaw, Melissa Laverack, Elizabeth M. Lamb, Laura B. Goodman.
Development of the tick‐borne disease nanoscale PCR panel was supported by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) Innovation Award to LBG and sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific. Research carried out by SGL‐S was supported by the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine through a Graduate Research Award.
Thank you to project funders: This work was supported by a grant from the New York State Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick‐Borne Disease to the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Cornell University/Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector‐Borne Diseases.
September 4, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin Comments Off on Blue Spruce: Threats and Remedies
Failing branches and needle drop is a sad sign of problems on this once-beautiful blue spruce.
There’s a blue spruce tree right outside my bedroom window. It is one of the first things I look at every morning (along with my husband, of course). I can see if it is sunny, rainy, or snowing. This tree was a very dense, full tree that has harbored several bird nests over the years.
This spring, however, I noticed that I could see right through the tree where I never could before. I think it lost maybe half its needles over the winter. Many branches are completely bare. When I went looking at other blue spruces in my yard, I noticed a similar pattern.
Blue spruce has been widely planted as an ornamental tree far beyond its native range.
It turns out that several issues are known to affect Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens).
Range and Climate Factors
Blue spruce’s native range spans from northern New Mexico through Colorado, and Utah to Wyoming, and into Alberta and British Columbia–areas with a much cooler and drier climate. However, it has been widely planted as an ornamental tree far beyond that range.
In the wetter, more humid areas of the country, blue spruce is more susceptible to fungal pathogens and insects. The tree also tends to have a much shorter lifespan outside of its native range.
Pests and Pathogens: Signs and Possible Treatments
The symptom you will notice most—as I did—is significant branch die-back starting at the bottom and working its way up the tree. This is exacerbated by environmental stressors such as drought and heat, or our cool, rainy springs here in the Northeast.
One of the fungal diseases that affect spruces is Cytospora canker, which causes the development of small cankers that let sap flow out of the branches or trunk. Another is Rhizosphaera needlecast, which causes yellowing and then browning of needles before the fall-off.
In the wetter, more humid areas of the country, blue spruce is more susceptible to fungal pathogens and insects.
Currently the only chemical treatment for Cytospora canker on blue spruce in the landscape is an injected fungicide that must be applied by a certified applicator. Yearly fungicide treatments can help with needlecast but appropriate timing and good coverage are essential to reduce needle loss. Accurate identification is necessary for any disease to make sure that the correct treatments are used.
Here are a couple good fact sheets on blue spruce:
Severe weather outbreaks yesterday caused intense wind and rain for prolonged periods across New York State. Significant rainfall and strong winds were recorded, with tornado warnings issued downstate in the Hudson Valley.
The NYSIPM program, along with the Department of Agriculture and Markets, and the Department of Environmental Conservation have been monitoring for Spotted Lanternfly since its first occurrence in PA in 2014. In preparation, we developed educational resources for New Yorkers. Partnering with affected states, we’ve maintained a map tracking its spread and quarantines across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast region.
Adult spotted lanternfly on tree trunk (photo, B. Eshenaur)
Now, as of August 14, 2020 has confirmed a living population of spotted lanternfly on Staten Island. Because pests don’t care about borders, experts anticipated this introduction into the state and put in place the groundwork needed to keep ahead of this invasive.
Knowledge and experience from Pennsylvania’s spotted lanternfly specialists continues to benefit Cornell extension and research staff. Pennsylvania agriculture experienced grapevine deaths in some vineyards, and their economists estimate a potential combined annual loss to their state of $324 million and 1,665 jobs. Because of SLF’s ability to be a significant agricultural pest, research is underway even now, as Cornell researches biological and other control options.
The spotted lanternfly is not a fly, but a large planthopper. Adults are about an inch long. They do not bite or sting, and are not a threat to people, pets or livestock. For most New Yorkers, it will be no more than a nuisance pest. Nymphal and adult spotted lanternflies have piercing-sucking mouthparts that drill into plant phloem. SLF’s excrement—a sappy liquid called honeydew—makes things sticky and becomes the breeding ground for sooty mold, an annoying black fungal growth that is not toxic and does not kill plants. If necessary, wash honeydew and sooty mold off of your outdoor belongings, and move them out from under trees that have hosted the SLF. Note: honeydew can also draw ants and yellow jacket wasps.
Spotted lanternfly’s favorite host is another invasive species, the Tree of Heaven, but they also feed on many other trees and plants (see our list). Unfortunately, this includes cultivated grapevine. With New York state’s important wine production and grape growing regions from Long Island to Western NY, we are particularly concerned about this pest’s impact.
To properly identify spotted lanternfly and understand its life cycle, host plants, and how to monitor and manage it, visit our resources here.
2) Educate yourself. It is likely that spotted lanternfly will continue to spread north through New York and New England. Check out the lanternfly life cycle here so you’ll know what to look for. From fall through spring, look for egg masses. (See: how to destroy egg masses). In late spring and early summer look for the nymph stages; in late summer through fall, look for adults.
4) Keep up with the latest news on the spread of Spotted Lanternfly and other pest management concerns by following this and other NYSIPM program blogs, Facebook page, Twitter account and Instagram.
For Immediate Release: August 14, 2020
State Agencies Encourage Public to Report Findings of Invasive Pest
The New York State Departments of Agriculture and Markets (AGM), Environmental Conservation (DEC), and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) today confirmed that Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), an invasive pest from Asia, has been found on Staten Island. Several live, adult insects were discovered by OPRHP staff in Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve. SLF (see photo below) is a destructive pest that feeds on more than 70 plant species, including tree-of-heaven, and plants and crops that are critical to New York’s agricultural economy, such as maple trees, apple trees, grapevine, and hops.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The Department is working closely with its partners at the Department of Environmental Conservation, the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to mitigate the impacts of this destructive pest, which can weaken plants and have a devastating impact on agriculture. While this find on Staten Island is concerning, New York State has taken strong actions to combat the establishment of SLF since 2017. We will continue our work to survey and inspect high-risk areas and implement targeted management plans. We also urge the public to be vigilant and report any suspected sightings of SLF to help slow the spread of this invasive.”
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Since Spotted Lanternfly was first discovered in neighboring states, DEC has worked aggressively with the State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, USDA and other partners to educate New Yorkers and take steps to prevent this invasive species from establishing itself in New York State. This invasive pest has the potential to severely impact and stress New York’s forests, agricultural crops, and tourism industries. The first live find on Staten Island is concerning, but our goal remains to find Spotted Lanternfly early and prevent it from further entering New York State and limiting any serious threats to our natural resources.”
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “Spotted Lanternfly poses a troubling threat to the environment and agriculture of New York State but also to the quality of recreational opportunities and experiences we offer in our State Parks and public lands. I applaud our Parks’ environmental stewardship staff for identifying this pest, so New York State can quickly begin taking steps to slow its spread. Park visitors across the state can help in identifying and reporting this destructive pest, and I urge them to familiarize themselves with its signs.”
Following the finding by OPRHP, AGM, working with DEC, OPRHP, and the USDA, immediately began extensive surveys throughout the area. Crews will continue to survey areas on Staten Island, develop management plans to slow SLF’s spread, and minimize the damage and impact from this invasive species.
SLF feedings can stress plants, making them vulnerable to disease and attacks from other insects. SLF also excretes large amounts of sticky “honeydew,” which attracts sooty molds that interfere with plant photosynthesis, negatively affecting the growth and fruit yield of plants, and impacting forest health. SLF also has the potential to significantly hinder quality of life and recreational activities due to the honeydew and the swarms of insects it attracts.
First discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014, SLF has since been found in New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and Virginia. Given the proximity to the Pennsylvania and New Jersey infestations, New York State is at high risk for infestation.
Since 2017, AGM, DEC, and OPRHP have taken an aggressive approach to keeping SLF from establishing in New York State, conducting surveys of high-risk areas across the State; inspecting nursery stock, stone shipments, and commercial transports from quarantine areas; and launching a comprehensive education and outreach campaign to enlist the public’s help in reporting SLF.
While these insects can jump and fly short distances, they spread primarily through human activity. SLF can lay their eggs on any number of surfaces, such as vehicles, stone, rusty metal, outdoor furniture, and firewood. Adult SLF can hitch rides in vehicles, on any outdoor item, or cling to clothing or hats, and be easily transported into and throughout New York.
The public is encouraged to thoroughly inspect vehicles, luggage and gear, and all outdoor items for egg masses and adult SLF before leaving areas with SLF, particularly in the counties of states in the quarantine area—Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and Virginia. If SLF adults are found, residents should remove them and scrape off all egg masses.
Residents can also help by allowing surveyors access to properties where SLF may be present. Surveyors will be uniformed and will always provide identification.
Adult SLF are active from July to December. They are approximately one-inch long and half an inch wide at rest, with eye-catching wings. Adults begin laying eggs in September. Signs of an SLF infestation may include:
Sap oozing or weeping from open wounds on tree trunks, which appear wet and give off fermented odors.
One-inch-long egg masses that are brownish-gray, waxy and mud-like when new. Old egg masses are brown and scaly.
Massive honeydew build-up under plants, sometimes with black sooty mold developing.
ADAPTED FROM A GREAT ONLINE RESOURCE!! THE FOREST PEST HANDBOOK is a publication of the NYSIPM Program and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, authored by Elizabeth Lamb and Jennifer Stengle Lerner.
People around the state are noticing gypsy moths…
Specifically European Gypsy moth — Lymantria dispar dispar
(Note: The Asian gypsy moth is a concern in some parts of the United States but is NOT currently an invasive pest in New York.)
The European gypsy moth was accidentally introduced into Massachusetts in l869. By 1902 this pest was widespread in the New England states, eastern New York, and regions of New Jersey.
Generally from late July through early September, female moths will lay egg masses on bark, firewood, exterior of campers and outdoor equipment and be easily transported. The gypsy moth is an important insect pest of forest and shade trees in the eastern United States. Heavy defoliation by the larval stage of this pest causes stress to infested host plants. Adult male moths are dark buff and fly readily during the day. Females are white with black, wavy markings, have robust abdomens, wingspans up to 2 in ches (50 mm) but do not fly.
USDA APHIS PPQ , USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org , male(left) and female (right) Asian gypsy moths – shown for comparison
Female moth with egg mass. Photo: Brian Eshenaur
Egg masses may be found on trees, rocks and other surfaces from early April through mid May. They are light tan, and the eggs inside are black and pellet like. Each mass may contain 400-600 eggs.
The larval stage (caterpillar) is hairy, and a mature larva is 2-2.5 inches (50-65 mm) long with a yellow and black head. Behind the head on the thorax and abdomen are five pairs of blue spots (tubercles) followed by six pairs of brick red spots. Young larvae feed on foliage and remain on host plants night and day. Around mid April, larvae emerge from egg masses. In late May, when about half-grown, larvae change their behavior and usually feed in the trees at night, and move down to seek shelter in bark crevices or other protected sites during the day. Larvae molt numerous times until full grown at 2-2.5 inches. Larval feeding is THE STAGE WHEN TREE DAMAGE OCCURS. Feeding on leaves can last for up to six weeks. Look for defoliation of host trees. You may also hear frass dropping from trees (believe it or not…), though that may come from feeding by other species of caterpillars. Caterpillars may move down into bark crevices during daytime and return to canopy feed at night.
USDA Forest Service – Region 8 – Southern , USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
this caterpillar is making short work of this leaf! photo: Brian Eshenaur
The pupal stage is dark reddish-brown and is held in place to some object by small strands of silk. Pupation is generally in July or early August. This year, adults have been seen in July.
Larvae photo: (Bugwood) Karla Salp, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org
Photo: Brian Eshenaur
Borrowing from our friends over at University of Illinois Extension.
What to do? The time to act is/was when egg masses can be found and destroyed (fall, winter and spring), or when young larvae can be reduced in numbers. If you’ve seen a lot of adult moths, you might want to take a look for egg masses on your trees in the fall and winter.
Two major systems brought significant amounts of rain to all of New York State this past weekend. Tropical Storm Fay moved up the Hudson River Valley while a large front from the West hit western and central NY Saturday and Sunday.
7-day rainfall totals for New York State as of 12 July 2020.
Most counties and townships received a minimum half inch of rain across the state, which was timely given the fact that most of NY had transitioned to abnormally dry conditions, or moderate to severe drought in some areas, as of 10 July. Click here for additional drought status information.
More than 3 inches of rain were recorded in Catteraugus, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Orange, Oswego, Rockland, Sullivan, and Westchester Counties as well as all boroughs of New York City. Smaller areas of Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, and Yates Counties also received similar amounts.
Lumberland and Highland Townships in the southwest corner of Sullivan County may have experienced rainfall in excess of 8 inches.
In the future, visit the ThinkIPM Blog for summaries of severe weather events impacting IPM practices and agricultural production in NY.
We suspect it would take one very long blog post to cover Jennifer Grant’s career at Cornell, so we’ll hit some of the highlights and then focus on some fun. Thanks to some digging by Dr. Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, we’ve managed to gather, then try to squeeze, a few of Jen’s accomplishments into today’s post!
After receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Vermont, Jen took a position as the Ornamentals IPM Specialist at the new NYS IPM Program, 1989-1996. Next came her Ph.D in Entomology at Cornell in 2000.
Jen’s devotion to teaching, promoting, adoption of, and improvement of IPM remained constant through her years with the program, culminating in her role as Director from which she retired in May of 2020. While immersed in active research improving IPM, Jen took sole helm of a nationally respected program regrouping after some tough financial years.
Some of her accomplishments include helping to make NEWA (the Network for Environmental and Weather Applications) a reality in and beyond NY state; the creation of the EIQ evaluation method for pesticide use on golf courses (Environmental Impact Quotient), and co-authoring Reducing Chemical Use on Golf Course Turf: Redefining IPM. Later, she coordinated and cowrote the Best Management Practices for New York State Golf Courses, and organized development of the Cornell Commercial Turfgrass Guidelines. Working with an organic farming specialist, Jen developed comprehensive profiles for the class of products called ‘minimum-risk’ or FIFRA 25b.
Jen worked regionally as part of NEERA (Northeast Region Technical Committee on IPM), and her work garnered an Award for Excellence in IPM from the ESA Eastern (Entomology Society of America) in 2011. Jennifer’s obvious passion for encouraging others to find ways to incorporate IPM into their professions and lives has led to the development of strong relationships with individuals and organizations, to the benefit of the NYSIPM program. She worked with the NYS Departments of Agriculture and Markets; Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; and Environmental Conservation; state legislators; Cooperative Extension; Cornell and other faculty; and industry members to increase the adoption of IPM throughout NYS.
Throughout her years as a supervisor, coordinator, co-director, and as sole IPM director, Jennifer led IPM staff with a consistent strength and grace that inspired both a strong team cohesiveness and the best individual efforts. By expecting the best from her staff and caring for them as friends, Dr. Grant’s example must be considered as key to the program’s success.
More recently, Jen’s work found her included in a team award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Extension/Outreach Team Award for Protecting Pollinator Health by the Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Numbers, like reductions in pesticide applications, show improvement, but so much of Jen’s passion for IPM changed minds. Her direct, yet congenial, way of providing information and encouragement has to be commended for the increase on IPM awareness statewide and nationally.
And gosh darn, we just really like her!
And now, some fond farewells!
“What a great leader! You have my vote!”
“Thank you, Jennifer for your legacy in IPM! You’re an amazing role model for so many of us. We will miss you so much.”
“Thank you for all you’ve contributed to NYS IPM. I wish you all the best in retirement. That first day you don’t have to check email: priceless!”
“Your impacts will continue to be felt at NYSIPM and around the state (and probably beyond) well into your retirement.”
“You’ve accomplished so much over your career and I can’t thank you enough for all your dedication to the NYS IPM program, for your guidance, support, and positive attitude.”
“I could not have imagined a more supportive, encouraging and thoughtful ‘boss’ until I came on board at NYSIPM.”
“During my time with the IPM Program, you constantly challenged me to think bigger, outside the box, and in ways that will lead to impacts. You coached me on how to navigate the diverse situations experienced as an IPM educator, and provided useful feedback that I carry with me. Your perspective and thoughtful approach continue to serve as a guide while I develop my own program.”
“Jen, the impact you have had on how and why we all approach IPM and pest management is immeasurable. You will be greatly missed.”
“The changes in technology, practices and perspectives have changed greatly in the 30+ years and in no small part because of the work you’ve done, leaving the world better than you found it (and you may be just getting started)!”
” ‘Thank you’s’ are not enough for all that you have done for each of us and for the NYS IPM Program.”
“It’s been fun working on projects with you—I always felt challenged to do my very best!”
“Congrats, Jennifer, on your retirement! I will miss you at future meetings.”
“I’ve learned so much from you both personally and professionally, and I’m lucky to consider you a mentor. I’m sad to see you go, but I’m reminded of your IPM work every day as it continues to ripple through the turf industry.”
“Congratulations on your retirement!”
“I’m grateful to have you as a friend and colleague. I’m sad to see you go but super excited for what lies ahead for you and the whole family.”
“I hope you have a fantastic retirement! Congratulations!”
“Your passion, knowledge, and leadership with IPM and turfgrass is an inspiration that will carry me through the rest of my career.”
“You sure accomplished a ton with your own bear hands! And you did even more as excellent leader and collaborator. It was a pleasure to work on your team!”
“All the best and will miss you as the director!”
“May you, Keith, and the girls continue to have a fulfilling next phase of life.”
iMapInvasives has put out a call for help and we’re happy to do our bit. Check out this citizen science project looking at increasing the amount of information regarding invasive species throughout New York. Written by Mitchell O’Neill, End User Support Specialist for iMapInvasives.
There is one more weekend in the 5th Annual Invasive Species Mapping Challenge – ending Wednesday July 15th! Join this citizen science effort to fill data gaps for four key invasive species in New York State’s official invasive species database, iMapInvasives. The species are jumping worm, tree-of-heaven, water chestnut, and European frogbit – which have wide-ranging impacts on land and water resources, agriculture, gardening, and recreation.
In this webinar, the iMapInvasive’s team cover the identification of these species and how you can participate.
Did we mention there are prizes for each species? Here is one example.
Great data has come in over the past 2 weeks, but it’s still very much anyone’s challenge! The top contributor for each of the four species wins a prize!
I encourage you to go out and search for invasives this weekend – remember to record not-detected records if you search for one of the species in its habitat but did not find it. View our webinar on identifying these species and reporting them to iMapInvasives here. Please email email@example.com with any questions!
Be sure to check the leaderboard to watch your name rise to the top as you record observations!
June 6, 2020
by Joellen Lampman Comments Off on NYSIPM partners with The Tick App
The Tick App: Studying human behavior, tick exposure and the risk of Lyme disease using a citizen science approach via a smartphone application.
Concerned about ticks? Download The Tick App for free to join our research efforts and report your tick encounters.
If you have heard any NYS IPM Program staff talk about ticks, you have probably heard us mention that there is a lot we don’t know about ticks. Or exactly how our actions impact our risk of getting a tick-borne disease. So it is with great pleasure that we announce that we have partnered with the Diuk-Wasser lab at Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison who created The Tick App.
By downloading the app through GooglePlay or the AppStore, you will have access to information about:
ticks biology and identification
tick activity in your area
how to remove a tick
It will also help you identify ticks that you find through the Report a Tick button.
That’s a lot of information at your fingertips. The most important part of the app, however, is the daily log where you share with the team how you spent your time, what steps you took to prevent tick encounters (if any), and if you found a tick on you, a family member, or a pet. Your information is confidential and will only be shared as aggregated data based on zip code.
I have been using the app for two years and have made entering my data a daily routine, along with my daily tick check. It takes only minutes to complete.
The more people entering data, the better the team will be able to connect the dots between what we do and how that brings us in contact with ticks. We will then be able to better create recommendations to keep New Yorkers safe.
And there’s no better time as The Tick App is launching the #BattleOfTheDailyLog this June, pitching NY against other northeast and midwest states. C’mon New York! We can do this!
Don’t worry. We’ll still continue to provide tick information through the Don’t Get Ticked NY Campaign via our website, blog posts, and presentations.