New York State IPM Program

September 22, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Cover Crop’s Double Success for Soybeans

Cover Crop’s Double Success for Soybeans

photo of cereal rye grass cover crop

Mature fields of grain crops moving in the wind is a lovely sight. Having admired the beauty of ‘cereal rye’ in a field, I asked NYSIPM Integrated Weed Management Specialist Dr. Bryan Brown if rye has been part of successful weed suppression efforts.

The answer is yes, but even better, there’s anti-fungal benefits too.

Bryan shared this link to a 2019 published research paper for Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. Rolled-crimped cereal rye residue suppresses white mod in no-till soybean and dry bean.

Few of us are weed scientists, but we value successes that reduce pesticide use and labor costs. In layman’s terms, planting soybeans after a crop of cereal rye means growers have a mulch in place (easier than bringing in straw). Decomposing rye steals nitrogen from the soil. Bad news for hungry weeds, but soybeans, like other legumes, fix their own nitrogen from the air. But there’s more.

photo of crimped and rolled cover crop in a row of soybean seedlings

Four key Cornell researchers, Sarah Pethybridge, Bryan Brown, Julie Kikkert, and  Matthew Ryan, ran a no-till soybean trial during the 2016-2017 field seasons. Winter annual cover crops (crops that grow robustly enough to reduce weed sprouting and success) are knocked down in springtime with a mechanical ‘roller-crimper’. Crimping kills the stalks.

In this case, soybeans and dry beans were then planted directly—without soil cultivation—into the crimped and rolled cereal rye cover crop field

cover crop trial photo

Why ‘no-till’? According to Cornell’s Organic program, “Overreliance on soil tillage and cultivation in soybean production can degrade soil health. Although often effective at reducing weed competition and associated yield losses, moldboard plowing and interrow cultivation are also very time consuming. Such practices can also leave soil vulnerable to soil erosion from heavy rain events, which have increased in frequency in New York.”

weed seedlngs popping up where cover crop is not shading soil

No till is often seen as a way to reduce germination of weed seeds. In the case, reduced germination of White Mold’s  sclerotia occured because they aren’t brought up to the surface through cultivation.

White Mold Life Cycle – try to keep up…  It’s an endless cycle so we’ll start in the winter when things are slow. White mold disease, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, survives the winter as sclerotia, a hardened fungal pellet. Sclerotia are long lived and survive in the soil. In spring, sclerotia wake up and, where they’re near the soil surface, germinate via little cup-like growths that form and spew ascopores (microscopic spores) into the air. Ascopores land on blossoms and infect the plants. If conditions are right, sclerotia may also skip spore production and germinate directly in the soil with mycelium infecting nearby plant stems. Either way the fungal disease spreads through the plant and neighboring plants, showing up as lesions and wilting. White mold gets its name from that white fluffy mycelia that may be seen on stems in the crop canopy. Later in the season, mycelia harden off into sclerotia to prepare for another cycle through the winter.

In these research trials, overall biomass of soybean crop was lowered (the dry bean biomass was greater in the rye), but the actual amount of harvested beans was higher due to reduced loss from white mold.

photo of white mold on soybeans

White mold infected soybean stem. (Photo by J. Cummings, NYS IPM)

Traditionally, the only real ‘tool’ against white mold was fungicides. But timing, rates, density of crop canopy, and fungicide-resistance meant results could vary. And, for organic farmers, the options were very limited.

Why did this cover crop reduce this disease? The crimped rye cover crop reduced germination of sclerotia and therefore reduced spores. Researchers also felt this could exhaust inoculum in the soil therefore reducing disease in subsequent crops. But disease pressure on crops is always a combination of what’s surviving in the soil or on plant material, agricultural methods used by the grower and weather. Only some of that can be controlled.

As a weed fighter, rolled-crimped cereal rye seems to reduce or manage populations of herbicide-resistant weeds in trials by other researchers. More steps forward for reduced pesticide use! Its use as a cover crop works the way other mulches work–as a barrier for weeds to have to push through. Mulch shades the ground, reducing the number of weeds that germinate, since many have a germination response based on sunlight.

No till cover crops are not the answer for everything, but in this case, researchers found it gave a one-two punch against weeds and diseases!

Thanks for sharing this success with us, Bryan.

graphic showing photo of Bryan Brown and his information. Email him at b r y a n dot b r o w n at cornell dot edu

September 11, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Ticks and Their Pathogens in New York State– New Findings Released

Ticks and Their Pathogens in New York State– New Findings Released

A scientific paper, Active surveillance of pathogens from ticks collected in New York State suburban parks and schoolyards (2017-2018), was published in July of 2020. Four NYSIPM Staff– Dr. Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, Joellen Lampman, Dr. Elizabeth Lamb, and Dr. Matt Frye are among the authors. The increasing number of cases of tick-borne disease prompted this work, and its success will help identify their risks to New Yorkers’ health and the health of their pets and livestock.

photo shows Joellen Lampman using a tick drag on school property to monitor for ticks

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.

graphic is just text of the abstract for this scientific paper

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.

photo shows Joellen Lampman removing ticks from a tick drag and placing in a vial for later testing.

For resources on tick-borne disease, go to https://www.neregionalvectorcenter.com/

Congratulations to all collaborators:

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.

Visit NYSIPM’s  DON’T GET TICKED NEW YORK PAGE!

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

Blue Spruce: Threats and Remedies

Guest Post by Nancy Cusumano

photo shows bare spots in blue spruce tree

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.

photo shows a lot of bare branches on the lower half of this blue spruce.

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.

Further Reading

Here are a couple good fact sheets on blue spruce:

graphic shows two photos of Nancy Cusomano, and her bio: Nancy Cusumano has been the Program Aide for the Northeastern IPM Center, since 2013. Nancy has been at Cornell University in various positions for almost 25 years. While she has no formal science background, she is a keen observer of the natural world and is an amateur birder and naturalist. She spends her free time with her husband and two dogs, camping and kayaking.

 

August 21, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on AIR QUALITY: Pest Management, when pests are too small to see

AIR QUALITY: Pest Management, when pests are too small to see

A recent EPA nationwide webinar, What Schools Need to Know: Practices and Principles for Healthy IAQ and Reducing the Spread of Viruses, focused on indoor air quality in school settings. Air quality was important before the current pandemic but is now central to the back-to-school issue.  For today’s post we’d like to share some EPA and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation resources. Some highlights: airborne disease is not the only issue. Proper surface cleaning and air filtering must be addressed. Products used to kill virus organisms are not just ‘disinfectants’, but pesticides, so their labeled directions must be followed. School buildings across the country vary widely in age, size, and management budget, making indoor air quality an important subject long before SARS Covid-19.

graphic showing pages available in the EPA air quality site

Indoor Air Quality has never been so important. In addition to its usual IAQ resources, EPA has created a specific Covid-19 webpage.

graphic shows portions of two labels of common cleaning wipes with a note to keep out of reach of children

The Label is the Law. Read the label on very common containers of disinfectant wipes!

The major takeaway from this webinar’s experts? Using a combination of tactics is crucial to success.

  • Social distancing helps because aerosol spread (coughing, sneezing) travels farther than you’d expect. Not only in the air, but particles linger on clothing and items.
  • Masks reduce the exhalation of virus, therefore reducing what’s in the air.
  • Surface cleaning of high-touch areas. Under optimum conditions, SARS CoV-2 virus can last up to three days on plastic surfaces. There are plenty of surfaces in public buildings. These FOMITES (inanimate, contaminated objects capable of transfer microbes to new hosts) are high-touch areas such as desktops, door handles, faucets, and electronic devices. Always consult a trusted list of disinfecting products and read the label. How the product is applied is just as important. Foggers generally do not leave surfaces wet long enough (20 mins is optimum) to kill virus. CLEANING cloths should not be reused from site to site. Use clean, sterile cloths for cleaning so you are not moving microbes from place to place instead of destroying them. NOTE:  while the CDC has a list of effective disinfectants, we recommend that you PLEASE CHOOSE from this list compiled specifically for use in New York State: https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/materials_minerals_pdf/covid19.pdf
  • Hand washing- often and done with care. Emphasize this after toilet use. (This virus also spreads through feces.)
  • Air movement. This is not just the use of a fan. Fans recycle the same air around the room. Air movement must include dilution of indoor air with outdoor air as much as possible before, during, and after rooms are occupied. The addition of air filters (properly maintained) such as HEPA filters is highly suggested. HEPA means ‘high efficiency particulate air’ filters. Filtration reduces but can not eliminate airborne particulates.

Air quality depends on more than circulation and filtration, but on proper use of disinfectants. Improper use often induces asthma, and causes health problems. Always read the label.

We remind you that care should be taken with cleaning products used in homes and businesses, as well as schools. Fraudulent claims and risky products are out there. Visit the ABCS of School IPM blog post for more information.

school blog banner

We remind you that care should be taken with cleaning products used in homes and businesses, as well as schools. Fraudulent claims and risky products are out there. Visit the ABCS of School IPM blog post for more information.

For additional information, visit these resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website:

August 14, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on SPOTTED LANTERNFLY HAS OFFICIALLY ARRIVED IN NYS: Here’s what you should know..

SPOTTED LANTERNFLY HAS OFFICIALLY ARRIVED IN NYS: Here’s what you should know..

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.

photo of five SLF adults

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.

photo of adult lanternfly and egg masses on tree bark

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.

“What should I do?”

1) If you think you see a spotted lanternfly, use the new reporting form found here: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/a08d60f6522043f5bd04229e00acdd63

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.

life cycle graphic

3) Don’t transport this pest. Individual and commercial travelers alike should be aware that there’s the potential to spread this insect to new areas without knowing it.  Adult spotted lanternfly can end up in vehicles. Egg masses can be laid on virtually anything, and can be overlooked. Inspect anything that you load into your vehicle. Checklist here: https://nysipm.cornell.edu/sites/nysipm.cornell.edu/files/shared/documents/SLF-checklist.pdf

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

graphic with titles of four state agencies

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.

AGM urges New Yorkers to report potential sightings using the web reporting tool found here: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/a08d60f6522043f5bd04229e00acdd63

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.

Identifying SLF

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.

For more information on Spotted Lanternfly, visit https://agriculture.ny.gov/spottedlanternfly.

photo of an adult spotted lanternfly

Photo courtesy of Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

August 4, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on CICADAS and CICADA KILLERS… subtitled… “Is This A Murder Hornet?”

CICADAS and CICADA KILLERS… subtitled… “Is This A Murder Hornet?”

2020 is proving to be a…ahem…wild year.  The unusual, big eyed creatures we know as the PERIODICAL CICADA or CYCLICAL CICADA–particularly those known as Brood IX by U.S. Entomologists–made their debut in the late spring of 2020.  Male cicadas make a lot of noise to attract a mate and in big brood years, that can be a lot of noise. (NPR’s CICADA article may be of interest!)

While big cicada emergence years like this one and the one in 2013 are noteworthy, that doesn’t mean that cicadas can’t be found each year. Otherwise, the impressive CICADA KILLER WASP would have a long wait. Understanding the difference between three large insects of the hornet and wasps family has never been more important: 1) cicada killer wasp, 2) European hornet, and 3) Asian giant hornet.

As of August, 2020, there are NO ASIAN GIANT HORNETS in the northeast.  What you might see are Cicada Killers or European Hornets, so we’re back with more photos. (see our blog post  Dog Day Cicadas and the Wasps that do them in!)

Below: CICADA KILLER WASP: Earlier this year, ‘murder hornets’ became a big topic. To bring some wisdom to the discussion, we provided some facts (see blog post: Asian Giant Hornets). Now, with August being the prime time to see cicada killer wasps and European hornets in action, murder hornets are news again, and still not in NY!

Please don’t kill these large but very low risk cicada killer wasps.

photo of cicada killer wasp

CICADA KILLER WASP up to 1.5″ with a  rusty red head and thorax, russet colored wings, and a mostly black pointy abdomen, marked with (generally) three yellowish stripes.

Continue Reading →

July 30, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on People are Talking About Gypsy Moths

People are Talking About Gypsy Moths

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.

graphic is a screenshot of the cover of the FOREST PEST HANDBOOK showing a tree canopy.

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. 

photo shows adult gypsy moths. Male is dark and female is light colored.

USDA APHIS PPQ , USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org ,
male(left) and female (right) Asian gypsy moths – shown for comparison

photo is of a female moth with an egg mass on tree bark

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.

photo shows gypsy moth egg cases on tree bark

Gypsy moth egg cases. from the NYSIPM Flickr account.

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.

photo shows multiple gypsy moth caterpillars on tree bark

USDA Forest Service – Region 8 – Southern , USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

photo of larva

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.

photo of gypsy moth larvae

Larvae photo: (Bugwood) Karla Salp, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org

photo of a pupal case

Photo: Brian Eshenaur

illustration of gypsy moth life cycle.

Borrowing from our friends over at University of Illinois Extension.

Which tree species does this pest damage? PLENTY!

Alder (Alnus spp.) Aspen (Populus spp.) Gray birch (Betula populifolia) White birch (B. papyrifera) Hawthorn (Crateagus spp.) Larch (Larix spp.) Linden (Tilia spp.) Mountain ash (Sorbus spp.) Oaks (Quercus spp)Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra) Willows (Salix spp.) Witch-hazel (Hamamelis spp.) Beech (Fagus spp.) Red cedar (Juniperus spp.) Chestnut (Castanea spp.) Hemlock (Tsuga spp.) Plum (Prunus spp.) Pine (Pinus spp.)

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. 

Suggestions from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

This Cornell Fact Sheet from the Horticulture Diagnostic Lab in Suffolk County provides more details and management tactics. Updated 2017

July 24, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on SIGN UP FOR OUR CONFERENCE: School IPM 2020: Where We’ve Been and What’s Next

SIGN UP FOR OUR CONFERENCE: School IPM 2020: Where We’ve Been and What’s Next

A Virtual Two Half-Day Conference

When: Mornings of August 11 & 18, 2020

Where: We will be connecting via Zoom.

How: Click Here to Register

Cost: $15 per person or $25 per school district

PESTICIDE APPLICATOR CREDITS AVAILABLE:

NYSIPM Conference 2020 pesticide recertification credits

NYS Pesticide Applicator recertification credits have been awarded for the following categories: Core, 3A, 3B, 7A, 7F, and 8. Individuals seeking credits will need to submit their applicator ID numbers when pre-registering. Further instructions will be sent upon pre-registering.

Despite decades of promoting school integrated pest management (IPM), bed bugs, cockroaches, lice, and mice continue to be a problem in schools. Part of the issue is lack of implementation of proven IPM techniques such as exclusion. Part of the issue is that some pests, like bed bugs, German cockroaches and lice arrive in backpacks, delivered supplies, and directly on students and staff. While schools often have plans in place to address these pests when they are discovered, it will take a wider community effort to prevent their introductions.

The Sixth Annual NYS IPM conference brings together a wide range of speakers to address and discuss the status of school IPM adoption and where we need to go in the future. If you or your family is impacted by pests or pest management on and off school property, this virtual conference is for you.

Alejandro A. Calixto, our new NYS IPM Program director, will be introducing the conference with remarks on “Perceptions of IPM and Today’s Social Climate.”

Our keynote speaker, Lorraine Maxwell, will discuss “Healthy Environments for Learning”. Her research has found that school building conditions, which include conducive conditions for pests as well as the presence of pests, impact the school’s social climate, which directly impacts student performance.

cartoon of a bed bug, tick, and cockroach who are disappointed to see they are not allowed to go to school. The tick has a mouse pull-toy, and the cockroach has a corona-virus balloon. The bed bug holds a lunch bag.

Conference Agendas

Day 1, August 11, 2020
8:00 Registration: Please Note: if you answered yes during pre-registration to needing pesticide credits, it is important to log into the conference at this time to show your applicator card with picture ID via webcam
8:30 Welcome and Introductory Remarks: Alejandro Calixto, Director, NYS IPM Program at Cornell University, “Perceptions of Integrated Pest Management and Today’s Social Climate”
8:45 Keynote Presentation: Lorraine Maxwell, Associate Professor Emerti, Department of Design and Environmental Analysis, Cornell University, “Healthy Environments for Learning”
9:30 The Status of IPM Implementation within NYS Schools

  • Lynn Braband, Retired, NYSIPM Program
  • Daryl Andreades, Senior Architect, NYS Department of Education
  • Claire Barnett, Founder and Executive Director, Healthy Schools Network
  • Fred Koelbel, NYS School Facilities Association and Port Jefferson School District
10:50 Break
11:15 Panel Discussion
12:15 Concluding Remarks and Adjourn
Day 2, August 18, 2020
8:00 Registration: Please Note: if you answered yes during pre-registration to needing pesticide credits, it is important to log into the conference at this time to show your applicator card with picture ID via webcam
8:30 Welcome & Recap of August 11 Session
9:00 Virtual “tabling” event: Five-minute presentations by partnering organizations describing the services they provide schools.
9:45 What We’re Doing – Community Interventions. Models of community-level pest management. What may we learn from these examples as applied to school pests with strong community connections?

  • 9:45    Dina Fonseca, Rutgers Center for Vector Biology: Community-Level Mosquito Control
  • 10:15   Paul D. Curtis, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University: Community-based Deer Management in New York State
  • 10:45    Robert Corrigan, Corrigan Consulting, Briarcliff Manor, NY: Identifying and Understanding the Rodent Vulnerable Areas (RVAs) of Schools: Essential for Sustainable IPM
11:15 Break
11:30 Break Out Groups: Identifying Strategies for Interventions for School Pests with Strong Community Connections. Moderated by NYS IPM Program staff, participants will identify common pathways by which targeted pests are introduced to schools and will develop interventions that will prevent or reduce those problems. Participants will also interact about the roles of collaboration, communication, and education in implementing the interventions. Essentially the goal of the break out group will to begin the development of an IPM program for the targeted pest at the community level. One group each will address bed bugs (moderated by Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann) and cockroaches (moderated by Matthew Frye and Amara Dunn). A third break out group (moderated by Joellen Lampman) will begin the process of establishing school IPM priorities, both in school buildings and on school grounds, for NYS, using the School IPM Priorities of the Northeastern U. S. as a starting point.
12:15 Report and Wrap-Up: The break out groups will each give a brief oral report on the results of their interactions; followed by a general discussion and concluding remarks.
1:00 Adjourn

Sponsors:

July 16, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on A Visit with Amara Dunn, NYSIPM BioControl Specialist

A Visit with Amara Dunn, NYSIPM BioControl Specialist

Amara Dunn was hired for the new BioControl Specialist position just about three years ago.

Since then, she’s gone from focusing on ‘learning the ropes’ and creating goals for the position… to being in high demand by staff (and New Yorkers) on both the agricultural and community sides of our program!

Amara, how does your work here at the IPM Program fit the career you imagined when you entered college?

When I started college I really had no idea what I wanted to do, except that I liked biology but didn’t want to be a medical doctor. You could say that my work at NYSIPM (across a broad range of commodities and settings) is kind of the culmination of exploring and honing my interests through a variety of professional and volunteer experiences during and after college. My eclectic job responsibilities have also reminded me that we learn something from pretty much all of our experiences, even the ones that don’t ultimately lead to a career.

Who do you see as the main audience for your current work?

I am trying very hard to provide materials for a broad range of audiences. For example, I’m doing a lot of work currently on conservation biocontrol (protecting and feeding the “good bugs” you’ve already got) and pollinators like bees and butterflies. All of these beneficial insects need the same things, but taking care of beneficial insects looks different in a back yard than it does on a farm. I’m trying to provide cost and “how-to” information for both groups. I think on some level most people I’ve interacted with – farmers, home gardeners, people who enjoy spending time outdoors – have similar questions and goals. They want to know how to solve pest problems, and they care about protecting people and the environment while they do it.

The newly created Beneficial Habitat Plots provides an ongoing rich resource for understanding how we can encourage beneficial insects that might reduce pests.

What is most rewarding about your work in pest management?

Helping people. Hands down. Being able to answer questions or provide needed information that ultimately has a positive impact on peoples’ lives brings me so much joy.

photo of Amara with cooperative extension staff at the beneficial habitat plot field day

What do you most enjoy doing in your non-work time?

Broadly speaking, I would say that I like creating. I have always loved growing plants, and I’m really enjoying planning and implementing new gardens around the house I just bought. And, yes, these gardens do include plants that support beneficial insects. I’m also using them as “virtual demonstration plots” to show how one might support beneficial insects around their homes (and some of the pitfalls when trying to do this). Over the past few years, I’ve been cultivating (pun intended) an interest in cut flowers. I love having fresh flowers in my home or office, and like being able to share them with others. But I also enjoy cooking and knitting/crocheting. And I like to mix my interests. There are a wealth of patterns out there for people wanting to knit or crochet arthropods. I’ve even tried making my own pattern when I couldn’t find what I was looking for.

graphic shows four photos of animals knitted by Amara

photo of a flower arrangement

Given a month to travel or work on something you enjoy, where or what would it be?

Honestly, I’m pretty ambivalent about travel. I could take it or leave it. But when I do travel, I like to visit local gardens, parks, or museums and try delicious local food!

What biocontrol topic or pest problem do you anticipate on your horizon in the next year or so?

Sadly, I suspect it’s inevitable that spotted lanternfly will become established in NY. We’ve done a great job of delaying that inevitability (kudos to everyone – professionals and lay people – for all your hard work!), but it probably is an inevitability. One of the hoped-for benefits of delaying this pest’s establishment is that we’d have more tools (including biological tools) for managing it by the time it got here.

map of Spotted lanternfly distribution along the east coast

What biocontrol concern has captured your interest for future research?

I’m really interested in learning and documenting the efficacy of biocontrol strategies in the field so that we can give growers specific answers about how to use strategies to reduce risks to people and the environment. For example, how large an area of flowers, which flowers, and how close to the crop do you need to plant them to reduce pest damage? Or, which conventional pesticide sprays can be replaced with biopesticides to maintain good pest control while maintaining profitability. These are really big questions, and I certainly can’t answer them all by myself. There’s a lot of great research already being done on these questions here in NY and elsewhere.

Absolutely. Being part of the NYIPM Program lets us see so much of what’s going on regionally to reduce pest risks and help the environment! Thank you, Amara, for allowing us to share more about you and your role at the NYSIPM Program!

Amara’s office is on the Cornell AgriTech campus but you may have seen her or met her at a variety of conferences and workshops over the last three years. Follow her blog BIOCONTROL BYTES or her Twitter and professional Instagram accounts!

graphic with Amara's contact information. her email is arc55@cornell.eduis

July 10, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on A Farewell to Director Jennifer Grant

A Farewell to Director Jennifer Grant

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!

Jen with a sweep net over flower garden

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.

all the IPM directors in one photo on porch of IPM house

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.

photo of Jen on golf green

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.

staff photo at holiday gathering

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!

altered photo of Jen at a lectern with a sign that says GRANT 2020

“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!”

photo of Jen in kayak

“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.”

photo of staff

“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!”

Jen and Jody at conference

“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.”

photo of Jen in front of IPM House

“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.”

photo of Jen on a bike with mask and bear gloves

“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.”

For a wonderful recap, please watch Jen’s goodbye video!

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