…the slimy worm-looking things covering the sidewalks around campus this week. They are the immature form of craneflies, commonly known as leatherjackets.

     

I’m hoping it’s not too late to save our campus lawns, but by the time this kind of damage is apparent, insecticides may not be effective. By mid-May, the leatherjackets will pupate then hatch into adults. Adults are harmless (other than a nuisance).

Maintaining grass health is the best defense against craneflies. Monitoring should be done from January to March, when larvae are feeding underground. More information is available at: http://whatcom.wsu.edu/cranefly/Index.htm

Heavy infestation of leatherjackets (marker = approx. 2″)
turf damage
Grass can be pulled up like a carpet if severe cranefly damage has been done (CLICK FOR VIDEO).

Participating in the OSU Extension Open House last night was fun and rewarding (thanks, staff!!). I enjoy outreach events and inevitably learn something from interacting with the public.

Yesterday’s conversations led to today’s topic: “Problems with my PEAS”

In the span of two hours, three different citizens came to me wondering why their early-planted peas are being “attacked by an unidentified marauder” (direct quote).

All 3 inquiries were similar and there were some important clues present: leaves are being damaged from the edge inward (chewing mouthparts); not cut off at soil level (cutworm); nothing obvious when scouting at night.

The probable pest producing pack perturbation

IS ….

Pea Leaf Weevil !

(More info available in the pest profile section)

Captain Turbot; endless enthusiast of echoic expressions ©Nickelodeon

 

WEEK 0: Spring has sprung and we need field sites. Broccoli plantings will be starting soon, cooperating growers are encouraged to contact me to reserve their spot. Cutworms and armyworms are likely going to be a problem this year.

Many have been spotted already, even on campus sidewalks (see below)! This species is especially fond of ryegrass and orchardgrass, and outbreaks have occurred in western Oregon.

©2018 Ben Phalen, used with permission

 

So..why did the caterpillar cross the road? Because it overwinters as a partially mature larvae and peristaltic searching mobility increases when ambient temperatures exceed 10°C, of course!

 

 

 

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Tis’ the Season! According to a pest model for this region, the summer generation of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) adults start appearing this week. This pest is very mobile, and will move into fall crops readily. I caught a glimpse of an egg mass in sweet corn today (photo below), and nymphs are expected to peak within the next few days.

BMSB model for Corvallis, OR. 2017; based off Nielsen et al 2008, and available at uspest.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bell pepper, sweet corn, and tomato are all considered desirable hosts. Symptoms include sunken kernels, whitening on fruits, and spongy tissue. Rather than re-invent the wheel, I decided to direct you to some GREAT resources (see list below) for BMSB ID and management in vegetables.

BMSB egg masses are usually laid on the underside of leaves in groups of 28 eggs – count em’ and see! 🙂 – Sweet corn, Corvallis OR, 8-Sept-2017 J. Green

FOR MORE INFO:

Wiman lab page – Oregon State University – Identification, monitoring efforts, and resource list

Neilsen et al., 2008 – Rutgers University – Developmental details

BMSB info for vegetable growers – great photos of injury, explanation of life cycle, etc.

WEEK 16 – Two types of rootworm are now widely present in the Valley. See this page to learn how to ID and differentiate between them. Another, third species, may be on its way. Western corn rootworm has been moving westward since 2004.

Read the full report here: http://bit.ly/VNweek16 and subscribe on our homepage to receive weekly newsletters during field season. Thanks!

WEEK 13:  Early earworms; diamondback overlap – FULL REPORT HERE

  • Diamondback Moths are one of the smallest crop pest moths one is likely to encounter, but damage can be extensive. Part of the problem is their capacity to reproduce quickly, which leads to population buildup in a very short time. This is temperature-dependent and if not monitored, can catch growers off guard.
  • Corn Earworm is normally considered a late-season pest, but trends so far this year suggest a pattern similar to 2014, which resulted in a boom of moths in August, just as corn is silking. Larvae feed on corn silks and burrow into the ears. The resulting damage and frass (insect poop!) can cause delays in processing, or reduction of fresh-market value. This page shows how to identify corn earworm adult moths.
  • VegNet was featured in the July-Aug issue of OSU Linn & Benton Cty Extension’s Newsletter! Click photo to read the article.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to subscribe to receive alerts and updates.

WEEK 5: First of two looper flights. Read the full report HERE.


The most notable trend this week is the sharp rise in looper activity. As seen in the graph below, 2016 levels (blue bars) were well above the historical norm (gray shaded line), and they remained that way throughout the season. This early 2017 peak (orange dot), while alarming, just means we’ll need to keep an eye on activity. It is the 2nd flight (Jul-Aug) that causes the most damage, because larvae and pupae contaminate crops headed for the processor. A contaminated crop can mean load rejection.

Home gardeners should be wary of looper levels, because larvae feed on a variety of crops including lettuce, tomatoes, peas, and other garden favorites. If you are concerned about defoliation, begin scouting between May 18th and 23rd. Look for ‘windowpanes’ or ragged holes, depending on how big the larvae are.

Processed vegetable growers are mostly concerned with looper flights near button-stage, as the main concern of this pest is contamination.

Looper larvae are light green with a white lateral stripe down each side, and display characteristic movement  – ‘looping’ along the leaf surface by gathering the rear legs to meet the front legs and then extending forward. More info on loopers is available here.