The natural enemy of my enemy is my friend! We start seeing increased activity of beneficial insects this time of year. Everyone can identify a ladybug, a select few know what a lacewing looks like, but did you know that certain flies, beetles, and even yellowjackets also help to regulate pest populations?
CLICK TO VIEW a newly revised OSU Extension publication about natural enemies
You’ll notice that we emphasize the importance of ‘scouting’ on this blog a lot, but what is one supposed to do when they find something? Lots of immature bugs can be found in the soil and it can be difficult to distinguish a “baby” beetle from a fly from a caterpillar, etc. This post might help…
I mentioned in last week’s newsletter that the Oregon Dept of Agriculture (ODA), Washington State Dept of Agriculture (WSDA), and Washington State University (WSU) are all active in their efforts to prevent and detect Japanese beetles in the region. Remember:
This Thursday, April 1st, at 9am, WSU/WSDA is offering a webinar. Click here to register and learn more.
Also be sure to check out the OSU Extension publication that includes information on identification, life cycle and scouting, damage, control measures, and how to report a suspected Japanese beetle. EM 9158 Published April 2017 4 pages https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/em9158
Larvae of various Tortricid moths (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) are well-known pests to fruit and nut growers, but less considered in vegetables. Here is a quick list of some economically important species in this group:
Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)
Fruittree Leafroller (Archips argyrospila)
Codling Moth (Cydia pomonella)
Filbertworm Moth (Cydia latiferreana)
Strawberry Fruit Worm aka Omnivorous Leaftier (Cnephasia longana)
These small, bland colored moths are nearly undetectable in the landscape, but their larvae can cause billions of dollars of economic damage. Leaves are rolled or tied to provide shelter for developing larvae. Crop damage from this group can occur ‘from root to fruit’.
Another attention-grabber headline this month is the hatch of periodical cicadas in the eastern US. “Brood IX” is a 17-year assemblage that was expected, but there are “stragglers” from other groups of 13-year cicadas that are actually 4 years early. This year is unusual because the groups consist of many different species (all in genus Magicicada) and appear to be overlapping geographically. Confused yet? Me too, so I refer you to http://magicicada.org/magicicada/ if you’re interested.
Sounds are produced by specialized structures called tymbals, and can exceed 100 decibels! If you’ve never been lucky(?) enough to hear one, enjoy this video clip:
Cicadas are not ‘locusts’ ( which are a behavioral adaptation of grasshoppers). They’re more closely related to leafhoppers and spittlebugs.
Common cicadas have life cycles between 3 and 5 years. Nymphs (immatures) live underground and feed on tree roots.
If you see a green cicada, it is not a periodical species.
Emergence in the PNW may be related to rainfall: Chatfield-Taylor, W. and Cole, J.A. 2017. Living rain gauges: cumulative precipitation explains the emergence schedules of California protoperiodical cicadas. Ecology 98: 2521-2527.
We do, in fact, have cicadas in Oregon, but they do not occur at nuisance levels. There are ~ 30 species in our region; one of the most encountered is Okanagana oregona (pictured at right).
News & Updates re: Brood X
ARTICLE A great summary by the Entomological Society of America re: Brood X impact, coverage by media, tracking apps, interviews with leading experts, and even a music video! Aug 12, 2021, ESA
VIDEO (00:02:30) Great quality footage and overview, and a University of MD. Emeritus professor describing them as ‘delightful‘. SOURCE: May 17 2021, Reuters
One of my favorite other ‘hats’ is being an Entomology educator for K-5 and guest speaker for Education students who are doing their teaching practica. I was serving in this role last week, and thought I should mention cicadas to the kids, just in case. The morning after our Zoom visit, the teacher sent this picture of a newly eclosed cicada they spotted on a tree. Great catch, Little Wolverines, and I’m so proud of you for being observant!!