Pest Archives - West Coast Nut


Protecting the Roots: Nematode Management in Perennial Crops

The agriculture industry often has adversaries, whether they’re pests, diseases, inclement weather, or various regulations. On the flip side, it seems that every year the industry takes progressive steps to effectively handle or work within all those constraints. The problem with nematodes in the soil is no exception, and farmers and researchers work together to battle these parasites. Nematodes in the Orchard: A Brief There are thousands of species of nematodes, existing in nearly every ecosystem reaching from the tropics to Antarctica. These microscopic roundworms exist in beneficial and harmful varieties, with the plant-parasitic nematodes being a significant concern to the farming of crops. Plant-parasitic nematodes can be migratory or sedentary, and can feed from inside (endoparasite) or outside (ectoparasite) a plant’s roots. There are a few that have drawn particular attention from the nut crop farming sector for their damaging effects on orchards. All these plant feeders use a...

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An IPM Approach to Vertebrate Pests

By Cecilia Parsons | Associate Editor

They don’t look that destructive in Disney movies, but vertebrate pests in almond orchards can drive growers and managers nuts. Vertebrate pests run the gamut from coyotes to ground squirrels, to voles and even roof rats. Depending on the species, they can cause yield losses by feeding on nuts, pose food safety issues in the orchard, and damage irrigation lines. Their burrows can slow harvest, damage equipment and pose safety hazards for workers and livestock. Some vertebrate species can also transmit diseases to humans. Vertebrate Pest Pressure Roger Baldwin, a University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) specialist in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology at UC Davis, said vertebrate pest pressure may depend on the growing region or local environmental conditions, but in general, ground squirrels are the primary culprits in orchards. Roof rats feeding in almond orchards are a recent issue in some areas. Orchards near...

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Navel Orangeworm NOW

Expanding your NOW Toolbox

By Kathy Coatney | Editor

Overall the first flight of navel orangeworm (NOW) has been lighter than normal this year. This could be attributed to relatively low 2018 damage levels, especially in pistachios, and the cooler, wetter weather during the 2019 spring. “If we get really warm sustained temperatures early in the spring, navel orangeworm wakes up early and becomes active,” according to David Haviland, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) entomology farm advisor for Kern County. But this spring was cooler, overcast and wet, so the first flight was more spread out than normal, Haviland said. NOW Damage “Damage last year in almonds was fairly typical, but in pistachios it was extremely low,” Haviland continued. Less damage at harvest means lower infestation rates in mummy nuts that carry over to the next year. “That’s a positive,” Haviland said. A very low year for pistachio damage benefits other nut crops that might be growing next...

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A Few Arthropod Pests to Consider on Establishing Pistachio Trees

By Kris Tollerup, University of California Cooperative Extension Area-wide IPM Advisor, Kearny Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Parlier, California

The University of California (UC), Pest Management Guidelines provide recommendations for managing approximately 14 insect and mite pests on pistachio. A few of those pests, growers and pest control advisers (PCAs) should pay close attention to during the first few years while young trees establish. According to the National Agriculture Statistic Service, the industry in California has expanded by about 35 percent between 2010 and 2017 from roughly 215,000 to just over 329,000 acres. New plantings in that period ranged from 6,730 (2010) to 24,500 (2013), with acreage expanding by 18,000 in 2017. With so many acres of new pistachio trees in California, it is fitting to highlight a few economically important pests covered by the UC Pest Management Guidelines to prompt growers and PCAs to start thinking about the coming season. A group of insects important on establishing trees is the hemipterans. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts and include true...

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Update on Sterile Insect Program for Control of Navel Orangeworm

By Houston Wilson, Asst. Coop. Extension Specialist, Kearney Ag. Center, Dept. Entomology, UC Riverside
and Chuck Burks, Research Entomologist, USDA-ARS, San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center

Sterile insect technique (SIT) makes use of large numbers of sterile insects which are released into wild populations as part of an area-wide integrated pest management (IPM) control strategy. Insects are typically mass-reared in a controlled environment and then ionizing radiation (e.g. x-rays, gamma rays) is used to induce genetic mutations that lead to sterility. The basic idea is that introduction of sterilized individuals into the wild population will limit the successful reproduction of wild individuals and lead to an overall reduction or even eradication of the target pest population (Knipling 1955). Mating with sterile individuals can reduce populations by either directly blocking reproduction or through inherited sterility in which offspring are actually produced but are themselves sterile (North 1975). Releases can include both males and females, although some programs utilize just one sex, and this is typically due to specific biological or ecological requirements.   The concept of using...

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