2019 Insect-Related Conferences and Webinars:
**Please mark your 2019 UMass Garden Calendars with the following educational events coming soon!**
Spotted Lanternfly Preparedness Conference
Thursday, February 7, 2019 (Snow Date – Feb. 14) 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
For the agenda and registration information, visit: https://ag.umass.edu/landscape/events/spotted-lanternfly-preparedness-conference
This conference includes speakers from the “front lines” from Penn State Extension, USDA-APHIS PPQ Science and Technology, and MDAR. Speakers will discuss the life cycle, identification, and Pennsylvania’s response to the spotted lanternfly, host plants and survey tools, mechanical and chemical management options, biological control, and pesticide use and safety. 6 pesticide contact hours will be provided for a wide range of categories (including Tree Fruit and Small Fruit; categories 25, 27, 29, 35, and 36) and applicators license. Association credits have been requested. This conference is partially funded by support from a grant received from the MA Department of Agricultural Resources.
Ticks and Tick-Associated Diseases Conference
Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
For the agenda and registration information, visit: https://ag.umass.edu/landscape/events/ticks-tick-associated-diseases-conference
This conference includes our very own MA tick experts Dr. Stephen Rich of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology and Larry Dapsis of Cape Cod Cooperative Extension as well as the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station’s Dr. Kirby Stafford. Join our speakers as they discuss updates about ticks in Massachusetts, personal protection, habitat and winter survival of the deer tick and lone star tick as well as establishment of the lone star tick in Connecticut, and management of ticks in landscapes. 5 pesticide contact hours will be provided for categories 29, 35, 36, 37, and applicators license and 3 for category 40. Association credits have been requested.
There will also be a FREE webinar series (TickTalk with TickReport!) which will be advertised here shortly: https://ag.umass.edu/landscape/upcoming-events . This series is in partnership with Dr. Rich and the Laboratory of Medical Zoology (https://www.tickreport.com/ ), where he will share his expertise on a wide range of tick and TBD (tick borne disease) topics in the spring and fall of 2019.
Woody ornamental insect and non-insect arthropod pests to consider, a selected few:
- Asian Longhorned Beetle: (Anoplophora glabripennis, ALB) Look for signs of an ALB infestation which include perfectly round exit holes (about the size of a dime), shallow oval or round scars in the bark where a female has chewed an egg site, or sawdust-like frass (excrement) on the ground nearby host trees or caught in between branches. Be advised that other, native insects may create perfectly round exit holes or sawdust-like frass, which can be confused with signs of ALB activity. Now that leaves are gone from the trees, some of these signs of ALB activity may be more easily viewed.
The regulated area for Asian longhorned beetle is 110 miles2 encompassing Worcester, Shrewsbury, Boylston, West Boylston, and parts of Holden and Auburn. If you believe you have seen damage caused by this insect, such as exit holes or egg sites, on susceptible host trees like maple, please call the Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program office in Worcester, MA at 508-852-8090 or toll free at 1-866-702-9938.
To report an Asian longhorned beetle find online or compare it to common insect look-alikes, visit: http://massnrc.org/pests/albreport.aspx or https://www.aphis.usda.gov/pests-diseases/alb/report .
- Deer Tick/Blacklegged Tick: (Ixodes scapularis) Adult male and female deer ticks are active. Adult deer ticks may be primarily active from October-May, at any time day-time temperatures are above freezing. Keep in mind that deer ticks take 2 years to complete their life cycle. Adult deer ticks prefer to overwinter on larger hosts (such as deer) and may be found “questing” or searching for an appropriate host on low growing plants. Adult female deer ticks will readily feed on people and pets, and are known to transmit Lyme disease, human babesiosis, human anaplasmosis, and deer tick virus. The seasonal activity of the deer tick is outlined here: https://tickencounter.org/tick_identification/deer_tick .
Preventative activities, such as daily tick checks, wearing appropriate clothing, and permethrin treatments for clothing (according to label instructions) can aid in reducing the risk that a tick will become attached to your body. If a tick cannot attach and feed, it will not transmit disease. For more information about personal protective measures, visit: http://www.tickencounter.org/prevention/protect_yourself .
It is important to note that the UMass Laboratory of Medical Zoology has reported that approximately 34-42% of the 14,675 deer ticks they have tested from Massachusetts since 1/1/2006-12/5/2018 have tested positive for Borrelia spp. and Borrelia burgdorferi senu lato, the spirochete bacteria responsible for causing Lyme disease. This data can be searched and viewed here: https://www.tickreport.com/stats .
Have you just removed an attached tick from yourself or a loved one with a pair of tweezers? If so, consider sending the tick to the UMass Laboratory of Medical Zoology to be tested for disease causing pathogens. To submit a tick to be tested, visit: https://www.tickreport.com/ and click on the blue “Order a TickReport” button. Results are typically available within 3 business days, or less. By the time you make an appointment with your physician following the tick attachment, you may have the results back from TickReport to bring to your physician to aid in a conversation about risk. Watch Cape Cod Cooperative Extension’s Larry Dapsis, Entomologist and Tick Project Coordinator, explain how to submit a sample to the UMass Laboratory of Medical Zoology here:https://bit.ly/2IAGPIY .
The UMass Laboratory of Medical Zoology does not give medical advice, nor are the results of their tests diagnostic of human disease. Transmission of a pathogen from the tick to you is dependent upon how long the tick had been feeding, and each pathogen has its own transmission time. TickReport is an excellent measure of exposure risk for the tick (or ticks) that you send in to be tested. Feel free to print out and share your TickReport with your healthcare provider.
You can also download TickReport’s new, free mobile app which allows you to submit photos of ticks you find and have them identified by the Laboratory of Medical Zoology, for free. Information about downloading this app is available here: https://www.tickreport.com/ .
- Emerald Ash Borer: (Agrilus planipennis, EAB) This wood-boring beetle readily attacks ash (Fraxinus spp.) including white, green, and black ash and has also been found developing in white fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) and most recently, has been reported in cultivated olive (Olea europaea). Signs of an EAB infested tree may include D-shaped exit holes in the bark (from adult emergence), “blonding” or lighter coloration of the ash bark from woodpecker feeding (chipping away of the bark as they search for larvae beneath), and serpentine galleries visible through splits in the bark, from larval feeding beneath. Positive identification of an EAB-infested tree may not be possible with these signs individually on their own.
For further information about this insect, please visit: https://ag.umass.edu/fact-sheets/emerald-ash-borer . If you believe you have located EAB-infested ash trees, particularly in an area of Massachusetts not identified on the map provided, please report here: http://massnrc.org/pests/pestreports.htm .
- Gypsy Moth: Lymantria dispar adult activity is at an end for the 2018 season. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has released their final numbers for the total acres defoliated by gypsy moth caterpillars in 2018. MA DCR officials estimate that approximately 159,705 acres were defoliated by gypsy moth in 2018. This pales in comparison to the over 923,000 acres of defoliation due to gypsy moth estimated in 2017. (We can thank Entomophaga maimaiga for the population decrease between last year and the beginning of this year.) A map of the locations of this defoliation is now available here: https://www.mass.gov/guides/gypsy-moth-in-massachusetts courtesy of the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation. Multiple reports of tree mortality due to the defoliation from gypsy moth during the extent of this outbreak (some communities have had defoliation since 2015/2016-present) have come in to UMass Extension. MA DCR now estimates there were 23,602 acres of oak mortality across Massachusetts in 2018, much of which may be attributed to gypsy moth defoliation and an influx of secondary pest organisms attacking weakened trees (Ex. pathogens such as armillaria root rot and native beetles such as the Buprestidae, or jewel/wood-boring beetles).
One worrisome note is that Entomophaga maimaiga does not seem to have been as active in the gypsy moth caterpillar population in 2018 as it was in 2017. This allowed many healthy adult moths to mate and females to lay egg masses that will overwinter and provide us with a population of caterpillars in 2019. More information can be found in the August issue of Hort Notes, which is available here under “Trouble Maker of the Month”: https://ag.umass.edu/landscape/newsletters/hort-notes/hort-notes-2018-vol-298 .
- Spotted Lanternfly: (Lycorma delicatula, SLF) is not known to occur in Massachusetts. If you believe you have found any life stage of this insect in MA, please report it here: http://massnrc.org/pests/pestreports.htm . This insect is a member of the Order Hemiptera (true bugs, cicadas, hoppers, aphids, and others) and the Family Fulgoridae, also known as planthoppers. This insect is a non-native species first detected in the United States in Berks County, Pennsylvania and confirmed on September 22, 2014. Until November 2017, this invasive insect was only known to Pennsylvania. It has now been reported from Delaware (Nov. 20, 2017), New York (Nov. 29, 2017, Sept. 11, 2018, and Oct. 19, 2018), Virginia (Jan. 10, 2018), New Jersey (July 17, 2018), Connecticut (Oct. 22, 2018), and Maryland (Oct. 25, 2018).
The spotted lanternfly is considered native to China, India, and Vietnam. It has been introduced as a non-native insect to South Korea and Japan, prior to its detection in the United States. In South Korea, it is considered invasive and a pest of grapes and peaches. The spotted lanternfly has been reported from over 70 species of plants, including the following: tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) (preferred host), apple (Malus spp.), plum, cherry, peach, apricot (Prunus spp.), grape (Vitis spp.), pine (Pinus spp.), pignut hickory (Carya glabra), Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.), slippery elm (Ulmus rubra), tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), white ash (Fraxinus americana), willow (Salix spp.), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), American linden (Tilia americana), American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), big-toothed aspen (Populus grandidentata), black birch (Betula lenta), black cherry (Prunus serotina), black gum (Nyssa sylvatica), black walnut (Juglans nigra), dogwood (Cornus spp.), Japanese snowbell (Styrax japonicus), maple (Acer spp.), oak (Quercus spp.), and paper birch (Betula papyrifera).
The adults and immatures of this species damage host plants by feeding on sap from stems, leaves, and the trunks of trees. In the springtime in Pennsylvania (late April - mid-May) nymphs (immatures) are found on smaller plants and vines and new growth of trees and shrubs. Third and fourth instar nymphs migrate to the tree of heaven and are observed feeding on trunks and branches. Trees may be found with sap weeping from the wounds caused by the insect’s feeding. The sugary secretions (excrement) created by this insect may coat the host plant, later leading to the growth of sooty mold. Insects such as wasps, hornets, bees, and ants may also be attracted to the sugary waste created by the lanternflies, or sap weeping from open wounds in the host plant. Host plants have been described as giving off a fermented odor when this insect is present.
Adults are present by the middle of July in Pennsylvania and begin laying eggs by late September and continue laying eggs through late November and even early December in that state. Adults may be found on the trunks of trees such as the tree of heaven or other host plants growing in close proximity to them. Egg masses of this insect are gray in color and look similar to gypsy moth egg masses.
Host plants, bricks, stone, lawn furniture, recreational vehicles, and other smooth surfaces can be inspected for egg masses. Egg masses laid on outdoor residential items such as those listed above may pose the greatest threat for spreading this insect via human aided movement. Adults and nymphs also readily hitch-hike in vehicles and transport associated with commerce.
For more information about the spotted lanternfly, visit this fact sheet: https://ag.umass.edu/landscape/fact-sheets/spotted-lanternfly .
- Winter Moth: Operophtera brumata adult emergence generally occurs around mid-November, particularly around the Thanksgiving Holiday in eastern Massachusetts. For specifics regarding winter moth in eastern MA this year, please see the Regional Reports above. Male winter moths have wings and are able to fly. They are light colored moths with a band of black marks extending across the tip of the wings. Adult female winter moths have greatly reduced wings (are sometimes said to be wingless) and are incapable of flying. No management options are recommended or effective against the adult moth stage of this pest. For example, although some may attempt to apply bands of sticky material around trees they anticipate to be impacted by this insect, while they may capture some of the female winter moths as they crawl up the trunk to lay their eggs, this will not be 100% effective, as moths invariably make their way beyond the band. Adult winter moths do not feed. Females will lay the eggs that will hatch next spring. The winter moth population is at an all-time low in eastern MA, so hopefully residents in those locations will see fewer adult moths this year. For more information, visit: https://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/umass-amherst-entomologists-report-major .
Concerned that you may have found an invasive insect or suspicious damage caused by one? Need to report a pest sighting? If so, please visit the Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project: http://massnrc.org/pests/pestreports.htm .
A note about Tick Awareness: deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis), the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), and the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) are all found in Massachusetts. Each can carry their own complement of diseases. Anyone working in tick habitats (including but not limited to wood-line areas, forested areas, and landscaped areas with ground cover) should check themselves regularly for ticks while practicing preventative measures. Have a tick and need it tested? Visit the web page of the UMass Laboratory of Medical Zoology ( https://www.tickreport.com/ ) and click on the blue “Order a TickReport” button for more information.
Reported by Tawny Simisky, Extension Entomologist, UMass Extension Landscape, Nursery, & Urban Forestry Program