Good Fruit Grower

March 15

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Page 36 of 47 Good Fruit Grower MARCH 15, 2016 37 by human means that is the root of Saunders' skepticism. "That's how the gypsy moth spread throughout the Eastern United States," he said. "Families with camping trailers might have had egg masses attached to them. They'd overwinter and spread to another area where they'd hatch in the following season." As of Nov. 15, 2015, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture listed four southeastern Pennsylvania coun- ties — Berks, Bucks, Chester and Montgomery — as part of its spotted lanternfly quarantine area. Fear of the unknown Spotted lanternfly is unlike gypsy moth in one crucial way. "I don't anticipate difficulty in controlling them," Saunders said. "There are a number of systemic and con- tact pesticides that should do that." Because it is a new species in this part of the world, however, it has few natural enemies. The assassin bug is one, but appears to have a limited impact. Saunders said he sees a lot of intact dead lanternfly insects on the ground months after they died. Concern about the pest is grounded in what U.S. ento- mologists don't know about the insect. The first infor- mation they found came from a 2006 Korean document telling of damage to "grape orchards" there, though they have yet to determine the infestation's scale or range. There is also no known research on how the insect impacts grapevine growth, health and yield. "We've not seen any direct statement in the literature on how they damage grapevines," he said. Saunders and his graduate student, Erica Smyers, have supplemented the Korean data with a good deal of information gathered from the field. The lanternfly's mouth parts are designed for piercing and sucking. It penetrates the bark, taking soluble nutri- ents from the phloem, the layer that moves water, sap and nutrients through plants and trees. Another question entomologists have is whether the feeding site injury becomes a wound through which another disease or insect might enter the plant. As the insects feed, they retain the proteins they want and rid themselves of the sugars and carbohydrates they don't want. In doing so, they excrete a thick white residue called "honeydew" in large quantities. It is possible honeydew damages plants as much as the insects do. For example, the honeydew might act as a fungal mat, a substrate for molds to grow or form a nutrient layer for pathogens to mature and take hold of the portion of the plant it covers. Life cycles Scientists have determined from the Korean data the number of degree days it takes for larvae to hatch, what the lethal winter temperatures are for the pest and that the female spotted lanternfly deposits its egg mass on flat surfaces. Egg masses hatch in May. Host plants include fruit trees, ornamentals and hardwoods. "Their preferred host plants appears to be tree of heaven," said Saunders. There are four nymphal stages called instars. In stages one and two, the instar is black with white spots. In stages The spotted lanternfly adult is 1-inch long and a half-inch wide. Its mouthparts are designed to pierce bark and suck moisture from the phloem plant layer. GREG HOOVER, PENN STATE EXTENSION Winning the Battle Against Fire Blight ...and conventional wisdom Scan here for full study 1.888.273.3088 (toll-free) In 2014, OxiDate 2.0 was evaluated against FireLine, a traditional treatment against Fire Blight. The results showed an average of 389 strikes per tree against control plots; the FireLine Cluster had 227 strikes and OxiDate 2.0 showed a 40% reduction overall and 18 less strikes than the conventional, FireLine treatment. At BioSafe, we aren't just the sustainable alternative to conventional chemicals, we are the sustainable and effective preference to conventional.

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