Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ficus Whitefly Confirmed

Have you noticed Ficus trees or shrubs dropping leaves and going bare? A new exotic pest of Ficus is now hitting our area. In August 2009, the Florida Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry just confirmed this pest in Pinellas County.

The picture is a puparia of fig whitefly.

To learn more and for treatment information see this link:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bed Bug Registry

See up-to-date information about which hotels and other locations around the county have bed bugs. This website depends on visitors to report their bed bug experiences.

As you well know, bed bugs are causing problems in dorms, apartments, hospitals, condos, hotels, etc.

Learn more about heat treatment for control of bed bugs at our upcoming "CEU Update" December 1st.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hickory Horned Devil - Large As A Hotdog

This imposing larva (caterpillar), known as the hickory horned devil, is most often observed when it is full grown and comes down from the trees to wander in search of a site for pupation. It can beome as large as a hot dog.

This large caterpillar will eventually become the regal or royal walnut moth, one of our largest and most spectacular moths. Like most other moths, it is nocturnal but is sometimes observed around lights at night.

The regal moth typically has only a single generation per year. In Florida adults have been collected in May, but are more common during the summer.
The larvae live about 35 days and have been reported from a variety of host tree species. They are commonly found on species of the family (Juglandaceae) including walnut (Juglans nigra), butternut or white walnut (Juglans cinerea), and a variety of hickories (Carya spp.) including pecan. In Florida, larvae are frequently found on sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua). Other hosts commonly listed are persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) and sumacs (Rhus spp.).

In central Florida, larvae are usually found from late July to mid-August while they are wandering on the ground searching for a suitable location to burrow into the soil for pupation. The pupa is the overwintering stage.

The regal moth is a beautiful and fascinating member of our native fauna, and its larvae should NOT be killed. If a larva is found crawling on pavement or in an area of thick turf grass where it would have difficulty burrowing, it should be moved to an area of soft soil or a mulched area where it can burrow for pupation.
For more information see this website:

Friday, October 2, 2009

New Weevil In Town

Here at the Extension Office we’ve been seeing this weevil. Have you seen this pest? This is a new exotic invasive weevil called the Sri Lanka weevil. It does leaf and root damage to several fruit trees, palms, ornamental plants and citrus. For landscape plants, severe infestations can be controlled using insecticides which include carbaryl (Sevin), acephate (Orthene) or a pyrethroid labeled for leaf-feeding insects. For more information see this University of Florida publication: or google: Sri Lanka Weevil IFAS.