Monday, June 3, 2019

Public Open House on SLF Quarantine to be held in Winchester

Hello, everyone,
In my last post, I discussed the newly announced quarantine in Frederick County and Winchester for spotted lanternfly (SLF).  This invasive pest threatens our vineyard, orchard and hops industries, as well as forest trees and residential areas.

In the quarantine program, businesses must inspect and obtain a permit to move regulated articles out of the regulated area - currently including Winchester and Frederick County.  To move items within the regulated area, no permit is needed, but shipments will still need to be inspected.  While the quarantine goes into effect immediately, there is a 30-day grace period for businesses to come into compliance.  This includes an online training on identification of SLF, and best management practices to avoid moving SLF.

There will be an Open House educational meeting offered by VDACS on Thursday, June 6, at the Frederick County Public Safety Building, from 3-7PM.  The street address is 1080 Coverstone Drive, Winchester VA 26022.

This is a good opportunity to learn more about this important program intended to limit spread of this serious pest.


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Quarantine established for spotted lanternfly

Hello, everyone,
Late this afternoon, VDACS announced the establishment of a quarantine for spotted lanternfly, the invasive pest insect that was found in Winchester in January 2018.  Despite an eradication effort in 2018, SLF increased its distribution from about 1 square mile to 16 square miles.  This year, the overwintering eggs began their hatch on April 27, earlier than last spring.  They are now in the second instar, or second nymphal stage.  The photos show nymphs feeding on poison ivy at about this time last year, and a collection of all four nymphal instars (second instar is second from the left).

The press release on the SLF quarantine linked here.  A direct link to the quarantine document is linked here as well.  Some of the key provision of the quarantine are:
1) Regulated articles (plants, outdoor industrial materials, shipping containers, outdoor household articles, and others) may be moved from the quarantine area if they have been inspected, and are accompanied by a permit;
2) Regulated articles may be moved within the quarantine area following an inspection; a certificate is not required.
3) From April 1-Dec 31, regulated articles may be moved through the regulated are without stopping, or stopping only for fuel or traffic conditions.
4) To obtain a permit to move regulated articles, a person doing business must complete a VDACS-approved training (see below) and agree to train employees on identification of SLF.

The training needed to obtain a SLF permit is available online.  There is a $6.00 fee.

I'll be posting more on this later.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Hello, everyone,

The 2019 editions of our fruit and hops chemical control recommendations (Pest Management Guide series) are available, as well as the Spray Bulletin for Commercial Tree Fruit Growers.  These will be available for purchase soon, but PDF versions may be downloaded for free.  Here are the links:

Let me know if you have any questions.

2019 Orchard Fruit Schools set

Hello, everyone,
The dates, locations, and agendas for our six orchard fruit schools have been set.  The schools will run from February 11-15.  The details and links are:
See you at one of the schools!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Spotted lanternfly developmental milestones reached

Hello, everyone,

Since my last posting, there have been some spotted lanternfly (SLF) developments.  As you know from previous postings, there is a distinctive difference in appearance of fourth instar nymphs compared with the first three stages.  The fourth instar is bright red with black and white markings, instead of black with white spots.  Fourth instar nymphs appeared on June 29 by two separate observers.  As with earlier instars, this was in advance of the date predicted (July 9) based on a Korean paper tied with our observed first egg hatch.

A second, and more important development, is that first adults were seen yesterday (July 12).  Observers were on-site on July 6 and July 11, when only nymphs were seen, so the July 12 date seems reliable.  The original prediction of adult emergence was July 31 – clearly, SLF development is faster relative to South Korea.  This is probably related to climatic differences.  The Korean paper used simple calendar days, when degree-days would have provided a more realistic result.

We will now be watching for the beginning of the oviposition.  We will be looking for egg masses on various tree species, stone, train cars and parked truck trailers (a rail line and several industrial sites are located in the infestation zone).

Thanks to Corey Riedel (VT Fruit Entomology) and David Gianino (VDACS) for the photos!

We have posted further information on SLF, linked here:

Virginia Cooperative Extension web page:
Spotted lanternfly fact sheet (Virginia Tech):
Spotted lanternfly Pest Alert (Virginia Tech):
Spotted lanternfly fact sheet (Spanish; USDA):

VERY IMPORTANT: A web site to report suspected finds of SLF, including uploading of digital photos.:

I’ll be posting developments on this pest here as they develop.

More later!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Stem borers in apple

Hello, everyone,
On Friday I visited an orchard with an infestation of stem borers - Oberea, probably Oberea myops, in the longhorn beetle family Cerambycidae.  This species also bores in the twigs of blueberry and rhododendron.  Another longhorned beetle, roundheaded appletree borer, is usually found under the bark of the trunk.  In this infestation, the infested shoots often resembled shoot blight, a phase of fire blight.  At the base of the twig was a tiny entrance hole, often with whitish sawdust-like frass. The long, legless yellowish larvae could be found when tunnels were opened.

More later, Doug

Saturday, June 2, 2018

An update on spotted lanternfly population development

Hello, everyone,

We are continuing our observations on spotted lanternfly, a new invasive to Virginia, that includes all of our fruit crops, hops, forest trees, and some vegetables in its host list.

This week we sampled nymphal populations in the known infestation area in the northern part of Winchester.  As expected, nymphs were found on a wide variety of plants - wild grape, wild cherry, honeysuckle, hackberry, smooth sumac, and poison ivy.  We sampled cultivated grapes - table grapes in an arbor - and found a population of nymphs there.  This is the first record in Virginia on a crop, rather than wild plants.  The nymphs are very active, and jump readily when disturbed!  We found first and second instars - it will be some time before we expect to find the bright red fourth instar nymphs.

More later,

Public Open House on SLF Quarantine to be held in Winchester

Hello, everyone, In my last post, I discussed the newly announced quarantine in Frederick County and Winchester for spotted lanternfly (SL...

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