Identifying mealybug species is often a challenge, but the hibiscus mealybug (Nipaecoccus viridis) turns green in an alkaline solution—a unique indicator among mealybug species in Florida. Researchers have turned this discovery into a safe, accessible field diagnostic kit to aid growers and IPM pros in slowing the spread of this invasive pest.
Two new studies find even more benefits to tolerating scale insects on urban trees, boosting the abundance of a variety of spiders and attracting predator insects that serve as natural enemies of other pests in both trees and nearby plants.
Tiny, dome-shaped scale insects can damage or kill trees in heavy infestations, but their presence in moderate numbers actually supports a variety of other beneficial insects that protect trees and surrounding vegetation from other pests, a new study shows.
The scale insect Fiorinia phantasma, sometimes known as phantasma scale, arrived in Florida in 2018 and threatens palm, ornamental, and fruit trees. A new guide in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management outlines biology and management of the invasive pest.
Gloomy scale is a pest of deciduous trees that tends to increase in abundance and damage severity in urban areas. This insect feeds on tree cells and tissues, prefers red maple as a host, and may expand its range as climate change continues to alter our environment.