Pitaya (Dragon Fruit) (Hylocereus undatus) Pests and Beneficial Insects

A photo of a young pitaya fruit on the plant. It is yellow-green mostly but each petal is edged in brilliant pinkish purple.

Pitaya or dragon fruit is a recent crop in south Florida. Dragon fruit has grown rapidly and shows a good potential for commercialization. This 13-page fact sheet written by Daniel Carriollo, Rita Duncan, and Jorge E. Peña and published by the Entomology and Nematology Department lists some of the pests and beneficial insects associated with this promising fruit crop and includes a section on control, precautions, and restrictions.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1292

Minimizing Honey Bee Exposure to Pesticides

photo of a bee hovering near a cluster of a citrus flowers, blue sky in the background

To safely solve a pest problem, growers and pesticide applicators must be aware of the potential impacts of some pest-control strategies on bees, other pollinators, and beneficial arthropods. This 14-page fact sheet written by J. D. Ellis, J. Klopchin, E. Buss, and others and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department explains the issue and provides strategies to protect honey bees and other beneficial insects from pesticides.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1027

Nematode Management in Cole Crops

Photo of broccoli florets and leaves.

Many different plant-parasitic nematodes cause yield loss in cabbage, broccoli, collards, and other valuable Florida cole crops. This 13-page fact sheet written by Z. J. Grabau and J. W. Noling and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department lists common symptoms, explains how to submit samples to a nematology lab such as the UF Nematode Assay Lab for diagnosis, and describes key cultural practices to help agricultural professionals spot and manage nematode problems in cole crops.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ng024

Bees of Florida

Left to right, photos of a blanketflower and blueberry flowers with native bees.

Did you know there are over 320 species of bees in Florida and over 4,000 in the United States? Wild bees vary widely in behavior, color, size, and shape. Written by James R. Weaver, Shiala M. Naranjo, Emily Noordyke, and Rachel E. Mallinger and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department, Bees of Florida is a two-page pdf guide to some common bee groups and species you may encounter in Florida.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1285

Yaupon Holly Culture and Pest Management for Tea Production and Ornamental Use

Three images of yaupon holly branches. From left to right, a photo of leaves and ripe berries in bright sunshine, an illustratuino of  a branch with leaves and red, ripe berries, and a photo of leaves and pale green buds, some blooming and producing white, four-petaled flowers.

Yaupon holly, Ilex vomitoria Aiton, is an evergreen woody plant native to the southeastern United States. The species is widely used as a landscape ornamental plant because it tolerates a wide range of soil and environmental conditions, is available in various forms, and attracts wildlife, especially native birds. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in cultivating the plant for the caffeinated beverages that can be made from its leaves. This 8-page fact sheet written by Matthew A. Borden, Mark A. Wilhelm, and Adam G. Dale and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department provides a guide to managing yaupon holly and protecting it from pests. It will be useful to both commercial growers and homeowners interested in growing this beautiful and useful plant.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1299

Best Management Practices for Live Bee Removals in Florida: A Beekeeper’s Guide

Photo of a mass of bees on honeycomb.

Feral colonies of honey bees nesting near humans or domestic animals can pose a stinging threat and may be considered a nuisance and possibly a threat to animal or public health, and therefore bees often need to be removed or eradicated when they are found nesting near homes or other property. This 14-page guide written by Mary Bammer, Jamie Ellis, Eric Baxter, Krista Butler, John Coldwell, B. Keith Councell, Kevin Easton, Brendhan Horne, Brandi Stanford, and Amy T. Vu and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department details best management practices for live bee removals and serves as a reference for beekeepers who choose to perform live bee removal services in Florida.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1297

Container Mosquito Habitat Community Cleanup: A How-To Guide for Event Organization

Extreme close-up photo of a mosquito revealing its bright white stripes and feathery antennae.
Being bitten by the container mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus means a higher risk of becoming infected with Zika, dengue, or chikungunya virus. Container mosquitoes develop in the water that collects in discarded tires, jars, cans, buckets, and boats. The best way to prevent irritating bites and dangerous mosquito-transmitted illnesses is to get rid of all trash that holds water. This 6-page fact sheet written by Amy Hallock, Eva A. Buckner, Ricky W. Telg, and Alena R. Poulin and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department is packed with recommendations that will help you to successfully develop and host a cleanup event to reduce potential mosquito larval habitats in your community and keep yourself and your neighbors safe.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1286

Sampling Guidelines and Recommendations for Submitting Samples for Diagnosing Laurel Wilt in Avocado Trees (Persea americana L.)

Laurel wilt symptoms in avocado trees include green leaf wilting, desiccated (brown) leaves, and stem and limb dieback. Credits: J. H. Crane, UF/IFAS TREC

Laurel wilt (LW) is a vascular disease caused by a fungal pathogen transmitted to avocado trees by several ambrosia beetle species and through root grafts among adjacent avocado trees. A critical part of preventing and controlling plant diseases is determining the causal agent so that the appropriate management practices can be implemented to eradicate or contain the outbreak. Proper sampling is a critical step in disease diagnosis and in the determination of the causal agent of disease. This new 3-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department was written by Jonathan Crane, Romina Gazis, Jeff Wasielewski, Daniel Carrillo, Bruce Schaffer, Fredy Ballen, and Edward Evans.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1394

The Life of Lichen

Close-up photo of deer moss growing among dry leaves and grasses.

Lichen represent a fascinating combination of organisms working together to form some familiar and unfamiliar growths on a variety of substrates. This 6-page fact sheet written by James Stevenson, Lara B. Milligan, and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department defines and explains these organisms.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1296

Chilli Thrips on Blueberries in Florida

Extreme close-up photo of a lemon-yellow adult female chilli thrips on a green leaf.

Chilli thrips, (Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood; Thysanoptera: Thripidae), is an economically important pest of vegetable, fruit, and ornamental crops throughout Asia, Africa, Oceania, the Caribbean, and some parts of South America and is an invasive pest in several US states. Chilli thrips were first observed in Florida in 1991. It was first recorded in blueberries in Hernando, Pasco and Sumter counties in July of 2008. This 4-page fact sheet written by Oscar E. Liburd, Babu R. Panthi, and Douglas A. Phillips and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department discusses the life cycle of the chilli thrips, plant damage it causes, and management recommendations for chilli thrips in blueberries in Florida.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1298

Recomendaciones para la Detección y Mitigación de la Marchitez del Laurel en Árboles de Aguacates y Especies Relacionadas en Jardines y Patios Hogareños

Avocados growing on a tree. Avocado fruit. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

This is the Spanish translation of HS1358, Recommendations for the Detection and Mitigation of Laurel Wilt Disease in Avocado and Related Tree Species in the Home Landscape. Avocado trees are a popular choice for homeowners in Florida, with over 600,000 growing in Florida home landscapes. However, avocado trees as well as others in the Lauraceae family are susceptible to laurel wilt disease, which can kill a tree in as few as three weeks. This new 8-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department provides home owners recommendations for identifying and mitigating laurel wilt disease in the home landscape. Written by Jonathan H. Crane, Jeff Wasielewski, Daniel Carrillo, Romina Gazis, Bruce Schaffer, Fredy Ballen, and Edwards Evans.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1384

Recomendaciones para el Control y Mitigación de la Marchitez del Laurel y sus Vectores, los Escarabajos Ambrosia, en Arboledas Comerciales de Aguacate en Florida

Avocado. UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright.

This is the Spanish translation of Recommendations for Control and Mitigation of Laurel Wilt and Ambrosia Beetle Vectors in Commercial Avocado Groves in Florida (HS1360). Laurel wilt and the ambrosia beetle vectors that transmit this lethal disease have and will continue to affect avocado production in Florida. At least 50% of the commercial producers are Hispanic Americans and some are more comfortable with publications in Spanish. The translator, Rubén Regalado, and reviewer, Carlos Balerdi, are both previous employees of UF/IFAS.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1379

Mite Pests of Southern Highbush Blueberry in Florida

Southern red mite shed skins.

This 4-page document discusses life cycles, damage, monitoring, and management of southern red mites and false spider mites in southern highbush blueberries. Written by Oscar E. Liburd, Lorena Lopez, and Doug Phillips, and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department, June 2020.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1284

Trips: Ciclo de vida

extreme close-up photo of a six-spotted thrips, Scolothrips sexmaculatus

Trips, morfología general, biología general, rango de hospederos de la plaga, enemigos naturales, y síntomas y daños.

This is the Spanish translation of ENY-879/IN1058, Pest Identification Guide: An Introduction to Thrips. It was written by Nicole Casuso and Hugh Smith, translated by Lorena Lopez, and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1288

La araña roja – Ciclo de vida

Magnified photo of seven twospotted spider mites againsta a mottled green background; presumably a leaf.

La araña roja, Tetranychus urticae Koch, morfología general, biología general, espectro de hospederos de la plaga, enemigos naturales, y síntomas y daños.

This is the Spanish translation of ENY-880/IN1059, Pest Identification Guide: Two-spotted Spider Mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch. It was written by Nicole Casuso and Hugh Smith, translated by Lorena Lopez, and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1287

Citrus Pest Quick Guide: Lebbeck Mealybug Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead)

A close-up photo of a female lebeck mealybug looking like a miniscule white fluffy bedroom slipper on the underside of a green leaf.

A one-page quick guide written by Lauren M. Diepenbrock and Jamie D. Burrow and published by the Entomology and Nematology Department presents the life cycle of the lebbeck mealybug and provides several photos of the pest and the damage it causes to assist in identification.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1280

Yellow-Legged Hornet (suggested common name), Vespa velutina (Lepeletier 1836) (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Vespidae)

Close-up photo of Vespa velutina clinging to a flower and feeding on nectar.

The yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina (Lepeletier), is a pest of concern outside of its native range. Vespa velutina is native to Southeast Asia and has invaded several regions in Europe, first appearing in France in 2004. As a generalist predator, they are a pest of honey bees and a major concern to many beekeepers. Vespa velutina has not been intercepted in North America, but it is believed to have high invasion potential. This 5-page fact sheet written by Krystal Ashman, Oliver Keller, and Cameron Jack and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department describes the hornet and explains its live cycle, biology, and some of its predatory strategies.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1282

Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia Smith (1852) (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Vespidae)

Close-up photo of a female Vesma Mandarina Smith, resting on a leaf, some tiny beads of water on its striking yellow head

Vespa mandarinia Smith, commonly called the Asian giant hornet, is the largest hornet in the world. Its size and distinctive markings make it easily distinguishable from other Asian hornet species. Not only is the wasp occasionally life-threatening to humans, it can decimate a number of insect colonies, most notably wild and farmed honey bees. Vespa mandarinia is native to Japan and occurs in several countries in Asia. The first Vespa madarinia hornet detected in the United States was in Washington State in 2019. This 5-page fact sheet written by Caitlin Gill, Cameron Jack, and Andrea Lucky and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department describes the hornet, its biology, its predatory strategies, and its medical significance. The fact sheet also provides some strategies for management of this dangerous and destructive hornet.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1281

Citrus Pest Quick Guide: Citrus Leafminer (Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton)

closeup of an adult citrus leafminer on a leaf

A one-page quick guide written by Lauren M. Diepenbrock and Jamie D. Burrow and published by the Entomology and Nematology Department presents the life cycle of the citrus leafminer and provides several photos of the pest and the damage it causes to assist in identification.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1254