29 April - Beetles & mealybug

Flea beetle - Pests have been seen relatively early this year. Control damage on brassica ornamentals including Crambe, fuchsia, wallflowers and others using Chess WG (EAMU 2013-2016), Calypso (EAMUs required), Decis (non-IPM, EAMU 2014-1011), Majestik, SB Plant Invigorator, Hallmark WZT (non-IPM, EAMU 2008-2944), Pyrethrum 5EC or Spruzit.

Mealybug - Control where possible using predators including Cryptolaemus montrouzieri along with Leptomastix dactylopii (for citrus mealybug) and L. epona for vine mealybug. Anagyrus pseudococci will control citrus mealybug but will also attack vine mealybug. Control products include Decis (non-IPM, EAMU 2014-1011), Movento (EAMU 2011-1987), Pyrethrum 5EC, Savona, SB Plant Invigorator or Spruzit.

Paeony blight - Check for Botrytis on emerging tree paeonies now, showing as dark-purple blotches on stems near the soil surface and stem collapse. Control using Octave, Rovral WG (EAMU 2011-3200), Signum (EAMU 2012-2141) or Switch. Vent protected crops to prevent a build-up of still air around foliage.

Sciarid fly - Install yellow sticky traps to attract adults and change weekly with high adult populations. Drench with nematodes (Steinernema feltiae) or introduce Stratiolaelaps (Hypoaspis) or Macrocheles mites. The rove beetle, Atheta coriaria, is easily bred using HDC fact sheet 06/10. Control products for ornamentals include Calypso (EAMUs required) or Decis (non-IPM, EAMU 2014-1011) or incorporate Met52 (EAMU 2011-1997) into the compost.

Downy mildew - Humid weather conditions are still encouraging this disease on a range of crops. Control products include Amistar (EAMU 2009-0443), Fenomenal (EAMU 2013-1990), Fubol Gold WG (EAMU 2013-2288), Invader (EAMU 2012-0109), Paraat (EAMU 2011-2585), Pergado Uni (EAMU 2012-1605), Signum (EAMU 2012-2141) or Valbon (EAMU 2014-2325) (see Pest & Disease Management, p47).

Crinkling - Differences in day and night temperatures can cause leaf crinkle. Aucuba, prunus and some herbaceous are more prone because they are leafy so ventilate during warm days and apply fleece or Cosytex to vulnerable crops to reduce daytime air temperatures.

Needle cast - Preventive applications of Bravo 500 (EAMU 2011-1130), Octave, Signum (EAMU 2012-2141) or Switch will control the spread of needle cast diseases that cause brown fronds.

Aphids - Now building in numbers, particularly on protected crops. Control using predators alongside Aphox, Chess WG, Majestik, Naturalis-L, Pyrethrum 5EC, Savona or SB Plant Invigorator.

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