Archive for August, 2012

Green June Beetles, Another New Pest

Green June Beetles,

Another New Pest

 

 

 

Cotinis nitida (Linnaeus), are members of the order Coleoptera (beetles) and are not bugs.  Beetles have hardened front wings that are called elytra, chewing mouthparts, and complete metamorphosis (egg, larva, pupa, and adult).  In contrast, bugs have front wings that are half membranous and half hardened at the base (hemelytron) or completely membranous, sucking mouthparts, and incomplete metamorphosis (egg, nymph, and adult).  This beetle is native to the United States and is found in an area bounded by Texas, Florida, New York, and Nebraska.  It is a white grub, and the adults of white grubs are called May beetles of June beetles.

Adult green June beetles may be confused with adult Japanese beetles.  The Japanese beetle is a serious pest that may become introduced in Louisiana.  It is important to know if the Japanese beetle is found in Louisiana.  Thus, it is important to be able to tell green June beetles from Japanese beetles.

Adult Japanese beetles are 3/8 to 1/2 inch long. The thorax is green and the front wings are metallic reddish brown. Adult Japanese beetles have five tufts of white hairs on each side of the abdomen.  Additionally, there is a pair of white tufts of hairs on the end of the abdomen. The head and legs are black.

Adult green beetles are 0.5 inches wide and 1-inch long.  The underside of the adult is metallic green and has orangish yellow areas.  The edges of the shield behind the head (pronotum) and front wings are brownish yellow and, the top of the front wings are velvety green.  The head and legs are mostly metallic green.

Green June beetles are larger than Japanese beetles.  The tops of the front wings or wing covers of green June beetles are green while, those of the Japanese beetle are metallic reddish brown.  Additionally, Japanese beetles have the white tufts of hairs, and a black head and legs.  If adult Japanese beetles are found in Louisiana, collect the beetles and send them to Dr. Dennis Ring, Dept. of Entomology, 404 Life Sciences Building, Baton Rouge, Louisiana  70803.

The eggs of green June beetles are oval in shape and gray in color. The larvae are up to 2 inches long in length, have true legs, have a dark brow head and a C- shaped body that is creamy white. The larvae will coil up tightly if disturbed.

Eggs are oviposited in soil with decaying plant matter. Larvae hatch from the eggs in about 2 weeks and feed on manure, roots, decaying plants and humus.  Newly emerged larvae are 3/8 inch long.  Larvae feed near the soil surface at night and move deeper in the soil during the day.  They overwinter in the soil at depths up to a foot or deeper.  The larvae move close to the surface of the soil in the spring when temperatures reach 60 degrees F.  Pupation occurs in May in earthen cells at a depth of 2 to 6 inches.   The pupal stage lasts for 2 to 3 weeks, and adults remain in the cell in the soil for 1 to 2 week.  Adult emergence occurs in June, July, or August and these beetles have one generation per year.  Adults emerge following rains that soften the soil.  Female beetles release sex pheromone from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Males fly at waist height in a zigzag pattern searching for females.  After mating, females fly close to the surface searching for moist areas with high organic matter (decomposed hay or decomposed manure piles). The female green June beetle digs 5 inches deep in the soil to build a walnut-sized ball of soil and lays 10 to 30 eggs in the ball. At oviposition, eggs are oblong. If there is enough moisture, eggs will increase in size becoming round and twice their original size.  Females may lay up to 100 eggs.

Larvae feed on roots of ornamental plants, turfgrass, vegetables, corn, sorghum, oats, and alfalfa. One different characteristic of the larva is that it crawls on its back when moving on the soil surface. Adult green June beetles eat the leaves of many trees and shrubs and occasionally will attack berries and tree fruits. Adults will also feed on over-ripe fruit, and may be attracted to fruit baits.  Soil amendments with high organic matter amendments and manures encourage infestations of green June beetles.

Traps are only effective for monitoring first adult emergence.  Monitoring of adults may be accomplished by jarring several branches of trees, and counting the number of beetles flying off.

Parasitic nematodes (Steinernema and Heterorhabditis species) can decrease numbers of white grubs.  Treatments using S. carpocapsae have shown less than 50% control, while treatments using H. heliothidis have shown 80% control in the Midwest. Nematodes and imidacloprid may work synergistically.

Insecticides for green June beetles include carbaryl (Sevin®), chlorantraniliprole (Acelepryn®), clothianidin (Arena®), imidacloprid (Merit®, Season-Long Grub Control®), halofenozide (Mach2®), Ortho Grub-B-Gon®), thiamethoxam (Meridian®), and trichlorfon (Dylox®).  Green June beetle larvae will die on top of the soil rotting and making a mess.

Managing adult green June beetles is difficult because new beetles fly in daily.  However, applications for adult green June beetles may be needed when large numbers of beetles are feeding on foliage.  Irrigation right after treatment of the soil or treatment right after rainfall is important in managing larvae.

Image 1. Adult Japanese beetle, Pest and Diseases Image Library, Bugwood.org

Image 2. Adult green June beetle, Natasha Wright, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org

Image 3. Green June beetle larva, Clemson University – USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org

Image 4. Green June beetle pupa and pupal cell, Jim Baker, North Carolina State University, Bugwood.org

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More Notes from Beekeeping by Jimmy Earl Cooley

More Notes from Beekeeping

by Jimmy Earl Cooley

 

July 31, 2012

Been sick …so bees have been on their own for a few days.

Hive Hebert

Gave a gallon of sugar water today and they seemed delighted.   Looked at frames in top super and found that 6 of the 10 are full of capped honey so guess I will get some honey for myself this year.

When should I remove capped frames and harvest the honey – what is the sign to tell me it’s ready to harvest???

Since I don’t have a centrifuge to separate honey from frame, how should I do this?

Have not looked into the bottom brood or second brood box in quite a while – should I examine now or soon??

Hive Hanchey

Just sitting – completely assembled and awaiting a bunch of bees.  When I take the honey from the Hebert top med super – thought that would be a good time to split Hebert Hive and start Hanchey Hive with bees and queen from Hebert Hive.

I was thinking (which usually ends up with a problem for me) that I would take three or four frames from the Hebert brood box and put into the Hanchey box – making sure there are brood, food, and drones on the frames along with the queen.  Then replace with empty frames in Hebert box and find a queen cell and put in Hebert box.

Then move Hanchey Hive some distance away (how far?) so bees will not go back to Hebert hive.  Is it alright to do that now or soon or wait till spring?  Is my plan sound or not?  I like the bees I have in the Hebert Hive so would like to keep the second hive (Hanchey) in the family.

Please let me know your comments or experiences on this plan.

August 26, 2012

INSPECT HEBERT HIVE

Sunny Sunday following rain on Friday and Saturday.

Hebert Hive Layout

Top

Inner Cover

Medium Super

Large Super

Large Bottom Box (Brood)

Base

Smoked hive and removed top cover, inner cover came off with top cover and was thoroughly glued to inside of top cover with propalis.  Noticed one hive beetle on top of frames of upper medium super at this time, tried to kill him with tool but he ran into super between frames.  Noted a number of bees on inside of inner cover and inside of top but did not inspect thoroughly at this time.  Started removing the frames from the upper medium super from outside in and noted nothing on the two outside or two outside frames i.e.:  frames 1 and 2 and 9 and 10.  But the 6 inside frames contained capped honey on both sides except one which had honey on one side and bees working there.  I’m assuming I can harvest some of these frames of honey for my use?  Yes or should I leave it for them to eat over winter.          Then removed the complete upper medium super to expose the large super that is above the lower brood box.  Looking for more hive beetles but saw none so the one that escaped from top must be hiding or in lower brood box.                                                                                                                           Started removing the frames from the large super (the one below the medium super and the above the brood box) from outside in and again noted that frames 1 and 2 and 9 and 10 were empty with on activity, but 3 through 8 were completely covered with bees and honey capped and uncapped, but no brood but did notice what appears to be drone cells in a cluster on one frame – see photo.  So appears to me that bees are saving honey in large super (above the brood box) and the medium super above the large super and all brood and raising activity is going on in lower brood box???  Since there is no queen extruder between the brood box and the large super, I would have thought that the queen would have gone up into the large super, above the brood box, and started laying eggs.  Does this mean she is not finished with the lower brood box?  I have been feeding the hive with sugar water (approx. 1 qt. per day) from an outside feeder sitting on the top cover of the hive.  I had two different designs of inside feeders but discarded when I noted bees drowning in them, not good.  The outside feeder is a small metal chicken feeder with quart bottle turned upside down with small holes in lid of bottle.  Placed small pieces of wood dowel inside bowl of feeder for bees to rest on and reach dripping sugar water.  This seems to work fine and none drowned even with the large amount of rain we had on Friday and Saturday.    I did not completely remove the large super, so therefore did not remove any of the frames from the brood box to see the status of it.  From above it appears that all frames are filled and full of activity.  Should I go ahead and remove the large super and pull the frames in the brood and inspect at least for hive beetles?  Guess there could be an infestation in this box?  So at this point did not see any hive beetles, other than the original one.  Another reason I did not remove the large super is that it was heavy??   I had been told how heavy these get and now believe and all the frames are not filled.    I’m suffering from the residuals of a sciatic nerve episode leading from spine, down outside of right thigh, down outside of right calf, down to right big toe so afraid to lift too much and aggravate again!  So I carefully replaced all framed in original position and at this time separated the inner cover from the top when I noted at least 20-25 hive beetles at various locations with bees also between the inner cover and the top.  I separated the inner cover and top and was able to kill most of beetles but noticed that many had took cover in the corners of the top, so I chased them out and killed with hive tool.  I guess this is their defense way to get away from bees, retreating to inside corner.  Question:  Having seen this many beetles (mostly on inside of top and inner cover) should I assume that there are more in brood and on larva and start some treatment?  I’m sure that in my haste to kill some of them with the tool, some more probably dropped on ground for sure.  I have ordered and received some chemical to treat the ground around the hive and some pads to put inside the hive, forgot the names of the products now, but will unpack and tell you soon and look at directions.  I was hoping not to use chemicals on hive but may have to now that I see some in hive.  Can the bees take care of this number, assuming that there are probably more in the hive given that I killed approx. 25?  I have bought a screen bottom (with sliding shelf) to go under this hive, since it has a solid bottom now,  Guess that is another reason to at least lift the bottom brood box off the base and replace it with screen one and can inspect the inside of the solid bottom base.  What to find there??  I took photos of the disassembly which is under Inspection of Hebert Hive 8-26-12.  I am attaching the photos to this report.    Would appreciate any advice or answers to my questions from club members or others.  Assume since Labor Day is coming up we will be meeting at a later date in September??

Editor’note: The normal meeting of the SW Louisiana Beekeepers is on the first Monday of each month. Because Labor Day falls on the first Monday, the meeting is postponed to September 10th.

 

 

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Summer Beekeeping Notes by Jimmy Earl Cooley

 

Summer Beekeeping Notes

by Jimmy Earl Cooley

 

 

July 9th, 2012

Inspected the Hebert Hive and put ½ gallon of food in the vertical feeder.  I was getting brave and did not put on all my bee suit, just the hat, veil, and long gloves with short sleeve shirt.  Well big mistake!  When putting more sugar water into the vertical feeder the little rascals found a separation between the end of my glove and the sleeve of my short sleeve shirt and crawled up between the glove and my skin and started stinging, think there were at least two.  As I was in the middle of the operation – I just brushed at the top of the glove and finished what I was doing.  After a few seconds it became unbearable so I stopped and directed smoke toward the rascals and pulled the glove up enough to see the bee and brushed him away with my left hand and glove.  Of course, his body went flying and the stinger remained – tried to flick it away with my glove finger to no avail so backed off the hive and removed left glove and picked away the stinger with my fingers from the right arm.  Dawned the gloves again and went back and finished assembling the hive.  Moved away and removed gloves and veil and saw where the stinger had been – a slightly red, bloody spot which continued to sting.   Went back home and placed ice on the spot and some alcohol and some hydrocortisone ointment and took a Benadryl capsule.  He got me under the arm between the elbow and shoulder, very sensitive spot on me.  It continued to swell and sting and I tried several insect bite stings spray and ice and etc.  And it is still somewhat swollen and itchy today (four days later) but getting better.  WILL not try that again, i.e. without full suit.  I used full suit today without any sting.  What is the recommended procedure for treating a bee sting?  Know to remove stinger with credit card or fingers without pressing and shooting more venom into bite, but what is best to do i.e.: ice first – cold water – what medication is recommended as best?  Have not read about any procedure for treating bee stings?????

 July 14, 2012

After several days of hard rain I inspected the Hebert Hive and put 1 gallon food in vertical feeder.  Looked at several frames in the upper medium before I removed to get at the vertical feeder in the second large super.  There was clear excellent looking honey on several of the frames in the upper super and lots of activity in this box.  The second large super also had lots of activity in it.  I did not inspect any of the frames in this second or lower box.  Think I should look at some frames in the lower, brood box soon???  There is not activity in the Shirley Hive.  Guess my next step is to order a batch of bees and a queen or wait for another swarm to appear in our locale. 

 

 Best Regards,

Jimmy Earl 

Editor’s Note: Mr. Jimmy Earl is a beginning beekeeper who shares his experiences to help aspiring beekeepers.

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Striped Bark Scorpion by George Giltner

Striped Bark Scorpion

  (Centruroides vittatus)

Battle of the Bugs Article by George Giltner,

Master Gardener

 

The striped bark scorpion is very common in Texas, and its range spreads outward into the central United States and northern Mexico.  Numerous encounters and stings occur here in Beauregard Parish.  They may be found in piles of firewood, in decaying vegetation, in cracks of bricks, under logs, and many other places where it is cool, moist, and provides shelter.  However the most unwelcome place to find them is in your house which is a favorite habitat.  Local reports include finding them in sinks, bathtubs, under tar paper roofing, in clothing and even under bedroom pillows.  A handy UV flashlight, the “UV LED tracker light” will fluoresce scorpions, and also cat and mouse urine.

 

 

Image 1. The striped bark scorpion is a native of Beauregard Parish.

 

 

Centruroides vittatus, our local striped bark scorpion, can be identified by two dark and long stripes down its back.  Also look for the dark triangular mark on its head.  The entire length with the tail extended approaches 3 inches.  The sting is most intense for around thirty minutes, but seemingly much longer for children.  The only reported deaths actually occurred from anaphylactic shock instead of the actual neurotoxin venom.  Therefore the normal consequence of this scorpion sting is similar to a wasp sting.  A much more painful sting comes from its cousin, C. exilicauda, the western bark scorpion, which causes frothing of the mouth, severe pain, swelling, breathing difficulty, and convulsions.  Thankfully these lighter brown, but similar scorpions are not found in our area. 

Another identity feature of our striped bark scorpion is their courtship dance which lasts for hours.  If you see two scorpions with locked pinchers and jaws, two stepping, they are not fighting.  They are beginning the reproductive process which occurs periodically from fall to early summer.  Females give live birth to about 50 young which travel on her back until first molt.  Therefore careful and immediate removal from the house is recommended.

Food for these scorpions is roaches, crickets, flies, beetles, other insects, and a favorite is spiders.  So on a positive note, they control many unwanted insects at night.  Predators of scorpions include centipedes, tarantulas, shrews, some lizards, mice and bats.

Scorpion control can be difficult.  First try to remove the habitat and food supply.  Clean up boards, trash, and organic debris.  Then remove other critters that scorpions feed on as listed above.  Caulk entry points like cracks around windows, doors, wires, and pipes.  Around hiding places, “Demon WP” or “Cyper WP” are very effective, but read and follow all warnings and instructions of these chemical treatments.  These powders have left visible stains on dark surfaces, so you may want to try “Cyonara 9.7” or “D-Fence SC”.  In attics, “Delta Dust” which is deltamethrin, the same chemical found in “D-Fence”, will last up to 8 months.

Editor’s note: If you find an insect or other creepy critter, feel free to bring your specimen to the LSU AgCenter at 203 West Third Street, DeRidder, LA. The County Agent can help identify the critter and recommend a treatment.

 

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The Giant Swallowtail Butterfly by George Giltner

 

The Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

by George Giltner

 

The giant swallowtail is common among zinnias, pentas, milkweeds, azalea, Japanese honeysuckle, goldenrod, and many other flowers.  The adults are easily identified with their large black wings crossed by a striking thunderbird display of yellow dot bars.  The underside of the wings is primarily yellow. The total wingspan averages around 5.7 inches.  These butterflies make excellent views in a red background of “Amazon Pentas”.  As the dew begins to evaporate, they spread their large wings flat while dipping into the nectar of colorful flowers.

The caterpillars can be found on citrus where they can be a pest on young plants.  However on mature citrus, their defoliation causes little damage.  The orange or cream eggs are found singly on the upper surface of leaves.  After hatching, the larvae feed mainly during the night.  Their cryptic coloration of bird droppings is very effective against predators.  When attacked, the caterpillar projects a “Y” shaped gland that emits a pungent odor (vomit) of butyric acids that is toxic to predators like ants and spiders.  Also birds are repelled by internal chemicals of the larvae.  Older larvae instars resemble small stubby snakes; therefore they are typically named “orange dogs”.

 

Image 1. The “orange dog” caterpillar feeds on citrus but becomes a swallow tail butterfly. It tends to look like bird droppings.

 

 

The weak point in the life cycle of the giant swallowtail is the pupae.  It is parasitized by a tachinid fly, a chalcidid wasp, two pteromalid wasps, and other beneficial insects.  The brownish chrysalis is attached at a 45 degree angle to objects with a silken pad on one end and a silk thread at the other.  Two to three generations occur each year in Louisiana.

The best way to control the caterpillars on small citrus is to move them to larger citrus.  Then you can enjoy giant swallowtail butterflies on the flowers and have little damage to the citrus.  Large infestations of larvae can be controlled with “Bt”, the active ingredient in products like Dipel and Thuricide, both organic pesticides.  But who would want to destroy such a beautiful insect?

 

Image 2. An adult swallowtail butterfly doing its pollination work.

 

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More Notes from a Beginning Beekeeper by Jimmy Earl Cooley

More Notes from a Beginning Beekeeper

By Jimmy Earl Cooley

 

 

July, 2012: Found the new makeshift box empty except for a few wanders looking inside for food. Disassembled the hive and reassembled using new purchased boxes and parts. 

 I assembled as follows:

Bottom base board

Varroa trap with drawer for 10 frame

10 inch hive body with frames and liquid feeder

Queen excluder 6in medium super with no frames

Inner cover

 Telescoping Cover

 As I understand, the entrance opening on the bottom board must be closed while the entrance opening on the Varroa trap should have an entrance reducer which allows bees to enter above screen into lower hive body.

 Did not put any sugar water in now.  Stayed around to observe the hive and noted several bees entering thru the trap entrance. Examining interior, I suppose.  I need to make a blank entrance to insert on bottom base board.  Will check on condition of hive in couple of days.  Please comment on this assembly.

 So i guess this means that i lost the swarm and the queen for some reason that i collected from Charles Shirley.  Too bad but i did not learn why i lost the swarm and what happened to it, perhaps it is out there in the woods looking for a home  and just maybe they may come back and take up in the new assembled hive but i guess not.

 Now to the holder hive:   It has a base, no Varroa trap, although i have one for this hive but not installed yet, a queen excluder, 6in medium super. An inner cover and cover.  I now added a third super (10in) with frames on top of the existing 6in medium super then the inner cover and the cover.  Should i have moved the queen excluder between the second and third boxes instead of leaving it between the first and second box?  Please reply.

 So I now have a working hive with three boxes and an empty hive with two boxes and no bees.

 Editor’s note: Mr. Jimmy Earl Cooley is a Louisiana Master Gardener who started beekeeping in 2012 with a swarm of captured bees.

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BATTLE OF THE BUGS: Three-Lined Fig Tree Borer by George Giltner

Three-Lined Fig Tree Borer

By George Giltner, Master Gardener

 

 

The three-lined fig tree borer, Ptychodes trilineatus, is the common wood borer of figs in the South.  Its range is from Texas to Florida and down into Central America. 

The adult is large, mainly glossy black and has three white stripes. As with other borers of Cerambycidge, the antennae are very long.  They feed on all parts of the fig above ground to include the leaves, stem, and fruit.  However, most damage to the fig tree occurs after they lay eggs in the bark of the tree.  The flat-headed white larvae immediately began damaging the tree by boring through branches and then into the trunk.  They feed continuously on wood for three months to a year and then pupate.

Trees which are most susceptible are those with dead wood, wounds, knots, and old wood.  They prefer wood that is not flowing with sap, like a transition between dead and live wood.  However they will infect and thrive in any tissue region of the tree. 

Unfortunately an infection with the three-lined fig tree borer is a death sentence to the tree.  The larvae are immune to chemical insecticides.  Trimming of the tree just leads to more available infective sites.  Usually larvae are spread throughout the wood in the tree.  Therefore the tree should be cut and burned.  Then plant a new variety and provide optimal soil, placement, and water conditions for a healthy and fast growing tree.  Borers will mostly attack trees that are weak or that have damage to old wood.

Editor’s Note: George Giltner is a  Louisiana Master Gardener in Beauregard Parish, and is a self-taught entomologist.

 

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