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    April 2014
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    The Southern Region IPM Center is located at North Carolina State University, 1730 Varsity Drive, Suite 110, Raleigh, NC 27606, and is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
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Reminder: program proposals for IPM Symposium due April 25

Just a reminder to submit your program proposal submission for the 8th International IPM Symposium. The program committee is looking for proposals for a session describing your program, activity, or research that addresses effective and efficient pest management. The symposium sessions will be divided into tracks based on commodity or setting and will address various aspects of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) across disciplines and around the world. Session proposals must be submitted online at IPM Symposium Program by next Friday, April 25, 2014 for full consideration.

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Invasive Plant, Pest and Disease Awareness Month Kicks Off

Big, creepy, and horned, the coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB) loves to feed on—and kill—coconut and other palms, banana plants, and more.  This invasive species, detected in Hawaii in December 2013, makes the perfect poster child for USDA’s Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month—a child only its mother could love.

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NC State University Leads Research into Kudzu Bug Host Preferences

For an exotic invasive insect pest, kudzu bug is fairly easy to control. Spray a pyrethroid, and it’s gone.

The problem is that the pyrethroid also takes with it many beneficial insects that usually keep other soybean pests low in numbers. So although the field may be free of kudzu bugs, it could later be overrun with soybean looper and caterpillar pests that are just as destructive as kudzu bug. So the grower has to keep spraying.

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How can you help bats?

Bats throughout the United States are dying from a nonnative fungus called White Nose Syndrome. The fungus causes bats to awaken early from their hibernation period, before there is enough food available for them to survive, so they starve to death. USDA is asking for the public’s support in helping to keep bats from contracting this disease. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Volunteer! You can help protect bats on public lands by helping with bat counts, acoustical monitoring and much more. Contact your local national forest for more information.
  • Adhere to cave closures. If caves are open, follow all decontamination protocols recommended by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to clean clothes, footwear and equipment used in caves and mines.
  • Stay out of caves when bats are present.
  • Build and install a bat house to provide a safe place for bats on your property.
  • Teach your friends and family about the benefits of bats.Visit BatsLIVE: A Distance Learning Adventure to learn how to make bats come alive in your home or classroom.
  • Join us for the showing of the film, “Battle for Bats: Surviving White-Nose Syndrome,” at the 2014 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capitol on March 27, 2014 at 7 p.m. to learn more.
  • Take time to see live bats by visiting public bat viewing sites. – See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/03/25/research-public-can-help-bats-survive-white-nose-syndrome/#sthash.cSTOBfoi.dpuf

Cold weather effects on diseases

We’ve heard a lot of expert opinions on the effect that cold weather has on insect populations. But what about plant disease pathogens? University of Tennessee Extension Plant Pathologist Heather Young Kelly discusses how this year’s cold winter will affect–or not–the incidence of disease in the South.

Auburn research finds kudzu bugs affected by persistent cold

By James Langcuster, Auburn University Communications

If Old Man Winter deserves credit this year for reducing kudzu bugs, it is not so much due to his bite as to his persistence.

For the past few years, Dr. Xing Ping Hu, an Alabama Extension entomologist and Auburn University professor of entomology, and a team of researchers have been monitoring overwintering kudzu bug populations.

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Virginia Tech doctoral student wins regional award for work on grape root borer

Not many of us think about protecting grapevines from insects when we’re enjoying a glass of wine, but Virginia Tech Ph.D. student Jhalendra Rijal has made it his mission to help growers find ways to save their vines from the grape root borer. His work with the grape root borer, which has given growers new sampling methods and paved the way for other control options, earned him a Friends of Southern IPM Graduate Student Award.

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