Pesticide resistant, crop threatening whiteflies found in Texas

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife

A pesticide-resistant population of common plant-damaging whiteflies has been found in Texas, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist.

Whiteflies are sucking, insect pests similar to aphids, and damage ornamental and food plants, said Erfan Vafaie, AgriLife Extension program specialist in integrated pest management, Overton. Adults are winged while young whiteflies lie flat against leaves and can be difficult to see with the naked eye.  Continue reading

Crape myrtle bark scale study reveals tree treatments to fight pest

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife

The second year of survey data tracking crape myrtle bark scale has provided researchers information they believe will help mitigate the pest’s effect on trees, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

Erfan Vafaie, a AgriLife Extension entomologist and integrated pest management program specialist in Overton, and other collaborators in College Station, Huntsville and Dallas, have monitored pest numbers the past two years to help determine crape myrtle bark scale’s seasonal life cycle and peak crawler activity. The data collected has helped researchers develop strategies against them. Continue reading

Researchers begin tracking crape myrtle bark scale populations

Black, sooty splotches pepper a line of 10 crape myrtle trees along Broadway Avenue in Tyler. The popular ornamental trees wear the tell-tale signs of bark scale infestations.

Erfan Vafaie wrapped five branched on three crape myrtle trees, which is standard protocol for he and the six other researchers studying the bark scale, with double-sided Scotch tape to trap crawlers as they move along the tree. Continue reading