Pecan Insect Pest Management
The UGA pecan entomologist has focused her initial efforts identifying key insect and mite pest issues impacting pecan production in Georgia to help inform her research priorities. She conducted grower surveys and met with orchard owners, UGA Extension agents, fellow Extension specialists and researchers to gain a better understanding of the pecan pest management issues. Based on these efforts, she found that pecan aphids, mites, ambrosia beetles and pecan weevils are among the important pest problems that growers encounter in the field. In collaboration with USDA scientists, industry partners, UGA researchers and growers, she initiated preliminary studies including conducting spray trials against pecan aphids and mites, using drones to release predatory mites, trapping surveys of ambrosia beetles, testing insecticidal netting for toxicity against pecan weevils, and investigating the effects of pecan tree hedging on pest and natural enemy populations. She has also worked with colleagues at UGA and Clemson University to add pecans to the mobile phone application, “MyIPM,” which would provide a handy resource for Georgia pecan growers and Extension agents on arthropod pest identification and biology, and their management options.