Group Title: Berry/vegetable times.
Title: Berry/vegetable times. July 2004.
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Title: Berry/vegetable times. July 2004.
Uniform Title: Berry/vegetable times.
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Creator: Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publisher: Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, University of Florida
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center
Publication Date: July 2004
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Volume ID: VID00028
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Berry/Vegetable Times


In this issue...

Strategies for Early Page 2
Season Disease Control
Web Based Information Page 4
for Irrigation Management
On-line Insecticide Page 4
Resistance Aid Available
Chemically Speaking Page 4

Glyphosate Quickly Page 5
Cleared by Humans

Interesting Occurrences Page 5

Slow, Slimy and Deadly Page 6

Lobate Lac Scale Page 7

A monthly newsletter of the University of Florida IFAS,
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, and Flonda
Cooperative Extension Service
Hillsboro County Cooperatve Ext Service
5339 CR 579, Sefner, FL 33584
(813)744-5519 SC 541-5772
Alicia Whidden, Editor Mary Chernesky Director
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center
13138 Lewis Gallagher Road, Dover, FL 33527
(813) 744-6630 SC 512-1160
Chistine Cooley, Layout and Design
Jack Rechcigl, Director
http //gcrec ifas ufl edu

From Your Extension
Agent...Af&irica #fiZdden
Valuable Source for Watermelon

If you are thinking about
growing watermelon next spring,
take a look at the watermelon section
of the Gulf Coast Research and
Education Center website. This
section has been compiled by Dr.
Don Maynard, a world authority on
watermelons and other cucurbit
crops. It contains all the information
you need for growing watermelons,
including production costs,
recommended varieties, production
practices, and information on pests
and disorders. Dr. Maynard has also
included information on a new class
of watermelons called "personal
sized" watermelons.
Worldwide the USA is
ranked fourth in watermelon
production with China producing the
most. In the US, Texas is number
one, with Florida second. In the
1940s Florida was the number one
production state for watermelon.
Also on the GCREC
website is information on other
horticultural crops- both vegetable
and ornamental. The GCREC
website address is htt:// For the
information on watermelon, click on
the icon for vegetables and then go
to watermelon. On the homepage
you can also check out the progress
of the new facility at Balm and see
photos of its construction.

Twenty-five Years of the
North American
Blueberry Industry
Tom Sjulin, Director of i!. i. 'ry
Production and Research for Driscoll
Strawberry Associates, Inc.,
Watsonville, California
(This article was adapted from a presentation
Dr. Sjulin made at the 2004 North American
Berry Conference, February 23-25, 2004, at
the Hilton Westshore in Tampa. The full
version of Dr. Sjulin's presentation, including
references and figures, can be viewed on the
GCREC-Dover web-site athttp.i

The following article
focuses on industry developments in
the past 25 years, and gives a
personal view of what I expect for
the next 25 years.
I will limit my remarks to
the highbush blueberry industry, as I
have no direct experience in the wild
lowbush industry. The North
American highbush blueberry
industry has undergone tremendous
change in the past 25 years, with
rapid expansion of acreage in several
regions and major shifts in types of
blueberries planted. The
introduction of many improved
cultivars, especially low-chill
southern highbush cultivars, has
supported this change by opening up
new opportunities for growers. Most
of these new cultivars came from
USDA breeding programs in New
Jersey and Mississippi headed by
Arlen Draper (now by Mark
Ehlenfeldt) and Jim Spiers,
respectively, and programs at the
Univ. of Arkansas (headed formerly
by Jim Moore, now by John Clark),
(Continued on page 2)

IFAS is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer authonzed to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that
function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin U S Departmein of Agnculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Flonda, IFAS, Florida A & M

University Cooperative Extension Program, and EBoards of the County Commissioners Cooperating

Berry/Vegetable Times

I July/August 2004

t1 .6

Volume IV Issue 4/5

Berry/Vegetable Times

the Univ. of Florida (directed by
Paul Lyrene), and North Carolina St.
Univ. (headed by Jim Ballington).
More recently, new cultivars
developed by Jim Hancock at
Michigan St. Univ. promise to
greatly improve the quality of late-
season offerings.
The significance of these
new blueberry cultivars cannot be
understated. For example, the
'Duke' cultivar released by the
USDA has changed the face of the
New Jersey and Pacific Northwest
industries. The production acreage
has not increased in New Jersey in
the past 25 years, but yields are now
much more stable, thanks to the
'Duke', and nearly 90% of the
production was fresh marketed in
2002. The firmness of the 'Duke'
cultivar also allows some Pacific
Northwest growers to machine
harvest for the fresh market, in turn
allowing a greater percentage to be
marketed fresh without placing huge
demands on the limited labor supply.
Paul Lyrene in Florida has
introduced 10 new southern
highbush cultivars in the past 10
years. Several of these cultivars,
plus the highly flavored 'O'Neal'
cultivar from Jim Ballington and
new releases from the USDA in
Mississippi, are creating new
opportunities across the southern
U.S. Growers in Georgia are testing
these low-chill types as alternatives
to the later-ripening rabbiteye types.
California has created an entirely
new fresh market blueberry industry
in the past 25 years, thanks to these
new cultivars. Dave Brazelton, a
blueberry propagator who keeps
close tabs on the industry, now
estimates California at 1,300 acres.
Southern highbush cultivars,
especially the 'O'Neal' cultivar,
have also been widely planted in
Argentina and northern Chile,
increasing the volume of fresh
product in North American markets
from October through December.
Reported utilized
production of highbush blueberries

in the U.S. in 2003 was 187.7
million pounds harvested from
41,000 acres, with an additional 80.2
million pounds harvested from the
wild. The fresh market crop was
56% of the total highbush
production, but represented 71% of
the total highbush crop value of
$220.8 million.
Worldwide, the highbush
blueberry industry continues to
expand rapidly. Brazelton estimates
there are now 86,460 acres, an
increase of 51% since 1995. The
U.S. acreage increased about 30%
during this period (he thinks it's
53,500 acres now), with much of the
remaining increase in South America
(now over 6,900 acres) and Europe
(now over 9,700 acres). The
consumer's discovery of the
combined health benefit and delight
of eating blueberries has fueled this
expansion. Nor does it appear that
the acreage expansion will slow. A
recent estimate places worldwide
acreage at more than 96,000 acres by
I've made my share of
predictions about the small fruit
industry. Some of my predictions of
12 years ago were well off the mark
(e.g., the growth rate of the
California strawberry industry would
slow, while others hit the mark (e.g.,
proprietary varieties would increase
in importance in California. One
thing is certain, the North American
small fruit industry will face its share
of challenges but will continue to
grow and prosper for quite some
time to come. Helping drive this
expansion is an aging North
American population that is more
concerned about eating right, and the
explosion of research underscoring
the health benefits of small fruit
consumption. Consumers will be
looking for fresh berries all year, so I
expect that shipments outside the
traditional peak months will increase
more rapidly.

Strategies for Early
Season Disease Control
Jim Mertely and Natalia Peres

Strawberries harvested
early in the season tend to be
healthier than those harvested later in
the season. In Florida, relatively few
fruit are rotted by Colletotrichum
acutatum (the anthracnose fruit rot
fungus) or Botrytis cinerea (the
Botrytis fruit rot fungus) when the
first crop is harvested in December
and January. This suggests that
disease management practices early
in the season can be less rigorous
than those later on. However,
decisions made prior to planting, and
disease control practices carried out
early in the season can influence late
season disease development. Some
of these factors include proper
destruction of the old crop, choosing
the right cultivar(s), obtaining
healthy transplants, and initiating a
fungicide spray program. Crop
destruction was discussed in the last
issue of Berry/Vegetable Times.
This article will touch on the other
Strawberry cultivars vary in
their resistance to fruit-rotting
organisms. In some cases, the
resistance is so effective that
fungicide applications can be
reduced or omitted. For example,
'Carmine' and 'Sweet Charlie' are
highly resistant to anthracnose fruit
rot. When these cultivars are grown,
regular applications of captain or
thiram are more than adequate for
good anthracnose control. Such
applications are highly
recommended since they suppress
other diseases and tend to increase
yields. 'Camarosa' and 'Treasure'
are highly susceptible to
anthracnose. If C. acutatum is
present, these cultivars often require
regular applications of captain
combined with Abound, Cabrio,
Pristine, or Switch later in the
season. Even a rigorous fungicide
(Continued on page 3)

Volume IV Issue 4/5

Berry/Vegetable Times

spray program may fail to control
anthracnose in 'Camarosa' and
'Treasure' when environmental
conditions favor disease
development. 'Festival' is neither
highly resistant nor highly
susceptible to anthracnose; a good
fungicide spray program usually
controls anthracnose in this cultivar.
Resistance to Botrytis is
less clear-cut than anthracnose.
'Carmine' and 'Camarosa' have
some resistance to Botrytis, which
may be sufficient to skip standard
bloom applications of specific
botryticides. 'Treasure' is
intermediate in reaction. 'Festival'
and 'Sweet Charlie' are both
susceptible to Botrytis, although
'Festival' has been consistently less
susceptible than Sweet Charlie in our
trials. Nevertheless, both cultivars
require special applications of
Captevate, Elevate, Pristine, or
Switch during the main bloom period
in January and February to maintain
adequate control of pre-harvest
disease in the field and post-harvest
disease in the distribution chain.
Although the choice of cultivar is
often based on agronomic
characteristics, it pays to know how
each cultivar responds to these
diseases. The choice of cultivar will
dictate, in part, the types of
fungicides that will be required, the
dosages to be applied, and the
overall cost of the disease
management program.
Obtaining healthy
transplants has been a perennial
problem for Florida strawberry
growers. Finding transplants free of
C. acutatum during the 2001-02 and
2002-03 seasons was especially
challenging for highly susceptible
cultivars such as Aromas, Camarosa
and Treasure. However, anthracnose
was less prevalent last season,
perhaps due to greater awareness of
the disease by plant propagators and
increased efforts to suppress or
eliminate C. acutatum in the nursery.
Recognizing potential disease
problems in an acre's worth of
transplants, or even in a single box

plants is not an easy task.
Transplants colonized by C.
acutatum often appear healthy,
although petiole lesions are
occasionally found (Fig. 1). Hidden
colonization of transplants by B.
cinerea is extremely common. This
fungus persists as invisible latent
infections on strawberry leaves and
petioles, and is widespread with
many hosts. Therefore, even
Botrytis -free plants would eventually
be infected by spores produced on
local vegetation. Fortunately, a
number of fungicides provide
excellent control of Botrytis fruit rot
when applied during the main bloom
period in January and February.
Always purchase transplants from a
reputable nursery (most nurseries in
Canada and California probably fall
into this category). Also, North
Carolina nurseries which participate
in the North Carolina Crop
Improvement Association plant
certification program should be good
alternatives to our traditional
Canadian suppliers.
It seems logical to use
fungicides sparingly early in the
season when disease pressure is low
and to spray vigorously later in the
season when disease pressure is
higher and epidemics seem to occur.
Epidemiological theory suggests that
early season applications are
important because they prolong the
lag phase of the disease and delay
the start of an epidemic. With
respect to anthracnose, logic seems
to win out over theory. Experiments
here at GCREC-Dover have shown
that weekly applications of captain
from November through January did
little to control anthracnose in
February and March. However,
early season applications did
produce a significant yield response
compared to the untreated control in
2003-04 (one out of three seasons).
Moreover, applying captain solely in
February and March controlled
anthracnose fruit rot as well as a
whole season program during three
seasons out of four. Yet marketable
yields were significantly increased

by applying captain throughout the
season in one experiment. Does this
mean that fungicide applications are
unnecessary until late in the season?
No. Early applications of captain
sometimes produce higher
marketable yields in our trials.
Based on these findings, our present
recommendation is to apply a broad-
spectrum protectant fungicide (e.g.,
captain or thiram) at the lower label
rate early in the season and to
increase the rate later in the season
when disease pressure is more
intense. Start your applications as
soon as possible after the plants have
been watered in. Reinforce the
protectant fungicide with a good
botryticide during the main bloom
period and with products active
against anthracnose as soon as
blighted flowers and fruit are
detected in the field (Fig. 2, 3).
Keep in mind that supplemental
fungicides may not be needed if the
cultivar is sufficiently resistant to the

Fig. 1. Anthracnose on petioles.

Fig. 2. Anthracnose flower bhght.

fig. Anthracnose on smallfruit.

Volume IV Issue 4/5

Berry/Vegetable Times

Web Based Information
for Irrigation Management
John R. Duval

There is quite a lot of useful
information on the internet
concerning proper irrigation
management. There is an IFAS
website (http:// that
brings together current IFAS
recommendations and research for
all forms of irrigation used in
Florida. It is a tremendous resource
with information on everything from
proper system design for vegetable
crops to freeze protection for citrus
and everything in between. A new
website The Irrigator (http:// is currently
under construction. It contains
detailed information on drip
irrigation for vegetable and berry
crops. This site is not meant to
compete with the water conservation
site, but to compliment it. The
Irrigator will contain helpful
calculators to determine amounts of
water applied and injection rates for
pesticides and line cleaners. Means
of cutting farm irrigation cost and
reducing amounts of water applied
without sacrificing marketable yields
will also be discussed in depth.

On-line Insecticide
Resistance Aid Available
James F. Price

Managing insecticide
resistance in target pests has become
an important component of pest
control programs. Without adequate
attention to the issue, excellent
products can become less effective
or even completely ineffective.
Managing insecticide resistance can
be a rather complex task, but there
are two major means available to
growers to delay its occurrence.
The first is to integrate
additional control tools with

pesticide use. For instance, when a
grower uses predator mites and
miticides in the control program, the
predators can kill mites that are
surviving the chemical and leading
to resistance. The second means is
to rotate among different chemical
modes of action with the intent to
kill survivors (that could establish a
resistant population) with a product
that kills differently.
There is an on-line Web
site, il p i. p ,.
documents/moa/moa.doc that
provides the mode of action of all
insecticides used in agriculture.
Growers using this site can develop
insecticide application sequences
that ensure that different types of
chemicals are used before similar
ones are repeated.
To learn the modes of
action of pesticides of interest,
growers obtain the common
chemical name of the active
ingredients (from container labels),
advance to the table in Appendix 3
of the site, find their active
ingredient in the table and the
associated mode of action group. It
is easy to locate active ingredients in
the table by using the browser's
search feature: Click "Edit", then
"find", and then write the active
ingredient in the space provided,
then search. The cursor will relocate
to the word entered.
Growers, sadly, have
experienced too many times the
burdensome economic losses
attributable to insecticide resistance.
This site provides an easy tool to cut
those losses and enhance
(Editor's note: Ifyou have questions about
developing pesticide application sequences,
you can contact Dr. Price by email at
S or byphone at (941) 751-
7636Ext. 246.)

Chemically Speaking
?? Included in the new highway
safety bill recently passed by the
Senate is language to exempt

certain farmers from new
hazardous materials
transportation rules (CS January
2004). Many agricultural
groups voiced concern over the
new homeland security
requirements because of the
burden they impose on local
farmers who regularly transport
large amounts of pesticides,
fertilizers, and fuel but pose
little risk and lack of the
resources to implement the
measures. The exemption
covers only farmers who have
sales of less than $500,000.
(Pesticide & Toxic Chemical
News, 2/16/04.)
?? On March 17, the EPA notified
the FDACS that it had granted a
specific exemption under
Section 18 of FIFRA for use of
the fungicide thiophanate-
methyl (Topsin 9 M) for
management of white mold
(Sclerontinia sclerotiorum) on
fruiting vegetables (tomato,
pepper, eggplant). The
registration numbers for the
Cerexagri products are 4581-
408 or 4581-377, and the
exemption expires on 3/31/05.
(EPA letter of 3/17/04.)
?? Users of metam are asked to
contact the Pesticide
Information Office at (352) 392-
4721 to provide use and benefit
information. This sterilant is
under going review and various
questions arise as to the utility
of the material. Please let us
know if this is an important tool
for you.
?? The USDA released the results
of the Pesticide Data Program
(PDP) for 2002 in February.
More than half (58 percent) of
the nearly 13,000 samples
contained no detectable
residues, while 19 percent
contained one residue and 23
percent contained more than one
residue. Of all samples, 0.3
(Continued on page 5)

Volume IV Issue 4/5

Berry/Vegetable Times

percent exceeded the tolerance
and 2.7 percent had residues for
which no tolerance had been
approved. (Pesticide & Toxic
Chemical News, 2/23/04.)

Glyphosate Quickly
Cleared by Humans

An exposure study of farm
workers and their families showed
that a substantial number of workers
who applied glyphosate (Roundup
) had no detectable residues, even
though the detection limit was one
part per billion (ppb). The study,
which was cooperatively conducted
between Monsanto, Exponent
Corporation, Emory University, and
University of Minnesota, examined
urine samples of 48 South Carolina
and Minnesota farmers, their
spouses, and 78 children, aged four
to 18. The samples were collected
before application day, on the day
after the application, and three days
after the application. Farmers had
applied glyphosate to a minimum of
ten acres to over 100 acres.
On the day of glyphosate
application, 60 percent of the
farmers had detectable residues, with
a mean of three ppb. This yielded a
theoretical dose of 0.004 mg/kg.
Only four percent of spouses were
found to have detectable residues on
application day and none had
residues in later monitoring. Twelve
percent of the children had
detectable residues on the day of
application, and all but one of the
children who had detectable residues
had helped with the application or
been present during mixing, loading,
or application. None of the
theoretical doses approached EPA's
reference dose of two mg/kg/day.
The results are in March's edition of
Environmental Health Perspectives.
(Pesticide & Toxic Chemical News,

Interesting Occurrences
Chemically Speaking, May 04

The great state of California
cultivates a lot of fruits and nuts -as
everyone knows. The good folks at
the California Department of
Pesticide Regulation put together a
list of "interesting occurrences" at
the beginning of April. None of the
following cases resulted in death,
although most people required
medical treatment.
?? A Contra Costa homeowner
discovered sewer rats were
entering his home through a
toilet. He bought an incendiary
device intended for gophers and
other burrowing pets, and
dropped it down a plumbing
vent on his roof. The device
melted a plastic elbow in the
pipe and the roof caught on fire,
causing $80,000 in damage
before firefighters could
extinguish the blaze.
?? A Riverside County woman set
off four foggers in her 1,000-
square-foot apartment (about
three cans more than
recommended application) and
left the residence (as the label
instructed), only to reenter
several times to pick up things
she had forgotten. She began to
experience dizziness, nausea,
and cramps, so she called 911.
Upon arrival, a paramedic
attempted to retrieve the fogger
without wearing a respiratory
protection device, and he too
became ill.
?? In Stanislaus County, a 38-year-
old woman found a home
remedy for lead lice on the Web.
She then applied eight ounces of
dog flea-and-tick shampoo and
olive oil to her scalp, and
wrapped her head in cellophane
for five hours. Her scalp began
to itch and bur. She felt shaky
and also experienced nausea and
?? In San Joaquin County, a 23-
year-old man spotted a fly on his

beer can and sprayed an
insecticide on the can. Later, as
he drank from the can, his lips
began to tingle.
?? An 18-year-old Lassen County
resident sprayed half a can of
outdoor-use insecticide in his
bedroom, then went to sleep.
He awoke with nausea,
vomiting, dizziness, sweating,
abdominal craps, diarrhea, and
other symptoms. He denied his
sister's allegation that he was
sniffing the insecticide.
?? A Placer County man was
spraying his year with the
insecticide diazinon when he
stopped for a chew of tobacco,
placing the wad into his mouth
with an unwashed hand. He
began vomiting, salivating, and
experienced shortness of breath.
?? A Sonoma County apartment
resident sprayed three aerosol
cans of lice treatment on his
bed, then went to sleep. He
awoke the next morning with a
headache, nausea, and vomiting.
He did not read or follow the
product label directions and told
investigators he assumed the
more he used, the more effective
it would be.
?? In Los Angeles County, a
woman diluted bleach in a cup
to clean it, then forgot about it
and went to bed. The next
morning, she warmed the cup of
liquid and took a sip before
remembering the cup contained
bleach. In a similar incident, a
Sonoma homeowner left a cup
of bleach solution that she had
used for cleaning on her
bathroom counter. She got up at
midnight and drank from the
cup. Her throat began to bur
and she vomited.
?? A Tuloumne County
homeowner tried to kill a spider
in a cupboard by spraying it
with insecticide. The woman
then struck her head in the

(Continued on page 6)

Volume IV Issue 4/5

Berry/Vegetable Times

cupboard to determine if the
spider was dead. She began
coughing and vomiting from the
fumes. In a similar case, in San
Joaquin County, a man stuck his
head inside a cupboard to
determine if the insecticide he
had sprayed on ants was
working. He developed a mild
headache, dizziness, and
respiratory symptoms.
?? A San Francisco physician over-
treated his closet with
mothballs. When he wore
clothes from the closet, he began
to feel dizzy, nauseated, and
suffered loss of muscular
coordination. The first time, he
recovered in fresh air. The
second time, he went to an
emergency room and was
hospitalized overnight to rule
out a stroke before the problem
was traced to excessive mothball

Slow, Slimy and Deadly
Dan Culbert Extension Horticulture

We had a very interesting
visitor in our office recently, Lisa
Payne from the USDA's Animal and
Plant Inspection Service Plant
Protection and Quarantine Office.
She alerted us to a recent news story
out of Wisconsin. Seems that some
exotic pet operations imported a
snail that is capable of chewing up
over 500 different kinds of plants.
Additionally, this critter can be host
for a human parasite that causes a
form of meningitis, and can live for
9 years in captivity.

land snail,

Oh, and I almost forgot to
tell you one of these full-sized
"slime -ers" is capable of growing to
a length of eight inches (yes, 8")
long. And guess who spent a
million dollars from 1966 to 1975
cleaning up a population of 3 that
grew to 18,000? Today's column
will introduce you to the Giant
African Land Snail ("GALS"), and
encourage you to turn them in to the
"snail police" if you see one as your
child's next science project or served
up with butter as escargot.
Last November, inspectors
conducted a search that led to the
closure of a home -based snail farm .
Last month, another news story
reported that five of these fist-sized
critters were donated to a Wisconsin
Elementary school. After the
teachers learned their classroom pets
were illegal, they turned them over
to the USDA. Over 100 snails have
been recently confiscated from
exotic pet stores and dealers in
Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Ohio.
Snail smugglers could receive fines
of up to $1000 per violation.
Scientists consider the giant
African land snail, Achatinafulica,
to be one of the most damaging land
snails in the world. It is known to eat
many tropical plants and most
varieties of beans, peas, cucumbers,
and melons. Believed to be
originally from East Africa, GALS
has established itself throughout the
Indo-Pacific Basin and in Hawaii. It
has also been introduced to
Caribbean islands (Martinique,
Guadeloupe, Saint Lucia and
These mollusks are prolific
reproducers. They bend the rules of
biology because individual snails
have the ability to produce both eggs
and sperm. Once mated, they can lay
up to 400 pea-sized eggs per clutch,
and can set down three clutches per
year. Even though this is a tropical
creature, it can hibernate through
northern winters. Want to guess what
this creature could do in Florida?

In 1966, a Miami, FL, boy
smuggled three giant African snails
into south Florida upon returning
from a trip to Hawaii. His
grandmother eventually released the
snails into her garden. Seven years
later, more than 18,000 snails had
been found along with scores of
eggs. Several rounds of quarantines,
picking posses, and the use of
chemical snail baits finally rid the
state of these pests. The state
eradication program in Florida took
10 years and cost $1 million. New
eradication efforts may impact native
tree snails, some of which are
endangered. This is why our state is
very interested in preventing their re-
introduction. They also may
carry a parasite that can effect
people's health. These snails can
carry microscopic nematode worms
(Angiostrongvlus cantonensis and
potentially another species, A.
costaricensis ) which are known to
cause a form of
meningitis. Handling these snails
with bare hands or contacting the
slime they leave on vegetables is not
Some folks have suggested
that these critters could be the basis
for a very profitable enterprise:
escargot farming. To ensure that
escargot meat is safe to eat, it needs
to be completely cooked. High heat
will give escargot the consistency of
tire rubber making it a bit chewy to
be floating in butter.
Information suggests that
one or more species of giant African
snails are being sold in pet stores or
traded by exotic animal dealers. It's
likely that these snails were imported
illegally. Officials and our office are
asking the public's assistance in
identifying these snails no matter
where they are in the US. If the
snails were to be released, it is likely
that Floridians would have to come
up with much more than the one
million "clams" that we did in the
1960s. GALS has proven that it can
cause serious damage to both the
(Continued on page 7)

Volume IV Issue 4/5

Berry/Vegetable Times

landscape and nature.
We've placed photos and
links to other GALS and snail
references on our county Extension
webpage. Consumers who own or
may have seen a GALS are asked to
please immediately report it to the
FDACS toll-free helpline at 888-
397-1517. Alternately, you may
contact USDA inspector Lisa Payne
in Sebring at 863-655-1720.
You can visit our webpage at http:// Our phone
number is 863-763-6469, and you
can email us at

Lobate Lac Scale
Kim Gabel, Monroe County
Extension Agent (edited by Dave

The Lobate Lac Scale
(Paratachardina lobata) originate in
India and Sri Lanka and was found
for the first time in Florida in 1999
on a hibiscus plant in Broward,
Collier, Hendry, Lee, Martin,
Miami-Dade and Palm Beach
Counties and in spreading. This
species has the potential of being the
most devastating pest to trees and
shrubs in the state's history because
it attacks so many plant species.
More than 120 species in the 44
families of woody plants have been
determined to be host for the Lobate
Lac Scale and the plant list is
growing. Plant species included are
ornamental shrubs and trees,
invasive plants, fruit trees, and 39
native plant species. For a listing of
the plant known to be attached as of
October 2002 got to http://
The Lobate Lac Scale is
about one-sixteenth of an inch long.
The body has two pairs of prominent
lobes that look "X" shaped. The
adult has a dark reddish brown color,
but often appears dull and black due
to a coating of sooty mold. The

immature scale stage is called a
crawler. It is an elongated oval that
has a deep red color. It can only be
seen by the naked eye when placed
next to the right background or by
using a magnifying glass or
This scale infests woody
portions of twigs under one-inch
diameter and small branches. It
attaches to the branch and sucks the
plant sap causing the host plant to
starve from lack of food and water.
The branches start to wither and then
branch dieback happens. A black
colored fungus called sooty mold
grows on the honeydew (waste
product) produced by the scale.
These secretions often cover infested
and uninfested plants. Where sooty
mold is thick on the leaf surface,

Mature Jemales.
Photograph by: F. W. Howard,
University ofFlorida

little photosynthesis takes place.
Since the mature females
are wingless, the crawler stage is
dispersed by wind currents or by
walking along the branches and
falling off infested plants on to
plants nearby. It can also be moved
by birds or animals or by planting
scale infested plants in your
landscaping. Be on the lookout for
the X-shaped scale on any plant you
see. Inform your local Extension
Office or your local Division of
Plant Industries office if you find
something suspicious. Because this
insect attacks both native and non-
native plant species and not only
residential landscape plants, but can
invade natural areas as well. This
will make control difficult.

Currently, for a small
infested landscape area, University
of Florida researchers recommend
using repeated applications of
horticultural oil or products
containing imidacloprid such as
Merit or Bayer Advanced Garden
Tree & Shrub Insect Control. This
product is a systemic insecticide that
should be applied as a drench to the
root system. Read and follow all
label directions.
The best hope for long term
control of the scale is by using
biological controls. Currently
researchers at the USDA and UF are
evaluating insect parasites and
predators that attach the Lobate Lac
Scale. If successful, biological
control could keep the pest scale in
check and help prevent large losses
of native habitats. Hopefully these
will be available late 2004. More
information visit the following
scales/lobate lac.htm.
(Editor's note: Several of our woodyfruit
trees are a known host for Lobate Lac Scale.
These are carambola, grapefruit, Surinam
cherry, round kumquat, mango, jaboticaba,
avocado, and cattley guava. There are many
ornamental plants that are hosts. Just afew
are rose, hibiscus, gardenia, sand live oak,
laurel oak, live oak, and crape myrtle.)

The use of trade names in this pub-
lication is solely for the purpose of
providing specific information. It
is not a guarantee or warranty of
the products names and does not
signify that they are approved to
the exclusion of others of suitable
composition. Use pesticides safely.
Read and follow directions on the
manufacturer's label.

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