Plant pests with J.C. Chong-A Way To Garden With Margaret Roach November 11, 2019


From awaited Gordon Dot Com and Robin Hood Radio Dot Com. This is a way to garden with Margaret Roach. Your weekly invitation to dig in and grow in an issue of his pest talks enewsletter. Not long ago. Today's guest wrote something that I really he loved. I often consider ignorance the most serious pest of plants said JC Chong and entomologist from Clemson University. More in a minute on how he advises us to become smarter. Observers ahead of when trouble is brewing in our gardens but I this message underwriting support from timber. Press your go-to resource for books and gardening and nature. Whether you're gardner a professional at the top of your field or reader interested in the wonders of the natural world. Their books are there to help you. GROW TIMBER PRESS DOT COM. JC Chong has worked at Clemson since two thousand seven and his assistant professor running. Its turf and ornamental. Entomology Research and Extension Program He also writes the pest talks newsletter. That's part of the suite of magazines and newsletters from ball publishing geared to horticulture industry professionals. And that's it's where I I got to know his foot but today we get to talk in real life so welcome. JC thanks for making time. Hey Margaret how you today. Okay so I I thought maybe just a little background You know as a longtime garden writer. I've I've read trade publications for time and as I said in the intro. That's how I got to learn about how chew but a little bit about what you do at Clemson and then including the role you play in doing the past talks newsletter sure I'm a professor at Clemson University with A research station appointment in turf and ornamental and the molly so basically what I do is dealing dealing with. Basically Developing Pass Management Program for growers of Turf Grass and wanted mental plans. It could be in the garden. It could be it is thought from greenhouse nursery golf courses right about anything right. And how long have you been doing the newsletter for ball. Then we are going into second year That's pretty exciting. It's very funny now. You wouldn't think that something that's about about the latest horrible creature disease to be to be known or some new protocol spray protocol or something like that there would be. It could be funny but you managed to have fun with it too and keep it entertaining. So congratulations on that. Where thank you well? If it's always my philosophy in some way to try if people have to listen to me might as well make it funny exactly. People can't pay attention to somewhere. Yeah so as I said in the introduction I love the advice and it was a couple of months ago maybe in one edition of the newsletter. He said I often consider ignorance the most serious pest list of plants and and I just thought maybe in reaction to something someone else had written about volcano mulching. And maybe we should tell people what that is but yes so so. Tell me a little about that. So that particular quo actually come from an issue. I wrote about volcano king. I don't know I'm sure you're familiar with volcano mulching. Basically the practice of folks piling up that much right up to the trunk of the tree three making it really thick almost like volcano as what we call it. Okay no mulching yes and you know a lot of time. What the reason why why I say that England is you know the biggest pass in some way is that even though volcano mulching looks very nice? Buddy would actually lead to a lot of issues down the road and one of the biggest issue is actually that it it kind of increased humidity level. Right Right Right Yeah Trung wrong and cause a lot of trunk decay and they kind of issues and being basically we're doing things that seems to make sense eh one point but is not as xactly Beneficial to plant at all right. And sometimes it's it's really driven strictly by I now use this. It's probably derogatory term. But this sort of Mohan blow mentality of quote yard maintenance which is you know that just make it look tidy. So the homeowner homeowner feels. They've gotten some service that Tuesday at ten in the morning or whatever you know what I mean it sits just put out put on the edge that but also also you know I think it kind of goes both way I think a lot of homeowners. Oh also could use a lot of education as far totally what along supposed to look like. Yeah totally agree. So we don't want to Pile mulch up the neck of the trunk of the base of the trunk of a tree sued that we're creating these moist conditions and so forth and so that was one example that you were you. Then you know said ignorant brought the ignorance. It's close crow quote and another sort of wisdom. I have gleaned from your newsletter You know I loved that you acknowledge that you even you sometimes need help with insect ide- You know that that it isn't the not every. Potential potential past or insects appear is known to all of us even an expert. Like yourself right so How can we become less ignorant unearned? And how can we avail ourselves more especially as home gardeners that are the audience that we're speaking to today. You know what would you advise. People do to sort of open open up their minds to more learn Right well That's not really a whole lot of trick to it. It's really a willingness to learn more about what your garden it's about You know Re read up go to the website By several gathering bogue just just to see what may be out there and most of the time in the garden the pest species that we deal with You know relatively few but once in a while they may be some Something surprising coming up. You Know Oh and when it comes to those kinda surprising cases Your local station age Agent is definitely one of a good resource to help you identify by any kind of problem that you have so For instance at Clemson do. Is there a lab that people submit samples to or call Dan or does that type of services because in the old days it used to be more widespread that people knew about their county extension. Even you know having held a hotline nine and things like that and some of those have been eliminated budget cuts and so right. There's there's the unfortunate thing is that you know what was available years ago. It may not be available now by most of the states still have a plan. Diagnostic clinic run by the university or the station service. Yes and those are the clinics that you can send in samples and they'll be able to tell you what might be wrong with it. Whether it's the disease insects or a biotic factors or anything like that usually those clinic would run with would diagnose the problem for you for C. Those are usually pretty minimal for example at Clemson University We have a Clinton called the plan problem clinic. o what is called planned pass. Diagnostic Lab They they they. They run a sample. That's usually about ten or twenty dollars depending on what it is so is is pretty minimal and the best thing about it is that not only do you get noses you'll also getting pest management advice to deal with that particular probably yourself and those of is. Are you know because they comes from this station. So it's The research base They're coming from specialize that know something about those pass To give you the device the blessed I would imagine. There is a benefit in the other direction. If we as citizens use our extension the extension knows when things. These are percolating out there in the area you do. Do you know what I mean. They may have taken reports pass store disease occurrence. I would imagine extension Sorry you'd be a very good as I'm actually what We we have a recent case of that because we have A. Ah I'm not familiar. Everybody's really Creighton model bark scale scaring sex. Ed Tech Crepe myrtle and you know we recently founded in South Carolina and that particularly station was actually alerted by a homeowner to one of ice station. Agent is so home in a lot of time If you know what you're typically dealing with that's what I'm saying if you know what you're typically dealing with some types of something pricing coming up a when dad come out you know you you can always call and gas station agents to help you and then you know in some way you're actually helping dumb detecting some of the new best as popping up. Yes I grew up on long long island in early in my career. I was the garden editor at Newsday newspaper on Long Island and we worked closely with our county. Extension agents in Suffolk and Nassau County. The plant pathologist Pala Gist and I knew all these people in early in my career and I think that's why my inclination is always to send a sample or always to inquire not two guests. You you know if I have a A conifer that has some other than normal looking Needle Browning and like okay if I see. Interior Needles Browning in late summer early fall in my area on most conifers. I know they're shedding they're doing. They're shedding and different species. In general species these have different rates of shed and so forth those inner needles away. But if I see something else and I don't know I'm not just going to go. Oh well maybe it's nothing you. Do you know what I mean or make up a diagnosis. I wanted absolutely for example. Some of the one of one of the Pest species they were young conifers. Sometime is a sprint Gall Mitch. Yes and that created something very similar to other diseases. Basically is you know slacking off the terminal. And there's several diseases. Jesus that could cost the same thing so if you just go in thinking that oh well it's one of those disease well can spray function site that you're not solving your problem it all because it doesn't kill you right vice versa right right exactly. So I'm I like I said I want to in a wanted you you to encourage us as a person who works with A university extension to encourage us. Because I think people can't believe it's okay to Pester you know the university and send a sample but I think it's a good idea We love it when folks caught up. Yeah it takes a special kind of people to be one want to be in opposition and a Lotta time. We ought to kind of folks that just wanted to help. Yeah Yeah so and then there are also in in a more casual manner. There are online diagnostic tools for example. Not Not about Well there are ones for diseases to but for instance. If you see an insect I mean I you know I love of bug-eyed dot dot net For instance you know I can upload a photo and I don't WanNa pastor them they're all volunteers I don't WanNa pass through them and barrage them. I want to try to keep it out myself if I can Dan. I do my homework but if I can't figure it out well I ll ask. And you know what I mean or naturalist dot Org people can at least try to avail themselves selves And then do a little homework once they have a rough a rough idea maybe So that's an I you know. I'm surprised at how few people do that. They're too busy piling on volcano. Mulch those those actually two very good resources in fact Essay Professional entomologist. Even I would go about guy just see what in the world I'm looking at sometimes Just just to confirm that what I'm looking at. What what I think it is is indeed what it is? Yeah Yeah So I mean for one example. That just passed by late summer early. Fall up north where I am People will they see I don't know how you would describe them but like Uh Cocoons Cocoons Like webs well it's full web worm but they think it's eastern tent Caterpillar which we don't have in the fall all we have it in the spring like that's the wrong but do you know what I mean. It's like the clothing near-miss people have in their mind. It's all one thing and it's the wrong approach You know. Do you get both of those there in sure we got we got. We got both species off to Leonard for show you my neck of the wood like you say for web worm Houston Tent. Caterpillars just showed up at different times of the year. So just by looking at time you can usually usually figured out what it might be That's pretty true for a lotta insect species as well which is if you mentioned the time and also look at what what kind of host plan. They're feeding all time. We can make a pre educated guess as far as what the problem might be. Yeah so those are two. Those are two the the timing and host plant are two other pieces of information to have when you go ask for that. bug-eyed held road ever. Yeah oh point good point In recent years it seems like every five minutes there's sort of a much feared new sort of invasive species making the headlines Anson And and I say new you know maybe in quotes because a lot of times it turns out. They've been around a long time like they've been in the country since nineteen forties but they haven't become a serious Serious an issue like Emerald ash borer spot Atlantic spotted lantern flat. Whatever so many of these? How is an entomologist? And someone I mean. Is this what people ask you about all the time. I am now these headline ones or oh yeah. They asked me about the headline once. And sometimes it's just common everyday one to But but you shade ahead. What headline grabbing ones? What people most interesting of course are are there? Are there ones that. Have your particular particular attention once that you're the most concerned about or Kind of on your radar. Well a Lotta Times. They kind of depends on what I'm working on for at least a garden and ornamental plans in in my area where we're really Keeping eye out for spider linton mm fly While we could see In your way in Pennsylvania area They could cause serious serious issues. in both production and also on just you know being a nuisance pest A Lotta Times. Tell us one thing that we're looking at and we're pretty concerned concerned about simply because It could easily hitch high on a lot of vehicle coming up and down in the state So when you get down here it you know. The environment's probably favorable for them to have huge population as well tell us a little bit background about the spotted lantern fly. Hi It's not something I've talked about on this show before and again it seems to be. It's an eerily beautiful insect so that's especially creepy When you see pictures of it do you know what I mean? It's probably one of the most beautiful insects ask that I have no It's a pre for Speidel. Well insurance is actually a kind of plant hoppers or three hoppers But you know we have a lot of different species of by the lenten fly three hoppers. Yes fuck none of them are as beautiful as as Linton five Just have that gray okay. Great background with a bright red and black DOTS and Y SPA. Then there's just beautiful and It was recently discovered in Pennsylvania and slowly spreading out to the surrounding state and the biggest problem with them. Of course is doesn't feeding on Some of the culture crops that we might have particularly grapevine. Yes so folks are quite concerned about that for sure so fruit growers in particular. Take your are very alarmed by this. Oh absolutely in fact folks Folks out in California also keeping an eye out of a out for these spider despite Lincoln's life. Well because once they get to California who knows. Divide become a huge player. Pass on the wine grapes. Yes yes he did. It did did it. Come from another country. I don't remember without one Nicole from East Asia. East Asia is likely Most likely China Another thing we read about in the headlines I it is a phrase biological controls being researched often against against pests. Like the ones we've been talking about or older Pass than your research focuses on. I think Integrative Management Management of insects and Mites that are damaging to turf grass and ornamental plants. Can you explain sort of what biological control. And integrative what these terms mean gene practically speaking okay sure affect biological control is probably one of my specialties as well That's where where I went to graduate school to study so power to control in simplest. SAN is basically using one insect one organism to control not organism So in this case it could be one insects feeding on insects. Oh I'll give you an example Tomato Hall Worm. Sometimes you're going GONNA have Those white rice green looking cocoon on their body right. That's actually Bala. You're controlling action. Yes it's basically szekely. One organism controlling other one integrated pest management or integrated approach is is is is an approach to take notice not just biological control but a lot of the different Control method into one comprehensive program for example. If I wanted to control a pass not only do. Am I using insect site. I'm also thinking about using cultural control or using biological control combined together in a comprehensive over and so by doing so by using cultural control you know sanitation and other cultural tactics as well as biological logic control potentially and maybe some intervention with An appropriate Substance a chemical. Or whatever you would theoretically be mapping the least toxic remedy because you're not just going and hitting it with the big spray only. You're you're looking to map a plan. That's a smart plan is that correct is the goal was to go the integrated pest management really is the central goal really is to reduce. I'll use in sex. I yes pesticide mice. Nature is basically chemical warfare in some way so Some of them can be toxic to human to pass S. or the environment. So the whole idea of using different kind of approach is so that we are not so reliant on yes PESCI pesci alone of every time. We see a mosquito spray spray and spray with think about not approach. You're trying to kill them. Maybe oh you know hitting them with your hand would be a cultural control and perhaps letting them letting spider eating the mosquito would-be apology control coast. So if you if you just try to single different ways to actually control that one past now you're doing integrated pest management. I I wanted to you know up here. At least winter is planning to arrive at some point And everyone I know always says depending on what the pest that's been prevalent in a given year as they say you know. I hope we have a cold winter to freeze. You know fill in the blank you know name of the worst of the season or or at least ticks in my Ariel two ticks to death as if winter a certain degree of winter. Chill is going to have a cleansing. You know I I think you've you've alluded to to that To being asked that a lot is was. Is it going to be cold enough this winter to kill off blank. Is that something that you're asked about and What is the relationship between lean? Chill and and You know pest management right well I. I was asked that question every single year. Yes yes of course me to in the South we get. We have played me penalty mosquitoes where plenty of nats and in the spring. Everybody would be like well. Hey winter is pretty cool. Do you think we're going to have just as many mosquitoes. Yeah mine's always been. I don't know my friend. Oh no because because a lotta time insect population disease population It kind of depends on the temperature that they are facing. I think at the time when they're developing for the winter a lot of time for example insects a Lotta insects actually have a life stage. That would help them over over the winter. So you know Unless the temperature dropped to trump really really really low otherwise We probably not going. Let's see a whole lot of differences in pest population the next spring so one of the pest that I'm the most afraid aid of at the moment is these Asian jumping worms a couple of species of of of Invasive worms and You know and and they have a strategy like that they're sort of at least in our northern climates their annual the adults hatch from You know a AH from sort of like a little cases or whatever that are left from the adults of the last summer fall and grow up in there just around for the summer and then they did I so all that has to survive. The cold is the little egg case and that is very durable to call so like. You're saying these animals. These different animals have strategies where the mosquitoes and whatever where they have a winter phase that keeps them safe. That may not be the adult. That's out there flying in the freezing cold Right it could be a lot of different life stages and a Lotta time those kind of ever overwintering stages are usually eggs or pupae. Yes and in those Life stages are usually much more tolerant to environmental stream. Yes yes and strategically so was a genius genius all these Ingenious moments of evolution and developing those strategies right otherwise They wouldn't have a big population the next year well insects I billions of years to try to figure out yes. That's the best way to make sure. They propagate yes well in the last week practices. Yeah in the last minute. I just wanted to task you. Is there something right now. That's really a focus that I mean I know you say it changes depending project but has is there anything you've been really. They've reading up on delving into worried about the way. I'm worried about the jumping worms. That's my main obsession. Well my main my main affection is always been scaring sex or That's why I've been studying and that's really the number one pass that we have in in most of Landscapes in gardens uh-huh scale or skin. Six okay all right yeah. Well I'm glad to speak to you. Finally and I enjoy the newsletter and as I said I love that that you manage to give all this information to the trade as well as some laughter To make it go down easier And thank you for making taking the time and thanks for telling us to the and thanks for telling us to send our samples to the extensions. Because I think that's something hearing it from you makes it sound a little more important. So thank you. Oh yes that's definitely a good investment. Good I'll talk to you again soon. I hope thank you. That was great underwriting support from timber repress your go-to resource for books and gardening and nature whether you're new gardner a professional at the top of your field or a reader interested in the wonders of the natural world. Their books are there to help. Hope you grow timber press dot Com and. I hope I'll talk to all the rest

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