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South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline
February 22, 2023
Scouting Report
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Special Alerts
Thrips parvispinus

East Coast: Reports indicate Thrips parvispinus populations range from low to high in peppers grown in eastern Palm Beach County. Regular insecticide applications can keep levels fairly low. Adults have also been reported on cucumber in locations where highly infestated peppers were previously grown, although larvae have been more difficult to find. Reports indicate that females have been detected in very low numbers near Loxahatchee on peppers and beans, and as far north as Martin County.

Homestead: A few reports indicated T. parvispinus populations on peppers in Homestead area, but population levels still need to be confirmed. 

Observations: It seems that population densities greatly depend on management, previous crop, as well as surrounding habitat. 

It seems that it takes very few T. parvispinus to see fruit damage on pepper. Even with no apparent adults or larvae in blooms, it is possible to find larvae on fruit and under stems. Even one small larvae under a stem can cause some damage. Larvae or adults can be found in tight spaces between larger fruit or where fruit are against a stem or have foliage against it. It appears that T. parvispinus adult females are drawn to fruit and it is not unusual to find from 1-5 per fruit in areas where population levels are high.

Please keep monitoring overall thrips populations in your pepper, green bean, eggplant, cucumber, and strawberry fields. If you suspect T. parvispinus in your crop, please contact Anna Mészáros: or Craig Frey: for sampling and confirmation.
Thrips parvispinus: Identification and Damage

Southwest FL: Whitefly pressure is high on many crops and still increasing. It is reported that adults begin invading some fields the day they are transplanted. Levels of associated tomato virus, TYLCV, are high as well.

East Coast: Whiteflies populations are low to moderate on cucumber.

Homestead: In beans and squash, whitefly pressure is high. In tomato crops, pressure is medium to high depending on location.

Click here for virus reports.
Whiteflies: Management

Southwest FL: Thrips are at low to moderate levels overall. In some locations, Thrips palmi populations are at moderate levels and increasing. Populations are dense enough that they are causing some leaf and fruit scarring in some crops. In beans, populations remain low.

Homestead: In beans, Asian bean thrips are the dominate species and populations are high, however, there has also been a noticeable increase in western flower thrips and melon thrips. In peppers, western flower thrips and melon thrips are also being commonly reported. In tomato crops, thrips are high overall and increasing western flower thrips and tomato thrips are causing new incidence of Tospo virus.

Click here for virus reports.
Thrips: ID and Management
Asian Bean Thrips: ID and Management

Southwest FL: Caterpillar pressure remains fairly low overall with a few increases in the past week. The dominate species is southern armyworm, but loopers, melonworms, fall armyworms and beet armyworms have also been reported. In corn, fall armyworm is the dominate species, and populations are low and steady.

East Coast: Beet armyworm pressure is low overall. Low pressure from southern armyworm has been reported on pepper in Martin County. 

Homestead: Low levels of fall armyworm are reported in corn. Diamondback moth pressure is increasing in cruciferous crops, but populations are mostly concentrated in cabbage.

Caterpillars: ID and Management
Diamondback Moth: Management

Southwest FL: Leafminer pressure is variable, with reports of low to high populations depending on the location. Overall trend is increasing.

Homestead: In beans, leafminer populations are medium and increasing. In tomato, populations are low to high depending on the area. Populations are medium in squash.
Leafminers: Management
Pepper Weevil

Southwest FL: Pepper weevil populations are low to moderate but increasing quickly.

East Coast: Pepper weevil populations are low.

Pepper Weevil: Management
Listronotus sparsus

Listronotus sparsus is an emerging weevil pest of Apiaceae crops (celery, parsley, dill, and carrot). On-farm trials are ongoing to study different management options for weevil control in celery and parsley. See data from a fall 2022 research trial. Grower partners indicate that some insecticides have been effective to lower the pest population in conventional celery and parsley production. However, managing this pest in organic production remains challenging. Blacklight traps seem to be an effective method to monitor weevil populations, but this method still needs to be studied further.   Southwest Florida: Populations continue to be moderate. EAA: Populations were reported to be low.   If you suspect L. sparsus in your celery, parsley, dill, cilantro, and carrot field, please contact Anna Meszaros: or Craig Frey: for sampling and confirmation.
Listronotus sparsus: ID, Injury, and Preliminary Management
Silk Fly

Southwest FL and EAA: Some silk fly adults have been reported in younger corn at steady levels.

Homestead: Silk fly populations are increasing, but maggot counts still remain low. 

UF/IFAS 2021-2022 Vegetable Production Handbook

Southwest FL: Some aphid colonization has been reported in beans, eggplant, and watermelon. Isolated populations have reached moderate to high levels in a cabbage crop.

EAA: Occasional aphid colonies have been reported in beans.

East Coast: Aphids nymphs have been increasing on pepper, but populations are low.

Homestead: Aphids are reported in cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, and tomato. Populations are on the rise.

Aphids: ID and Management

Southwest FL: Red spidermite and spotted spidermite colonies are at low to moderate, but increasing in tomato, pepper, eggplant, watermelon, and other cucurbits. Broadmite pressure is also low to moderate. Broadmite populations are increasing in some areas and steady in others. 

East Coast: Spidermite and broadmite populations are both low in this area.

Homestead: In corn, mites are being found around field edges. In eggplant, mites are increasing. In strawberry, mites are already exerting heavy pressure.

Broad Mites: Symptoms and Management
Spider Mites: Symptoms and Management
Tomato Viruses

Southwest FL: Levels of Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus are very high in some tomato farms in SWFL. Hugh Smith, UF/IFAS Entomologist at GCREC, reports that even tomato varieties with genetic tolerance to TYLCV have shown symptoms and reduction in fruit size. Populations of whiteflies are also high.

Homestead: Topso virus is present at low to medium levels and increasing due to increasing populations of western flower thrips and tomato thrips. TYLCV incidence is increasing due to sporadic whitefly populations in tomato. Resistant cultivars are mitigating the damage caused by these viruses. 
Whitefly (TYLCV vector): Management
Thrips (Tospo vector): ID and Management
Cucurbit Viruses

Southwest FL: Some Cucurbit Leaf Crumple Virus and Cucurbit Yellow Stunt Disorder Virus incidence has been reported in watermelon and squash. WCLav-1 and -2 has also been found infecting watermelon on multiple farms.
Whitefly (CuLCrV and CYSDV vector): Management
Bacterial Diseases
Bacterial Spot

Southwest FL: Bacterial spot (Xanthomonas sp.) remains active at low to moderate levels in some tomato and pepper fields following the brief showers over the past two weeks. Some older fields are still at high levels from earlier infections. 

Homestead: New bacterial spot is being reported in tomato and pepper and incidence is at low to medium levels.
Bacterial Spot: Management and Symptoms
Bacterial Blight

Homestead: Bacterial blight (Xanthomonas campestris pv. phaseoli) is reported at medium levels in beans. 
Bacterial Blight: Management and Symptoms
Fungal Diseases
Target Spot

Southwest FL: Target spot (Corynespora cassiicola) has stayed active at moderate to high levels in several maturing tomato fields due to the occurrence of dew and fog.

Homestead: Incidence of target spot is low but increasing. 
Target Spot: Management and Symptoms

East Coast: There has been a slight increase in Fusarium Crown Rot incidence on bell pepper in the last couple of weeks, although overall incidence remains low.  
Fusarium: Management and Symptoms
White Mold / Sclerotinia

Southwest FL: Low incidence of Sclerotinia (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) is reported on tomato, pepper, and eggplant.
East Coast: There has been a slight increase in Sclerotinia incidence on bell pepper in the last couple of weeks, but levels remain low.

Homestead: New incidence of Sclerotinia is reported on cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuce.
Sclerotinia: Management and Symptoms
Gummy Stem Blight

 Southwest FL: Gummy stem blight (Didymella bryoniae) is at low to moderate levels in watermelon across the area. Reports indicate transplants are arriving with infections, yet spread has been low.

East Coast: Gummy Stem Blight is at very low incidence in cucumber.

Homestead: New incidence of gummy stem blight is being reported in watermelon.
Gummy Stem Blight: Management and Symptoms
Powdery Mildew

Southwest FL: Powdery mildew of cucurbits (Podosphaera xanthii) is moderate to high in squash. It is also present on some watermelon in Hendry County.

Homestead: Powdery mildew is moderate to high in beans, and high in squash. Incidence is increasing due to warming temperatures.
Powdery Mildew: Management

Southwest FL: Growers report Cercospora leaf spot of crucifers (Cercospora brassicicola) is at moderate levels in cabbage and other crucifers. Additionally, early blight of celery (Cercospora apii) has also been reported at moderate levels in some locations.
UF/IFAS 2022-2023 Vegetable Production Handbook
Northern Corn Leaf Blight

Southwest FL and EAA: Occasional northern corn leaf blight (Exserohilum turcicum) lesions are being reported at steady levels.

Homestead: There has been new incidence of northern corn leaf blight following recent rains.
Northern Corn Leaf Blight: Management
Southern Corn Leaf Blight

Southwest FL and EAA: Occasional and steady incidence of southern corn leaf blight (Bipolaris maydis) has been reported.

Homestead: There has been new incidence of southern corn leaf blight following recent rains.
Southern Corn Leaf Blight: Management
Oomycete Diseases
Cucurbit Downy Mildew

Southwest FL: Low levels of downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis) are reported on cucumber and squash, although incidence is increasing.

East Coast: New incidence of downy mildew on cucumber has been reported at low levels in the area.

Homestead: Downy mildew incidence is medium on squash.
Cucurbit Downy Mildew: Management
Phytophthora Blight

Southwest FL: Phytophthora blight (Phytophthora capscici) has been reported on zucchini in Hendry County.

Homestead: Phytophthora has been reported in squash cucumber and watermelon. Incidence in squash, especially in the yellow straight neck variety, increased following recent rainstorms.
Phytophthora Blight: Management and Symptoms
Joel Allingham/AgriCare, Inc., Matt Bardin/Glades Crop Care, Dr. Ozgur Batuman/SWFREC, Dr. Julien Beuzelin/EREC, Carol Brooks, Jason Dyess/Agriquest, Inc., Craig Frey/Hendry County Extension, Rachel Giles/Advanced Ag Inc., Kevin Hampton/Agriquest, Inc., Dr. Carrie Harmon/UF Plant Disease Clinic, Lisa Hickey/Manatee County Extension, Loren Horsman/Forecheck Crop Consulting, Barry Kostyk/SWFREC, Leon Lucas/Glades Crop Care, Anna Meszaros/Palm Beach County Extension, Chuck Obern/C&B Farms, Jaxon Purvis/Coastal Ag Supply, Dr. Pam Roberts/SWFREC, Wes Roan/Lipman Family Farms, Dr. Dak Seal/TREC, Kevin Short/ICM, Dr. Gary Vallad/GCREC, Mark Verbeck/GulfCoast Ag, Dr. Qingren Wang/Miami-Dade County Extension, Dr. Shouan Zhang/TREC.
The South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline is compiled by Craig Frey and Anna Mészáros and is issued on a biweekly basis as a service to the vegetable industry.
Craig Frey
Hendry County Extension Director
Multi-County Commercial Vegetable Extension Agent

Hendry County Extension Service
1085 Pratt Blvd.
LaBelle, FL 33935
Cell: (863) 517-5880
Anna Mészáros Palm Beach County Extension Agent Commercial Horticulture (Vegetable Crop Production) Palm Beach Co. Extension Service 559 N Military Trail West Palm Beach, FL 33415-1311 Office: (561) 233-1718 Email:
Check out the new UF/IFAS Commercial Vegetable Production webpage!
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