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South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline
November 22, 2022
Scouting Report
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In Central Florida, whiteflies have increased to moderate levels in most crops. 

Whiteflies in Southwest Florida are moderate and increasing on tomato, pepper, eggplant, squash, cucumber, and watermelon. There is a large amount of variability between locations. High numbers have been reported moving into young fields from mature fields, with nymph stages being increasingly found in mature fields. Associated virus TYLCV is low, but cucurbit crumple leaf virus and cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus are increasing in cucurbits. 

In Homestead, whiteflies are high in eggplant and tomato and are a consistent problem in snap beans. Reports indicate that Bean Golden Mosaic Virus has not yet been found. Reports also indicate increasing silverleaf feeding damage symptoms in squash. 

Click here for virus reports.
Whitefly: Management

Thrips populations remain low in Central Florida

Thrips in Southwest Florida are unanimously at low populations. Reports include thrips in peppers, Asian bean thrips, and flower thrips.

On the East Coast, thrips are mostly at low levels as well, but there was one report of a moderate infestation on pepper with larval feeding found on fruit.

In Homestead, there is increasing thrips damage in beans, especially from Asian bean thrips, and the damage became more obvious following recent rains. Dak Seal, UF/IFAS Entomologist at TREC, reports that Asian bean thrips remain the dominant species, followed by Florida flower thrips and melon thrips. Thrips are high on eggplant, while they remain low overall on pepper and tomato.

Click here for virus reports.
Thrips: ID and Management

In Central Florida, caterpillars remain at low to moderate levels in cucumbers, squash, peppers and tomatoes. 

Caterpillar reports from Southwest Florida are largely moderate to low. Fall armyworms were reported in low to moderate numbers. On corn in particular, they were reported to be moderate in younger corn and low in older corn. Beet armyworms, southern armyworms, loopers, hornworms, and melonworms were reported to have fluctuating moderate to low populations. High numbers of armyworms and loopers were reported in isolated incidences.

Caterpillars in the EAA are reported to be moderate overall. Fall armyworms were frequently reported on corn, with higher populations in younger corn. New hatches are showing up around the third or fourth leaf (10-40%) and populations have been exploding around the fifth or sixth leaf (60-70%). However, insecticide has been controlling the populations and they haven’t been found in the silk or ears. Wireworms and cutworms have also been reported in corn at low population levels.

Reports from the East Coast indicate moderate caterpillar population levels with infestations concentrated on younger plantings, including beet armyworms in pepper.

In Homestead, caterpillar pressure is reported to be low on corn, but populations in squash and cucumber are increasing. Reports indicate incidence of melon worms, pickleworms, beet armyworms, and fall armyworms. Diamondback moth is also reported at low to moderate populations in the area. 

Caterpillars: ID and Management

Leafminers have increased to moderate levels across various crops in Central Florida

In Southwest Florida, leafminer populations are building in some tomatoes and few young eggplant and cucurbit crops, with treatable numbers in some locations. They are also being commonly found in snap beans, but haven’t reached problematic levels.

Leafminers have increased in young beans in the Homestead area. Reports indicate increasing populations in tomatoes as well.

Leafminers: Management
Pepper Weevil

Pepper weevils are increasing in the Southwest Florida, but are still at low levels overall.

Populations are also reported to be low on the East Coast and in Homestead

Pepper Weevil: Management
Banded Cucumber Beetles

Cucumber beetles are low on corn in SWFL.

In the EAA, cucumber beetle populations on corn are low overall with some moderate to high populations.

On the East Coast, cucumber beetles are being reported as having low incidence on corn.

Banded Cucumber Beetle: Management
Silk Fly

Low populations of silk flies are reported in older corn in Southwest Florida. Some areas are reported as having slightly higher than average populations, although they are mostly concentrated at the edges of fields.

Silk flies are mostly low in older corn in the EAA as well, although here as well there are some fields with slightly higher populations along the edges. 

Older corn on the East Coast is also reported to have low levels of silk flies.

Low levels of silk flies are also reported in older corn in the Homestead area.

UF/IFAS 2021-2022 Vegetable Production Handbook

In Southwest Florida, aphids have low populations across most crops, with the sporadic occurrence of a heavily infested plant.

The EAA is also seeing low levels of aphids with occasional isolated plants that have a heavier infestation.

Aphids are also being reported as sporadic on squash and cucumber in the Homestead area.

Aphids: ID and Management

Broad mites are low on pepper and watermelon in Southwest Florida.

On the East Coast, broad mites are at low levels on pepper, but populations have been kept manageable with insecticide treatments.

Dak Seal, UF/IFAS Entomologist at TREC, reports that broad mites are present in most vegetable crops in Homestead. Populations remain low, yet pyrethroid-treated crops have more broad mites than untreated crops.

Broad Mites: Symptoms and Management
Spider Mites: Symptoms and Management
Listronotus sparsus

Listronotus sparsus, an emerging weevil pest of celery, parsley, dill, cilantro, and carrot, was found in high numbers on celery and parsley in Southwest Florida, and populations are increasing. Blacklight traps have been effective at monitoring populations and grower partners indicate that some insecticides have been effective at knocking back populations. 

In the EAA, populations were reported to be low to moderate depending on the location, although they are increasing.

If you suspect L. sparsus in your celery, parsley, dill, cilantro, and carrot field, please contact Anna Meszaros:

Listronotus sparsus: ID, Injury, and Preliminary Management
Tomato Viruses

TYLCV is showing up in tomatoes in Southwest Florida, but the virus is still at low levels.

In Homestead, Tospo virus is present, but has not been spreading as quickly lately. TYLCV, on the other hand, is increasing in non-resistant tomato varieties. 

Whitefly (TYLCV vector): Management
Thrips (Tospo virus vector): ID and Management
Cucurbit Viruses

Cucurbit leaf crumple virus (CuLCrV) and Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV) are increasing in the Southwest area. Levels of incidence are variable across locations. Some mosaic virus has also been found in watermelon and squash.

In Homestead, new mosaic virus has been appearing in squash and cucumber fields with high whitefly populations.

Whitefly (CuLCrV, CYSDV, SqVYV vector): Management
Bacterial Diseases
Bacterial Spot

In Central Florida, bacterial spot (Xanthomonas sp.) continues to be problematic in peppers and tomatoes.

Wet weather and heavy fog have resulted in bacterial spot continuing to increase in pepper and tomato in Southwest Florida and it is at moderate to high levels in most locations.

In Homestead, tomato crops experienced a big jump in bacterial spot after the recent rains.
Bacterial Spot: Management and Symptoms
Fungal Diseases
Target Spot

Target spot (Corynespora cassiicola) is low, but increasing, on tomatoes in Southwest Florida.

In Homestead, tomatoes have a low incidence of target spot.
Target Spot: Management and Symptoms

There is low incidence of Fusarium in pepper on the East Coast, possibly aggravated by winds and wet conditions.
Fusarium: Management and Symptoms
White Mold / Sclerotinia

In Southwest Florida, Sclerotinia (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) is at moderate levels in older plantings of snap beans located in wet fields.
Sclerotinia: Management and Symptoms
Southern Blight

In Southwest Florida, southern blight has been reported in some tomato, pepper and eggplant.
Southern Blight: Management and Symptoms

In Southwest Florida, Cercospora leaf spot of crucifers (Cercospora brassicicola) and of beets (Cercospora beticola) is reported to be at moderate to high levels in beets and leafy greens, yet low in cabbage.
Early Blight on Celery: Management
Gummy Stem Blight

In Southwest Florida, Gummy Stem Blight (Didymella bryoniae) is at moderate to high levels in watermelon and increasing.
Gummy Stem Blight: Management and Symptoms

Choanephora has been seen in some pepper and squash in Southwest Florida, yet it has not been reported in beans across the area.
Choanephora: Management and Symptoms
Southern Corn Leaf Blight

In the EAA, there was a spike in Southern Corn Leaf Blight (Bipolaris maydis) in some locations with recent rains. Overall, the disease remains at moderate levels.

On the East Coast, Southern Corn Leaf Blight is occurring at low levels.

In Homestead, however, incidence of Southern Corn Leaf Blight has increased following recent rains.
Southern Corn Leaf Blight: Management
Northern Corn Leaf Spot

Medium to high incidence of Northern Corn Leaf Spot  (caused by Bipolaris zeicola) is reported in Southwest Florida, the EAA and on the East Coast.
Northern Corn Leaf Spot: EDIS
UF/IFAS 2021-2022 Vegetable Production Handbook
Oomycete Diseases
Cucurbit Downy Mildew

In Southwest Florida, cucurbit downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis) has flared up in some watermelons and cucumbers and is at low to moderate levels overall.

There is some incidence of downy mildew on cucurbits in Homestead, which is expected to increase with recent cool and rainy days.
Cucurbit Downy Mildew: Management
Phytophthora Blight

Very isolated Phytophthora (Phytophthora capscici) has been seen on pepper on the East Coast, although it has only been spotted on a few stems so far.

In Homestead, new incidence of Phytophthora occurred following the recent rains, primarily in squash.
Phytophthora Blight: Management and Symptoms

In Southwest Florida, Pythium is at moderate levels in older plantings of snap beans located in wet fields. 
Pythium: Management and Symptoms
Joel Allingham/AgriCare, Inc., Dr. Julien Beuzelin/EREC, Craig Frey/Hendry County Extension, Rachel Giles/Advanced Ag Inc., Kevin Hampton/Agriquest, Inc., Lisa Hickey/Manatee County Extension, Barry Kostyk/SWFREC, Leon Lucas/Glades Crop Care, Anna Meszaros/Palm Beach County Extension, Chuck Obern/C&B Farms, Dr. Jawwad Qureshi/SWFREC, 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, and 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
Office: (863) 674-4092
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 Cell: (337) 501-7086 Email:

Check out this webpage for recent Pest and Disease Hotlines and information from past South Florida Vegetable Growers' Meetings. A new UF/IFAS Commercial Vegetable Production website will be posted soon.
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