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South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline
January 10, 2023
Scouting Report
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Special Alerts
Thrips parvispinus

Thrips parvispinus was first detected in the United States in 2020 on ornamentals in central Florida. This species was recently collected on peppers in eastern Palm Beach County.

Scouts have reported that T. parvispinus is causing substantial damage in multiple young and mature pepper plantings in the region. Other fields have had low levels of crop damage. Reports indicate insecticide rotations are helping to reduce populations.

Reports from southwest Florida indicate that samples submitted for species identification have not yet been positive for T. parvispinus.

The injury on pepper leaves is similar to the injury caused by broad mites. According to the FDACS-DPI Pest Alert, in regions where the species has been long established, the crops most affected are papaya, peppers, potatoes, eggplants, beans, shallots, and strawberries. In Indonesia, pepper yield losses associated with T. parvispinus could reach 23 percent. (FDACS PEST ALERT - Thrips parvispinus).

An updated Pest Alert from FDACS-DPI is coming soon, as well as an identification guide. If you suspect T. parvispinus in your crop, please contact Anna Meszaros: or Craig Frey: for sampling and confirmation.
Thrips parvispinus: preliminary ID guide
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 (Research Connections - Commercial Vegetable Production Website). 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.
Populations continue to be high in southwest Florida.

In the EAA, populations were reported to be low to moderate depending on the location.
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

Colletotrichum sp. causes anthracnose diseases on many plants, and a specific disease called black dot on potatoes. Black dot is not a common disease in Florida, but Colletotrichum diseases are, thanks to our mild temperatures, humidity, rain, and long cropping seasons.

The UF/IFAS Plant Diagnostic Center has detected a strobilurin-insensitive strain of Colletotrichum from leaf spots on potato plants. The location is not being reported at this time. If you suspect strobilurin-insensitive strain on your farm, you may send samples to the UF/IFAS Plant Diagnostic Center, a local UF/IFAS diagnostic lab, or contact your local extension agent for sample and submission assistance.

As a reminder, if a strain is insensitive to a class of fungicide, you should consider avoiding that class (FRAC 11 in the case of azoxystrobin) in your fungicide rotation, since it will not be effective.

We are currently working to differentiate the species of Colletotrichum that was identified as strobilurin-insensitive. This may give insight into the host range, survival, and/or management of the disease in potato and other Florida crops.
Black Dot of Potato: Symptoms

In southwest Florida, reports indicate high levels of whitefly in many tomato, eggplant, watermelon, and squash plantings. Adults continue to find new plantings of tomato and melons very quickly.

On the East Coast, whitefly populations continue to be moderate to high in many crops.

Reports from Homestead indicate that whitefly populations are high in a variety of crops. Whitefly is the primary pest in tomato, with TYLCV reaching 30-50% in susceptible varieties. In snap beans, reports indicate whiteflies are causing pale pods around field edges and BGMV is high in fields of continuous whitefly pressure. Whiteflies were also reported to be high in eggplant and squash.

Click here for virus reports.
Whitefly: Management

In southwest Florida, respondents indicated thrips populations remain low across all crops, with melon thrips (Thrips palmi) and Florida flower thrips (F. bispinosa) both reported.

Around Miami-Dade County, Asian bean thrips (Megalurothrips usitatus) remain the dominant species on beans and continue to be at moderate levels. Thrips were reported at moderate to high levels in tomato and are common on eggplant, pepper, and squash in the area as well, although species information was not provided.

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

Caterpillars have decreased across the area.

In southwest Florida, populations are generally moderate to low. Southern armyworm are reported to be low to moderate in beans while lesser cornstalk borers are reported to be low. In corn, fall armyworm is reported to be low to moderate and corn earworm is reported to be low. Loopers, southern armyworms, beet armyworms, and melon worms have also been reported at low levels in various crops.

In the EAA, Diamondback moth is maintaining a steady low pressure in broccoli. In corn, lesser cornstalk borers are reported at moderate levels in a few isolated fields while armyworms are low to moderate.

In Homestead, fall armyworm was reported to be sporadic in corn and beet armyworm continues to be reported in pepper.

Caterpillars: ID and Management

Overall, leafminer pressure has increased across much of the region since the cold temperatures a few weeks ago. 

In southwest Florida, leafminers were reported to have increased to moderate to high levels in tomato and cucurbits. Leafminers are also reported on eggplant and squash in the region. On snap beans, reports indicate pressure is mostly low.

At EREC, leafminer populations are low but increasing.

In Homestead, leafminers are reported at medium/high levels in squash and snap bean. In some areas, they are predominately in the younger snap bean plantings.

Leafminers: Management
Pepper Weevil

In southwest Florida, pepper weevils are mostly at low levels, but seem to be increasing.

Weevils are also reported to be present on peppers in Homestead.

Pepper Weevil: Management
Banded Cucumber Beetles

Dr. German Sandoya, UF/IFAS lettuce breeder at EREC, reports cucumber beetles in lettuce at greater populations than usual for this time of year, with populations currently at moderate levels. 
Banded Cucumber Beetle: Management
Silk Fly

In the EAA, silk fly in corn is low to moderate depending on the location. The slightly above-average populations may be related to the unusually warm temperatures for this season.

There have been low populations of silk fly adults and maggots reported in corn in Homestead.

UF/IFAS 2021-2022 Vegetable Production Handbook

Aphids are reported at low levels in beans and tomato in southwest Florida and they are at low levels in cabbage in the EAA.
Aphids: ID and Management

In southwest Florida, broadmite populations have oscillated lately, and are currently low to moderate and on a downward trend.

Broadmites are also reported on pepper and eggplant in Homestead. Mites are present on watermelon crops in the region.

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

Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus is reported to be at medium to high levels in Homestead, with one report specifying a 30-50% rate of infection in susceptible varieties. Tospovirus is low in resistant varieties of tomatoes, but high otherwise.
Whitefly (TYLCV vector): Management
Thrips (TCSV, GRSV, TomNSV? vector): ID and Management
Bean Viruses

In Homestead, bean golden mosaic virus has increased in fields with continuous whitefly pressure. 
Whitefly (BGMV vector): Management
Bacterial Diseases
Bacterial Spot

Bacterial spot is reported to be low in pepper in southwest Florida. In tomato, it is increasing and reported to be at medium to high incidence depending on the affected variety.

In Homestead, the disease has increased to very high levels.

Bacterial Spot: Management and Symptoms
Bacterial Blight

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

There are multiple reports of target spot (Corynespora cassiicola) increasing in tomatoes in southwest Florida and the disease has reached moderate to high levels in many fields.

Target spot is also at a high incidence rate in Homestead.
Target Spot: Management and Symptoms
White Mold / Sclerotinia

Sclerotinia (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) is at medium levels and increasing in southwest Florida.
Sclerotinia: Management and Symptoms
Early Blight on Tomato

Early blight (Alternaria solani) is high on tomato in Homestead
Early Blight on Tomato: Management
Gummy Stem Blight

Gummy stem blight (Didymella bryoniae) is reported to be high in southwest Florida with heavy disease on older melon plantings, and young plantings showing symptoms rapidly.

Gummy stem blight is also present in Homestead.
Gummy Stem Blight: Management and Symptoms

In southwest Florida, Anthracnose (Colletotrichum sp.) remains low on peppers and corn.
Anthracnose: Management and Symptoms
Powdery Mildew

In southwest Florida, powdery mildew (Podosphaera xanthii) is reported at low to medium levels in squash.

In Homestead, the incidence is high in squash. Powdery mildew (Erysiphe polygoni) is also reported in snap bean.
Powdery Mildew: Management
Northern Corn Leaf Blight

In southwest Florida, incidence of Northern corn leaf blight (Exserohilum turcicum) is reported to be low.

In the EAA, NCLB is generally decreasing. It was detected at moderate levels in a particular field but has not yet spread to adjacent fields.
Northern Corn Leaf Blight: Management
Southern Corn Leaf Blight

Southern corn leaf blight (Bipolaris maydis) is at moderate levels in southwest Florida.

In Homestead, SCLB incidence is moderate and increasing. 
Southern Corn Leaf Blight: Management
Oomycete Diseases
Cucurbit Downy Mildew

Downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis) is reported to be at medium to high levels in squash in SWFL and Homestead.
Cucurbit Downy Mildew: Management
Downy Mildew of Crucifers

In southwest Florida, downy mildew (Peronospora parasitica) is reported to be low in broccoli and cabbage. 
UF/IFAS 2021-2022 Vegetable Production Handbook
Basil Downy Mildew

In Homestead, basil downy mildew (Peronospora belbahrii) is reported at high incidence across the region.
UF/IFAS 2021-2022 Vegetable Production Handbook
Phytophthora Blight

Phytophthora blight (Phytophthora capscici) is reported at moderate levels in cucurbits in the Homestead area.
Phytophthora Blight: Management and Symptoms
Joel Allingham/AgriCare, Inc., Matt Bardin/Glades Crop Care, Carol Brooks, Jason Dyess/Agriquest, Inc., Craig Frey/Hendry County Extension, Kevin Hampton/Agriquest, Inc., Rachel Giles/Advanced Ag Inc., Dr. Carrie Harmon/UF Plant Disease Clinic, Loren Horsman/Forecheck Crop Consulting, Leon Lucas/Glades Crop Care, Anna Meszaros/Palm Beach County Extension, Chuck Obern/C&B Farms, Dr. Jawwad Qureshi/SWFREC, Dr. Gary Vallad/GCREC, 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
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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