Rhode Island IPM Report, 2021

NEERA meeting: April 23, 2021

Lisa Tewksbury (IPM Coordinator) and Heather Faubert (co-IPM Coordinator)

Situation: Invasive insects—brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) and spotted lanternfly (SLF)

BMSB is now impacting southern New England including Rhode Island as it is being found in peach orchards in RI. While not found in RI yet, SLF has been found in CT and is an important new pest. We have been monitoring for this in grapes and stone fruits.

Response: Each year we have set traps in stone fruits to detect BMSB and provide information to growers at twilight meetings. Lisa Tewksbury is a participant in the SLF Working group and Stakeholder partnership group, both groups organized by Penn State. Members of the SLF working group collaborate in a specialty crops grant (SCRI) to conduct research to develop management tactics for SLF. URI is contributing to SLF biocontrol research. Alana Russell received additional funding from a USDA PPA7721 outreach grant to develop educational displays and outreach presentations for grower groups and URI Master Gardeners in Rhode Island. The URI biocontrol website is a source of regular SLF updates.

Results: Rhode Islanders are educated about BMSB and SLF. As BMSB populations increase in RI and if SLF is introduced, growers and gardeners in RI will be aware of these invasive species and informed about management techniques. We will collect records of individual growers’ pest management efforts to determine outcomes of our programming.

Situation: Beech leaf disease (BLD) found in forests in RI in 2020

Response: Heather Faubert diagnosed a sample at the URI Plant Protection Clinic, surveyed RI for BLD with RI DEM, and continues to educate RINLA members and the general public about beech leaf disease. Heather has joined the beech leaf disease working group organized at the Ohio State University.

Results: Beech leaf disease is currently confined to one town in RI at this time. URI and RI DEM will be setting up long-term monitoring plots in beech forests in collaboration with the beech leaf disease working group.

Situation: Invasive insect—emerald ash borer (EAB)

Emerald ash borer was found in RI for the first time in 2018 and is beginning to cause mortality to ash trees in the northern part of the state.

Response: Since 2019 the URI biocontrol lab has been setting up Lindgren funnel traps throughout RI, in collaboration with RI DEM to identify appropriate sites in RI with EAB for release of EAB biocontrol agents. The USDA has deregulated EAB and the primary focus of management for this pest is biological control.

Results: Rhode Island has received 3 species of EAB parasitoids in one site in Washington county and two species in six sites in Providence counties. The three parasitoids are: Oobius agrili, Spathius galinae, and Tetrastichus planipennisi. Monitoring for recovery and establishment will begin in 2021 and the establishment of the three parasitoids will protect continued development of regenerating ash in RI forests.

Situation: Vegetable growers with production issues

Response: Andy Radin, agricultural extension agent, specializes in vegetable crops production, including soil fertility management, irrigation, cultural practices, and insect pest and plant disease management.

Results: Andy produces a newsletter for the grower community, twice per month during the growing season months, and once per month in the winter. Every issue features pest alerts, and often at least one article focuses on specific pests, diseases, or the ailments of a particular crop. This newsletter is emailed to 500 subscribers. Andy also participates in a weekly tele-conference with vegetable crops extension professionals throughout New England and NY State. IPM plant protection is the dominant topic of discussion across all crops.

Situation: Fruit growers with production issues

Response: Heather conducts farm visits, newsletters, and grower meetings.

Results: In collaboration with UMass, Heather Faubert participated in two virtual fruit grower twilight meetings in 2020. These meetings provide growers with appropriate IPM techniques on managing current insect and disease problems and potential future problems.

Situation: Invasive plant—swallow-worts

Response: Since 2017 the URI biocontrol lab has released Hypena opulenta, a biological control agent of swallow-worts in a total of 11 sites in RI, CT, and MA.

Results: Successful overwintering has been documented in one site in RI, but establishment has not yet been confirmed.

Situation: Invasive insect—lily leaf beetle (LLB)

Response: URI continues to monitor lily leaf beetle larvae for LLB parasitoids as part of a citizen science project. We have received larvae from New England and New York.

Results: LLB parasitoids are established in RI, MA, CT, NH, and Maine, NY and parts of Canada, and are managing LLB on cultivated lilies.

Situation: Invasive insect—winter moth

Response: Heather monitors winter moth populations in RI and advises fruit growers, landscapers, and plant owners about winter moth management via email newsletters and grower meetings. Biocontrol agent, Cyzenis albicans, was released throughout Rhode Island from 2011-2017 and their establishment continues to be monitored.

Results: Winter moth population monitoring results in fewer pesticide applications to fruit farms and landscapes than in recent years. Cyzenis albicans has been recovered at most release sites.

Situation: Invasive plant—Japanese knotweed

The URI biocontrol lab is collaborating with Fritzi Grevstad from Oregon State University to release an evaluate a new biocontrol agent of Japanese knotweed.

Response: Aphalara itadori was released in 3 locations near the University of Rhode Island. We will evaluate overwintering, establishment and impact of A. itadori in the release sites in 2021.

Results: TBD