Archive for the ‘Quarantine’ Category

Australia: Impregnable barrier to fruit fly

  • Thousands of sterile Queensland fruit flies released over Adelaide to limit fruit fly reproduction.
  • Trialling the deployment of flies from a plane, ahead of further releases.
  • Part of a $45 million program to help manage Queensland fruit fly.

Hundreds of thousands of sterile fruit flies will drop from the sky over the Adelaide region today kicking off a bold plan to reduce the numbers of an endemic pest.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said the sterile flies would reduce Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) numbers because the flies they mate with will not be able to reproduce.

“The new sterile insect technology (SIT) could be a game changer for Australian horticulture,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Less fruit flies equals more fruit with less pesticide, great crops and profits for farmers.

“More profit for farmers means they spend more money in town which creates more regional jobs.

“While SIT has been effective in California and Guatemala, this project is breaking new ground with some of Australia’s leading fruit fly experts on board.

“This trial is the first step in the process, trialling the equipment used to deploy the flies from a plane, following the extensive baiting and trapping to ensure its effectiveness.

“A release of two million male sterile fruit flies is planned for April to combat recent incursions in South Australia.

“Sustainable management of Qfly is vital to Australia’s $10.3 billion horticultural sector—this pest costs the horticultural sector $300 million each year in lost markets.”

It’s hoped Hort Innovation can commercialise production and delivery of sterile male Qfly.

The Coalition Government’s Rural R&D for Profit project provided $2.35 million for a project led by the CSIRO to create optimal conditions for SIT fly releases. The aerial offensive was part of SITPlus—a $45 million research and development partnership set to transform Qfly management in Australia

For more information:
Parliament Office​
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Tel: +61 2 6277 2276
Fax: +61 2 6277 8493
Website: www.australia.gov.au

Publication date: 3/5/2018

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Faw RISK aS REPT Cover

The document, ‘Pest Risk Assessment of the Fall Armyworm in Egypt’ has just been released by the Feed the Future Integrated Pest Management Lab at VA Tech. The document provides information on the following subjects:

FAW identification



Mortality and dispersal

Spread and establishment

Risk to other countries

Economic impact

Development of a management plan for the FAW in Egypt

The document can be accessed on the IPM IL website at:


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First encountered in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2014, the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) had spread to New York, Delaware, and Virginia by early 2018. The invasive insect threatens Tree of Heaven as well as grapes, hops, and fruit trees, and it has a penchant for hitchhiking. Anyone sighting spotted lanternfly is urged to report it to their state agriculture department or local extension office. (Photo credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org)By Meredith Swett WalkerMeredith Swett WalkerIn the summer of 2014, in Berks County, Pennsylvania, a keen-eyed state Game Commission officer spotted an unusual insect congregating in an ailanthus tree. It was a large plant hopper, about an inch long, with distinctive spots and red hind wings. The officer followed his training and called it in. “He gave us a chance,” says Sven-Erik Spichiger, entomology program manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.It was a spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), a sap-sucking insect native to Asia. Just more than a month after this first report, Pennsylvania issued a quarantine in select counties in an attempt to restrict the spotted lanternfly’s movement. “From our perspective, this pest is quite frankly terrible,” says Spichiger.In the summer of 2017, Spichiger visited a property where one or two spotted lanternflies had been seen, but the owner had recently reported there was no real infestation. That situation had changed rapidly. “I deal with all kinds of invasive pests throughout the state—that’s my job—and I have to be honest I was awestruck when I visited the site. I haven’t seen anything quite like that before. The only thing I can liken this to is a massive mayfly hatch off the river. It’s that uncomfortable to be standing around,” says Spichiger. “This pest has such a tremendous potential to breed and increase its population size that it can overwhelm individual properties and entire communities almost overnight.”If Spichiger sounds alarmed, it’s because there is a lot at stake.

The spotted lanternfly may have a preferred host—Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)—but it will also feed more than 70 other plant species, including grapes, hops, and fruit trees. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture: “This pest poses a significant threat to the state’s more than $28 million grape, $87 million apple, and more than $19 million peach industries, as well as the hardwood industry in Pennsylvania, which accounts for nearly $17 billion in sales.”The U.S. Department of Agriculture agrees. In February 2018, it announced it was committing $17.5 million in emergency funding to stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly in southeastern Pennsylvania. This was after spotted lanternflies were reported in New York and Delaware in the fall of 2017 as well as Virginia in January of 2018. The new funding will allow the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, to expand surveillance and control programs in an effort to stop the spread of spotted lanternfly and reduce its population in the core infested areas in Pennsylvania.

These adult spotted lanternflies (Lycorma delicatula) were filmed on grapes in the summer of 2017. At around the 13-second mark, one of the insects in the upper left can be seen repeatedly excreting a stream of honeydew. The large amounts of honeydew secreted by spotted lanternflies leads to growth of sooty mold, which can severely damage the host plant.

(Video via Erica Smyers, Penn State Entomology Department)

Like other leafhoppers, the lanternfly feeds on plant sap, which damages the plant, but greater harm comes as a result of the honeydew that the insect excretes in abundance. This sweet, sticky fluid promotes the growth of sooty mold, which is extremely damaging to fruit crops. Thankfully, effective control measures exist for the spotted lanternfly, but most alarming about the pest is its potential as a hitchhiker.Adult lanternflies can fly, but it may be the least mobile of their life history stages—their egg masses—that has the greatest potential for long-distance travel. Spotted lanternfly egg masses are inconspicuous, and females will lay them on virtually any surface: trees, lumber, yard furniture, vehicles. Combine that with the fact that their preferred host plant, ailanthus, is an invasive itself that tends to grow in disturbed areas such as around parking lots or along highways and railroad tracks. Ailanthus is already growing in 44 states. Female Spotted lanternflies that are ready to lay eggs tend to be lazy, dropping onto the nearest convenient surface and depositing roughly 30 to 50 eggs.Spichiger envisions a coal car stopped on an ailanthus-lined railroad track or an out-of-town pickup truck parked next to an ailanthus at a football stadium. A gravid female lanternfly drops down, deposits her eggs, and soon they are driven away to the next county or across the country. Sooty mold, such as shown in this example at the base of a tree, results from a combination of sap flows caused by the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) and honeydew excreted by the insect.

Sooty mold, such as shown in this example at the base of a tree, results from a combination of sap flows caused by the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) and honeydew excreted by the insect. (Photo credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org) The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) passes through four nymphal instars. The first three instars are black with white spots (such as the one pictured at right). The fourth instar (left) develops red patterning on the head, thorax, and abdomen, while still retaining some white spotting. (Photo credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org) ”

The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) passes through four instars (below).

The fourth instar (left) develops red patterning on the head, thorax, and abdomen, while still retaining some white spotting. (Photo credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org) The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) tends to aggregate in great numbers, such as shown on this backyard tree. Says one entomologist who tracks the pest: “This pest has such a tremendous potential to breed and increase its population size that it can overwhelm individual properties and entire communities almost overnight.”  The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) tends to aggregate in great numbers, such as shown on this backyard tree.

Says one entomologist who tracks the pest: “This pest has such a tremendous potential to breed and increase its population size that it can overwhelm individual properties and entire communities almost overnight.” (Photo credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org) Egg masses of the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) are very inconspicuous and may be laid on virtually any surface.

Egg masses of the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) are very inconspicuous and may be laid on virtually any surface. (Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture) Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is the preferred host plant for Spotted Lanternfly, but the insect will also feed on many other species of plants including, fruit trees, grapes and hops.


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Marmorated stink bug increases risk for horticulture

Australian and NZ authorities on alert for new pest

Australian and New Zealand authorities are on heightened alert for a new pest in the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) following an increase in detections in both countries.

A major threat to the horticulture sectors in both countries, BMSB is native to Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China. In 1998, the bug was introduced to the United States where it is now become a major concern in orchards with some farmers reporting up to 90% in crop damage. It has now spread to Europe as well.
BMSB feeds on a range of fruit and vegetables including grapes, apricots, peaches, apples, cherries, raspberries, peppers, tomatoes, corn and pears, using its proboscis to pierce the host fruit.
In Australia and New Zealand, there are less destructive native species of stink bugs.
Image – United States Dept of Agriculture
Australia’s Quarantine and Inspection Service found live BMSB in containerised electrical goods in December 2017 and a mix of dead and live bugs in containerised bricks mid-January – both originating from Italy.
Very recently live and dead BMSB were found in a consignment of imported goods in Perth, Western Australia
New Zealand biosecurity detected the pest in three recent Japanese car shipments. Based on the latest detections, new inspection regimes on all used vehicles being imported from Japan will undergo inspection and cleaning at an MPI-approved facility prior to export.
MPI Biosecurity and Environment Manager, Paul Hallet, said in a statement any used machinery or other types of used vehicles from Japan will require certification proving it has undergone a cleaning regime by an appropriate provider.
“Nearly 95% of used vehicles from Japan already pass through approved facilities that are designed to eliminate the risk of biosecurity threats like seeds and hitch-hiking organisms such as gypsy moth.”
“The requirement will now be compulsory for all imports. The changes will significantly reduce the chance of transporting dirty vehicles and machinery that could contaminate other cargo.”
“The move is a result of an unprecedented spike in the number of stink bugs arriving at the border from Japan in bulk carriers.”
Three bulk carriers were directed to leave New Zealand recently due to excessive contamination.
Australia has now put strict additional treatment protocols in place for containerised goods from Italy including heat and methyl bromide. These protocols will be reviewed in April 2018.
The New South Wales Department of Primary Industry issued an advisory stating BMSB is unlikely to be imported on fresh produce due to its trying to hide when being disturbed during harvest and packing operations.

Publication date: 2/26/2018
Author: Phil Pyke
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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Invasive fruit flies detrimental to Kingdom’s mango exports

A mango farm manager inspects fruit at a grove in Preah Sihanouk province in 2014.

A mango farm manager inspects fruit at a grove in Preah Sihanouk province in 2014. Heng Chivoan


Cambodia’s mango shipments have been routinely blocked before making it to the international market, with the Ministry of Agriculture claiming the mangoes are not of a high enough quality to meet the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements necessary to ship outside of the Kingdom.

According to Hean Vanhan, director general at the General Directorate of Agriculture, the main obstacle for Cambodian mangoes making it to the international market has been the prevalence of fruit flies, which infest prospective shipments of the produce.

“It is not a matter of the quality of our mango – the main obstacle to the market is the fruit fly, which blocks our mango exports and makes it difficult to achieve SPS certification,” he said, adding that the SPS certificate could only be granted to shipments of mangoes devoid of “injurious pests”.

Cambodia’s annual mango production is about 1 million tonnes, Vanhan said, but the Kingdom will continue to be cut off from surrounding markets until farmers manage to rid their produce of invasive flies.

“This fly is a species that spread into Cambodia through fruit imports, and now we need to strengthen our control of imports at the border in order to prevent other pests like these flies from entering the country,” he said. “Farmers will face higher costs of production now, since they will have to use new techniques in order to prevent these flies from infesting their fruit.”

In Chayvan, president of Kampong Speu Mangoes Association, said that while the fruit fly has been a problem for mango farmers in the past, most have established methods that ensure there are few to no flies in their mango shipments.

The real reason Cambodia’s mangoes are unable to reach the international market, he said, is because they are often blocked for perceived hygiene-related issues, and he urged the Ministry of Agriculture to hasten its administration of SPS certificates to encourage neighbouring countries to buy Cambodian produce.

“The fruit fly is not our main concern when it comes to being blocked from the international market,” he said, adding that most mango shipments that had been prepared to leave Cambodia had met the SPS requirements. “Our main issue is that the SPS certification is too hard to get from the ministry, and so we have no access to ship to surrounding countries.”

He added that Japan and Korea required advanced farming techniques that Cambodia could not yet meet, but that China and other neighbouring countries would be prime markets for the Kingdom’s mangoes to enter, if they were granted SPS certification.

But according to Vanhan, the SPS certification should not be easily awarded in order to ensure quality control.

“Every country is concerned about the fruit fly, and we need to show them their products are safe from it,” he said. “If our international customers were to find fruit flies or bacteria in the shipments from Cambodia, we would lose the international market’s confidence in all of our agricultural produce.”

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From the Aliens’ list/PestNet

From: Arne Witt <a.witt@cabi.org>
Date: 9 November 2017 at 20:25
Subject: [Aliens-L] FAW

New report reveals cost of Fall Armyworm and provides recommendations for control



The report, commissioned by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), reviews the current evidence of the potential impact of the pest and quantifies the likely economic effect on agricultural sectors in affected countries and regions if left unmanaged.

In the absence of any control methods, we estimate that the pest has the potential to cause huge maize yield losses in Africa and we expect it to spread throughout suitable habitats in mainland sub-Saharan Africa within the next few cropping seasons. Northern Africa and Madagascar are also at risk. This would clearly have a huge impact on food security and the achievement of SDG 2 (Zero Hunger).

Control of Fall Armyworm requires an integrated pest management (IPM) approach and immediate recommendations we make in the report include raising awareness on Fall Armyworm symptoms, early detection and control, and the creation and communication of a list of recommended, regulated pesticides and biopesticides to control the pest. Work must also start to assess which crop varieties can resist or tolerate Fall Armyworm. In the longer run national policies should promote lower risk control options through short term subsidies and rapid assessment and registration of biopesticides and biological control products.

To see the reports:

Download the 10 page summary of the evidence note

Download the full evidence note


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Penn State News

Via PestNet


Spotted lanternfly adult - lateral view

The spotted lanternfly threatens agricultural sectors worth nearly $18 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy.

Image: Greg Hoover


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As populations of the invasive spotted lanternfly explode — and the state-imposed quarantine area in southeastern Pennsylvania expands — researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences are looking for solutions to help stop the insect’s spread and save agricultural crops from serious damage.

The spotted lanternfly was found for the first time in the United States in Berks County in September 2014. More than three years later, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s quarantine, which began with five townships in eastern Berks County, now covers all of Berks, Bucks, Chester, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Carbon, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Monroe, Philadelphia and Schuylkill counties. The quarantine regulates or limits the movement of plants, plant-based materials and outdoor household items out of the quarantine area unless certain conditions are met.

Officials are worried about the threat the spotted lanternfly poses to Pennsylvania agriculture, including the grape, tree-fruit, hardwood and nursery industries, which collectively are worth nearly $18 billion to the state’s economy. Homeowners also could sustain damage to high-value ornamentals in their landscape.

Native to China, India, Japan and Vietnam, the spotted lanternfly does not attack fruit or foliage. Rather, it uses its piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on the woody parts of plants — such as tree trunks or branches and grape vines — where it excretes a substance known as honeydew and inflicts wounds that weep with sap. The honeydew and sap can attract other insects and provide a medium for growth of fungi, such as sooty mold, which covers leaf surfaces and can stunt growth. Plants with heavy infestations may not survive.

Said Tom Baker, distinguished professor of entomology and chemical ecology, who has 40 years of experience in entomology research, “The spotted lanternfly is the weirdest, most pernicious insect I’ve ever seen.”

Penn State researchers are attacking the problem on several fronts.

“After this pest was discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014, we began basic research to learn where it came from and to better understand its biology and behavior before we could start to develop tactics for managing it,” said Julie Urban, senior research associate in the Department of Entomology. “As a result, we have several ongoing projects that we hope will lead to practical solutions in the near future.”

Spotted lanternfly wingspan

Despite its colorful wings, the spotted lanternfly — one of a group of insects known as planthoppers — is a weak flyer but a strong and quick jumper.

Image: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture


For instance, with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Urban is studying the population genetics of spotted lanternfly in Pennsylvania. Identifying novel genetic markers and genotyping the insect can help in the effort to more precisely pinpoint the Asian origin of the lanternfly invasion and to geographically narrow the search for natural predators and parasitoids.

“Novel genetic markers that are variable within the Pennsylvania population also will help us estimate the effective size of the current population, enable us to track population growth and movement, and detect subsequent invasions,” she said.

Another line of inquiry, Urban said, is characterizing bacteria and fungi associated with spotted lanternfly. Using next-generation DNA sequencing, her team tested for the presence of bacterial and fungal communities in the lanternfly salivary glands and proboscis (mouthpart) and in abdominal tissue.

“We found that salivary gland and proboscis tissue did not harbor any detectable levels of bacteria or fungi. This means it’s unlikely that spotted lanternfly is transmitting bacterial or fungal pathogens to plants through feeding, although we are continuing to investigate potential transmission of other pathogens,” she said.

“In abdominal tissue, some bacteria present can differ depending on geographic range. Comparing the microbiome of the digestive tract of the Pennsylvania population with specimens from Asia may help us understand differences in host-plant preferences and feeding behavior, and we may find that Asian populations harbor bacteria that are natural pathogens of spotted lanternfly.”

Researchers also are monitoring the microbial communities on several economically important host plants to assess changes in composition and abundance of bacteria and fungi due to spotted lanternfly feeding and honeydew deposition. In addition, Urban’s team is examining the microbial communities present in a frothy substance found at the base of Ailanthus (tree-of-heaven) plants that show heavy lanternfly feeding damage and honeydew deposition.

Tree-of-heaven is one of the spotted lanternfly’s highly preferred host plants, and Urban said the froth will be analyzed to determine whether it serves as an attractant to the pest. “We will aim to determine the source of any potentially attractive compounds, which may be helpful in developing spotted lanternfly lures,” she said.

This work also may assist scientists in identifying beneficial bacteria that could help manage lanternfly-associated sooty mold by killing or out-competing the fungus, Urban explained.

Spotted lanternfly nymphs

The first three stages of immature spotted lanternflies are black with white spots. Fourth-instar nymphs, shown here, begin to appear in July and and will molt to become adults.

Image: Penn State Extension


Entomologist Baker has used funding from USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to study the mating and dispersal behaviors of spotted lanternfly. He noted that the use of insect pheromones for mating disruption has been deployed successfully for other insect pests.

“However, so far we have found no evidence that the spotted lanternfly uses pheromones to find mates, so that may not be something we can use for mating disruption or to develop lures or traps,” he said.

Baker’s laboratory has collected data on how spotted lanternflies disperse — how far they fly, what they orient to, what they land on and so forth. “Understanding the natural dispersal behavior could be helpful to state and federal agriculture officials and industry stakeholders in planning for where and in what direction the front edge of an infestation will spread,” he said.

In the short term, researchers are closing in on pesticide solutions that can help protect crops from spotted lanternfly damage. Erica Smyers, a doctoral candidate in entomology advised by Urban, has performed efficacy testing on several insecticides to gauge their potential for reducing populations of the pest. Dave Biddinger, research associate professor of entomology at Penn State’s Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville, is helping to analyze the results.

Once data analysis is complete, scientists will seek an emergency exemption from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act to permit growers to use the most promising of these chemicals on certain crops.

In the meantime, Penn State entomologists are collaborating with other university and government scientists and seeking additional USDA grants to continue research on spotted lanternfly host-plant requirements, the development of biocontrols such as natural enemies, host-plant effects of sooty mold, and other topics related to this exotic and unusual pest.

More information about spotted lanternfly is available on the Penn State Extension website and on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

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