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Do Pepper Weevil Overwinter in South Georgia

Do Pepper Weevil Overwinter in South Georgia?  Dr.  Sparks answers the question.

The answer to this has always assumed to be no, but that has apparently changed. Will they survive long enough to infest the spring plantings at an economical level remains to be seen, but I would not bet against them at this point.

In the past two months we have surveyed some fields old pepper fields and continue to find live pepper weevil adults. We started by collecting old pods (but still solid) in a couple of fields that had jalapeno pepper in the fall. These had been mowed, but pods which had not disintegrated were scattered throughout the field. We dissected pods and never found any grubs, but we did collect adults on the outside of these pods. I believe that these old pods are providing a food source for adults, thus allowing them to live for several months (instead of a few weeks without food).

We then placed pheromone traps in a couple of fields. These are baited with both the weevil pheromone and a plant extract. These baits have not performed well historically (when tested in standing pepper fields), but we have caught adult weevils consistently with these traps in the last few weeks.

Bottom line is that we did appear to overwinter adult pepper weevil in South Georgia. With this fact, I would suggest treating early pepper fields for weevils at the first sign of any buds in the field. Weevils will feed on foliage, but this damage is insignificant. They require a fruiting structure to reproduce. Thus, let the plants attract the weevils into the field until the plants are getting ready to set fruit and then eliminate the weevils prior to reproduction. Hopefully this will start us off clean and prevent the problems we saw last fall.

A final reminder – last year the pyrethroid insecticides were not controlling pepper weevil in Georgia. Products which have shown good efficacy include oxamyl (Vydate and others), Assail and to a lesser extent, Exirel.



If you are a brassica grower, retailer or have brassica in a greenhouse, I highly encourage you to go to a diamondback moth update that is being held in Moultrie on February 23rd. Below is the schedule. Please RSVP to either of the numbers given so they can have a head count.

Colquitt County Extension Office

350 Veterans Parkway North

Moultrie, GA 31788

9:30 AM 10:00 AM Registration and Refreshments

10:00 AM 10:10 AM Welcome and Opening Comments

Jenna Brock, UGA Extension ANR Agent

Donna McMikle, DuPont

10:10 AM – 11:00 AM Diamondback Moth Control Update

Dr David Riley, UGA Vegetable Research Entomologist

Dr Stormy Sparks, UGA Vegetable Extension Entomologist

11:00 AM 11:10 AM BREAK / DRAWING

Jenna Brock, UGA Extension ANR Agent

Donna McMikle, DuPont

11:10 AM Noon DuPont Best Management Practices for Controlling DBM

Jeff Meredith, DuPont Product Dev Mgr

Stanley Royal, DuPont Dev Rep

NOON Closing Remarks

Jeff Meredith


Jenna and Donna




JENNA BROCK (229) 921-1992

DONNA MCMIKLE (229) 881- 1171


2017 Production Meetings

Five row crop and vegetable production meetings are currently scheduled in Lowndes County. Commercial (cat. 21), and private pesticide credit will be given with each meeting to all license holders who attend and sign in.  Please call the office (333-5185) a few days ahead if you plan to attend so that plans can be made for the meal. I look forward to working with you this year and please contact me if you need anything.

Don’t let your license expire put these meetings on your calendar now.

  • January 10, 2017 Peanut Production andPeanut Insects
    12:00 noon Lowndes Extension Office
    Dr. Scott Monfort
    Dr. Mark Abney
  • January 13, 2017 Vegetable Production
    9:30 a.m. 4-H Center-Lake Park
    Dr. Stormy Sparks
    Dr. Tim Coolong
    Dr. Bhabesh Dutta
  • February 6, 2017 Row Crop Disease and Fertility
    12:00 noon Lowndes Extension Office
    Dr. Glen Harris
    Dr. Bob Kemerait
  • March 2, 2017 Cotton Production Cotton Insect
    6:00 pm Lowndes Extension Office
    Dr. Jarod Whitaker
    Dr. Phillip Roberts
  • March 8, 2017 Row Crop Weed Control
    12:00 noon Lowndes Extension Office
    Dr. Eric Prostko

Downy Mildew in Cabbage

Downy mildew has been found in a cabbage field in southwest Georgia.

Below is some information from Bhabesh Dutta, UGA extension plant pathologist.

Downy mildew of cabbage has been detected from Colquitt County in Georgia (Dec 9, 2016). These observations indicate that inoculum of downy mildew is currently in GA and under favorable conditions (cool and wet conditions) potential disease outbreak in cabbage and other cruciferous/cole crops can occur. I would suggest our growers to look for the downy mildew symptoms in their fields and start applying protective spray of below stated fungicides.

Fungicide application (a weekly schedule):

Tank mix Chlorothanonil with Reason or Presidio or Revus or Forum. 

For more information please contact your local county extension agent.

Below is a picture of what to look for in the field.

Cucurbit Yellow Stunt Disorder Virus

Disease alert from Dr. Dutta, vegetable pathologist.

Cucurbit yellow stunt disorder virus (CYSDV) has recently been confirmed on cucumber and cantaloupe samples in GA. 

 Symptoms: Initial symptom starts with chlorotic (yellow) spotting, which gradually develops into a distinct interveinal chlorosis (yellowing). The veins of the leaf remain green but the rest of the leaf turns bright yellow giving an appearance as that of a nutrient deficient leaf.  As disease progresses, the leaves may roll upward and become brittle. Entire plant remain stunted. Fruit set can be severely affected. 

 Transmission: The virus is transmitted by Whitefly vector, Bemisia tabaci in a semi-persistent manner.

cysdv_cantaloupe cysdv_cucumber

Whitefly Transmitted Diseases

This fall farmers have been experiencing higher than normal populations of whiteflies. Because of the high populations, it is important to scout your crops for diseases that are transmitted by this insect.  Below are some insecticide options from our extension vegetable entomologist, Dr. Sparks.

Soil insecticides:

I would hope for 2 to 3 weeks of control with these products. Adult counts will not tell you if they are working. You will get some adult mortality, but given the pest pressure in most areas you will be hard pressed to tell. To know if the products are working, you must monitor for establishment of nymphs. Adults will lay eggs, the eggs will hatch, and the nymphs must feed in order to get a lethal dose of insecticide.

While Sivanto is a different sub-group (within Group 4), I would still try and rotate main groups for resistance management. If applying two soil applications, I would use one Group 28 product and one Group 4 product>

Options include:

Group 28: Coragen, Verimark

Group 4 (A and D): Admire Pro (and generics), Venom, Platinum, Sivanto

Foliar insecticides:

While we have more options for foliar insecticides for vegetables, I believe the Group 28 and Group 4 products are still the basis of our control programs. Other products do have fits for both efficacy and resistance management, but they are less likely to provide “stand alone” type activity. They are very good, and recommended, options within a control program.

Options include:

Group 28: (Coragen, Exirel). Good activity on nymphs. Include a penetrating surfactant with Coragen.

Group 4 (A and D): Assail, Actara, Venom, Sivanto. All have good activity on nymphs and some activity on adults. Sivanto has shown good activity on adults. While Sivanto is a different sub-group, I still suggest treating these as the same for rotation purposes (this may change if resistance becomes an obvious issue). Note that imidacloprid is not suggested for foliar use. While an excellent product for soil use, it does not penetrate the leaf as well as the other products and breaks down in sunlight.

Group 7 (Knack): Knack is a growth regulator with primary activity against eggs (they don’t hatch) and last instar nymphs (they don’t develop into adults).

Group 16 (Courier): Courier is also a growth regulator, but is most efficacious against early instar nymphs.

Group 23 (Movento and Oberon): both of these products also are efficacious primarily against nymphs.

Oils and soaps: both oils and soaps will kill whiteflies if you cover them. Neither gives any residual control. Addition of oils and soaps will stick adult whiteflies to leaves and give some immediate visual satisfaction, but I suspect it is like trying to mass trap insects – it is not how many you catch that matters, it is how many are left behind. Similar to the mortality from the hurricane, the rain undoubtedly killed a tremendous number of adults, but it also left a tremendous number of adults. When using oils and soaps, coverage is essential. You can kill 100% of the insects you cover. This is obviously difficult on most of our crops. I am not saying the oils and soaps are not helping, I just suspect they are not helping as much as some might think.

Q biotype: Some of you may have heard of the Q biotype that has been found in Florida. It actually has been in Florida and Georgia for some time. The NEW occurrence is that it has been found outside of greenhouse environments. It is of concern as it is resistant to some of the insecticides we use against our “normal” whitefly. I do not think we are dealing with anything new, but we did collect adults last week and sent them off for identification.

Vegetable Fumigant Testing

Fall vegetable production is underway. I have seen some growers already setting out plants.We have been around the county this week checking fumigant levels.  If you would like your fields checked, give your local extension agent a call.