With the beautiful spring weather we have been having, the first large peak of San Jose scale crawler activity is expected to occur within approximately two weeks from now in Fort Valley, GA. This is a couple of weeks earlier than it was last year.
Following the degree day (DD) timing starting at February 1st using a base of 51oF and a max of 90oF, at this point last year we had accumulated 339 DD and this year we are at 494 DD. I anticipate the first main peak of crawler activity to occur at approximately 700 DD since Feb. 1, which will be in a couple of weeks in Fort Valley. For the Ridge, I’d expect the peak about a week after Fort Valley and then the upstate a week or so after that.
Remember that scale activity can be monitored relatively easy (although a bit tedious). Visually inspect limbs for live scale and/or wrap a branch with a strip of electrical tape plus a strip of double sided tape around that (see image below). Focus particularly on trees in blocks with a known history of scale issues.
Management of San Jose crawlers is not necessary for all blocks peaches if all blocks received two dormant oil applications this season. If a dormant spray was missed or you have a block with chronic scale issues, then I would suggest considering crawler management.
Once crawler activity begins to increase, consider management insect grower regulators, such as Esteem (6 oz/acre) or Centaur (34.5 oz/acre). Alternatively, when targeting the scale crawlers, Venerate XC (2 qt/acre applied twice over 7 day period; 4 qt total) or diatomaceous earth (i.e. Celite 610 @ 10 lb/acre) have both showed efficacy at suppressing San Jose scale.
If management occurs later, once the crawlers have already settled and/or you cannot find active crawlers in a block with a history of scale, it may be best to treat with Movento (6-9 fl oz/acre). Note that Movento should be applied once the trees have substantial leaf area, flushing new growth, and should be tank mixed with an adjuvant that has spreading and penetrating properties. Anecdotally, I applied Movento last year on April 25th and had really good success.
Take care, everyone!