DEMO: Must be registered for EXPO Education or Tradeshow Plus Pass to Attend: Propagation Station
Arthropod pests are the biggest concern in growing ornamental, greenhouse, nursery, and turfgrass. Most economic arthropod pests are small in size, and cryptic with high reproductive capability. Much injury is often done by the insects if they are unchecked or misidentified. Correct identification is the foundation for developing any pest management program. Often insects can be unrecognized until they cause some injury to their hosts. Injury patterns on hosts, residues of the insects (frass), feeding patterns, etc. can be good indications to narrow down the identification of the pests. Knowledge about the biology of the pests, their life stages, life cycle, most damaging stages, susceptible hosts, the most active period of the year, etc. can help to be alert for the upcoming pests. Moreover, information on their biological parameters can help to develop the best management plan for the current and future cropping system.
Takeaway points: Arthropod pests need to be identified correctly.
Host or plant injury patterns serve as an indication for specific/groups of pests.
Planned monitoring can allow us to take action against pests for a successful management program.
Rafia Khan is the Assistant Professor Extension Entomologist for Texas A&M University Entomology.