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Control spring pests

April 18, 2019

By John Wood, Certis Biologicals Regional Manager

The earwigs this year are as plentiful as ever. A few days ago, an acquaintance sent me a video clip that featured a trunk protector being removed from a young tree as more earwigs than you could count crawled out from the base of the tree.

I’m seeing thousands of acres of young tree plantings with trunk protectors throughout my territory. All of these trees are vulnerable to pests throughout the season and need constant monitoring. Inspect the trunk protectors around your trees for earwig infestations. Left unchecked, these nocturnal feeders will damage your trees by attacking the trunk and feeding on young shoots and new growth. Left unchecked these pests can kill a small tree. At the least these pests can impact tree growth resulting in yield losses over the life of the tree.

Seduce™ Insect Bait helps control earwigs and a single application protects your investment for 30 to 60 days and nights. Its granules are easy to apply in the cartons and wraps of young trees. Plus, it is effective for up to four weeks, has a 4-hour REI, is residue-exempt, NOP-approved and OMRI-listed. Seduce contains spinosad which is derived from a naturally occurring soil dwelling bacterium. In addition to earwigs it also helps control ants and cutworms.

Young trees are attacked by earwigs in two phases:

  • immatures that are without wings
  • adults with wings


Seduce controls immatures when they eat the bait, become immobile, and die off within one day. Adults are harder to kill and require repeated exposure to the bait for optimal control.

Control aphids, mites and mealybugs

Flareups of aphids, mites and mealybugs  are common at this time of year, especially in almonds. This is when PFR-97™ Microbial Insecticide is an effective control tool, alone or in your tax mix. It is a miticide and soft-bodied insecticide and contains the spores of a naturally occurring fungus, Isaria fumosorosea strain Apopka 97. PFR-97 penetrates, parasitizes and kills insects and mites by causing death within 24 hours after infection.

In addition to mites and aphids, PFR-97 can be used against citrus psyllid, thrips and whiteflies. It has a 4-hour reentry interval, a zero-day pre-harvest internal is NOP-approved and is OMRI-listed. It is residue exempt so there are no MRLs or limitations for exports. PFR-97 can be tank mixed with a variety of insecticides and herbicides and a limited number of fungicides. Always read labels before mixing.

In the next issue, we’ll discuss ant control. Until then.

This series is part of a partnership with Tree Nut Farm Press. You can read the original here.

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