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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Treehopper egglaying exposed

So I was sitting around trying to avoid doing work when it occurred to me I should check the treehopper situation. Since it is of vital importance to know how (and where!) these buggers overwinter, I should be keeping an eye on this population.

It's getting pretty cold (high 40s at night for heavens sake), but there are still active nymphs on the cestrum newelii, being tended dutifully by ants. This photo shows a whitish rough patch on the stem of the cestrum I believe is an egg laying site. There are several patches like this on the plant, and very young nymphs were near the patches.

I think a key to controlling treehopper outbreaks on solanaceous garden plants is to know where your overwintering population lives and monitor it. As the nymphs emerge and grow in spring, the adults they become will be seeking your tender new tomato (and eggplant and pepper) plants to lay eggs on. You could get a head start on minimizing treehoppers on the tomatoes by controlling them (choose your weapon) on the winter host plants. If you noticed a lot of egg laying, dormant oil spray could be worth using to smother the eggs before they hatch. Bwahahaha.

1 comment:

cheesemeister said...

40's? Ya call that cold? Try 11 below--and that was the night that the thermostat at work ceased to function properly! My butt froze to my office chair!
Anyway, good to see you back with more bugs!