Entomology Weekly Review - August 2, 2023

Entomology Weekly

Weekly Review for August 2, 2023

This informal report by the Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology is a commentary on insects, diseases, and curiosities division staff encounter on a week-to-week basis. Comments and questions about this report are welcome and can be sent to your respective Inspector.

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Ken Cote (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - KCote@dnr.IN.gov

I do not have a lot to report this week. I have received 10.41 inches of rain in the last five weeks. However, it is starting to dry out a bit.

This is my last weekly review as I will be retiring on Friday, Aug. 4. I have truly enjoyed sharing my gardening and inspection experiences over the years. It is always a pleasure to inform the nursery industry and the public of what we encounter during our field work as well as hear from readers on what they are experiencing. I have been working with plants since I was in fourth grade and I have had the opportunity to work in the nursery industry while living in Pennsylvania, public horticulture while living in Washington DC, and during the last 21 years, the regulatory end of the nursery industry. It has been an interesting path with many good experiences along the way. My position with the DNR has given me the opportunity to work with a great group of colleagues and meet many wonderful people.  

This will not be the end of my horticultural journey. I will continue to work as a volunteer at the Outdoor Learning Lab located on Ivy Tech College’s Bloomington campus. My wife and I, along with other volunteers, have been working on this for about three years now. This is a garden that is focusing on native, deer resistant plants. As a horticulturist and entomologist, I do not have a lot of experience with many of these plants and I am looking forward to a new learning experience. If you are ever in the area, please feel free to stop by the gardens located on the west side of Bloomington. They are open to the public. Thank you again for your interest in what we do. It has been a great opportunity to serve the citizens of Indiana over the years.


Eric Biddinger (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - EBiddinger@dnr.IN.gov 

First, here’s a follow up on our staffing changes. As you read above, congratulations to Ken Cote on his retirement. He is a gifted nursery inspector and has been the rock of our division for many years. I’m blessed to also call him a mentor and a friend. Thanks, Ken.

As I mentioned last week, we welcome Bonnie Spindler and Will Drews to DEPP. Their contact information and a new territory map should be posted on the website very soon. Will is taking over Ken’s Bloomington territory while Bonnie is covering counties along the southwestern edge of the state previously covered by Angela and Ken.

I have just about wrapped up nursery inspections for this year. I have noticed some of the typical late season leaf spots and diseases creeping in such as black spot on roses and apple scab. I have seen a touch of tar spot on maple, but not nearly as much as the last couple of years.

There is a lot of tree damage in my area from this weekend’s storms. Just a reminder to take a close look for twists, cracks, and other damage that might be hiding in the canopy. Check out the Purdue “Trees and Storms” publication for more information.

Jared Spokowsky (Nursery Inspetor & Compliance Officer)Jspokowsky@dnr.IN.gov

Our first shipment of butterflies arrived on the opening day of the Indiana State Fair and were released into the butterfly enclosure. We will have three more shipments arriving (one a week) for the remainder of the fair. If you are out at the fair on a Friday, stop by and we will be happy to answer any questions. Usually, the release is done between 11 a.m. and noon but that can vary depending on when the shipment arrives.


Angela Rust (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - ARust@dnr.IN.gov

This week I thought I would share photos of Japanese maple scale, cypress twig gall midge and leafcutter bee damage. Japanese maple scale has really become a problem in nursery stock over the last 15 years or so. I keep finding more of it each year. I suggest reading this very nice article from the Purdue Landscape Report. The cypress twig gall midge (fly) larvae induce gall formation on leaflets during the feeding process. The best control is to collect and destroy fallen galls in autumn to reduce the number of galls the following year. Lastly is a photo of cut out areas caused by a leafcutter bee on redbud. These bees are beneficial pollinators and are not aggressive. They will cut out circles of leaf material around the edges of leaves to take back and use for nest formation. They do not cause any damage to plants that requires treatment.


Ren Hall (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) RHall@dnr.IN.gov

Last week at a nursery I found something new to me: aphids inside the gall on cottonwood. This is the appropriately named poplar petiole gall aphid. Whenever I find a new gall, I always love to open it up to see who’s inside. This one did not disappoint.


Vince Burkle (Assistant Division Director & Nursery Inspector) - VBurkle@dnr.IN.gov


No reports this week

Megan Abraham (Division Director & State Entomologist) - MAbraham@dnr.IN.gov

Eric Bitner (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - EBitner@dnr.IN.gov

Kallie Bontrager (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - KBontrager@dnr.IN.gov

Will Drews (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) WDrews@dnr.IN.gov

Phil Marshall (State Forest Health Specialist) - PMarshall@dnr.IN.gov

Bonnie Spindler (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) BSpindler@dnr.IN.gov

Kristy Stultz (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - KStultz@dnr.IN.gov

Caydee Terrell (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - CTerrell@dnr.IN.gov

Diane Turner (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - DTurner2@dnr.IN.gov

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