Entomology & Plant Pathology Weekly Review, May 1


Weekly Review for May 1, 2024

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

Still relatively slow with nursery inspections. I was able to find quite a few samples of azalea and rhododendron which we take for a Sudden Oak Death survey. Phytophthora ramorum is the causal agent for Sudden Oak Death which has been a problem in the Pacific Northwest for many years. Our division takes hundreds of samples each year looking for diseased material and we have intercepted it in previous years on nursery stock. The host list is extensive and includes many plants outside of the Quercus genus. For more information on SOD click this link.

I did manage to find a healthy population of oleander aphid on swamp milkweed in a greenhouse. There were quite a few natural predators present but the aphids had a pretty good head start on them.


Anyone looking for cover crop choices for feeding bees should take a look at yellow mustard. It is a winter annual which if planted in the fall will survive until the spring and is fast to bloom.


Lastly, if anyone is interested in brushing up on their honeybee disease ID I would suggest taking a look at this link. Meg Milbrath at Michigan State University has put together a good slideshow with a variety of disease photos in a quiz format. For anyone who doesn't get to see many diseased hives, this gives a pretty good idea of what you would need to be able to ID when trying to diagnose one. I’ll also be giving a disease ID presentation on May 11 at the Northeast Indiana Beekeepers Association field day at Wheeler’s Bees as well as the Purdue Field Day put on by the Beekeepers of Indiana at the Beck Agricultural Center on June 15 (registration deadline June 8). And if you think you have a disease issue feel free to call me, even if you know what it is. I need examples to help cross-train the rest of our staff so please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at 317-447-0084.

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

Reminder: Aerial spraying for Lymantria dispar, now called spongy moth, is planned for the week of May 5 in part of North Manchester and a small area east of Berne in Adams County.

Treatments may be delayed due to weather.

During treatment an airplane flying 75-100 feet above the treetops will conduct treatment, starting at sunrise and continuing throughout the day as weather and flight schedules permit.

A second treatment will occur four to 10 days after the first.

People who live or work near the treatment areas might want to stay inside when the planes are flying and for about 30 minutes after treatments are complete. This gives the material time to settle out of the air and stick to treetops.

For more information on the treatments, call toll-free 1-866-NO-EXOTIC (663-9684), go to on.IN.gov/spongymoth or contact your county extension office. Follow us on X (formerly Twitter) @INdnrinvasive for continued updates.


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

Besides nursery inspections, our division assists with phytosanitary inspections in partnership with the USDA’s APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine staff. In my area, I assist mainly with log inspections and ensure the commodities are relatively pest free before leaving the country or, if not, make sure they will be treated beforehand. The images below show some of the insect pest activity I’ve spotted recently during log inspections.


No reports this week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bonnie Spindler (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) BSpindler@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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