Tobacco Ringspot Damage – Recognizing Tobacco Ringspot Symptoms


By: Mary Ellen Ellis

Tobacco ringspot virus can be a devastating disease, causing serious damage to crop plants. There is no method for treating tobacco ringspot, but you can manage it, prevent it, and avoid having it in your garden.

What is Tobacco Ringspot Virus?

Tobacco ringspot virus is a pathogen that in addition to tobacco can affect several crops including:

  • Blueberry
  • Grapevines
  • Cow peas
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Clover
  • Cucumber
  • Soybeans

While the disease is caused by a virus, the virus is transmitted by dagger nematodes, microscopic worms as well as by tobacco thrips and flea beetles.

In commercial farming, this disease can be a big problem for growing soybeans, although grape producers in the northeast also battle tobacco ringspot virus. Reductions in crops can be significant with tobacco ringspot damage. The biggest losses are seen when the seeds you use are heavily infected or when the infection occurs in younger plants.

Tobacco Ringspot Symptoms in Your Plants

Some of the signs of tobacco ringspot virus are stunting in young plants and damage to leaves. Look for leaves with yellow lines and small brown spots surrounded by a yellow edge. The leaves may also grow smaller.

The worst case scenario with tobacco ringspot is bud blight. This causes terminal buds to bend over and form a hook shape. These buds may even brown and drop off.

How to Manage Tobacco Ringspot Virus

The most fool proof way to manage this disease is to prevent it by growing plants that have been certified to be virus-free. This is because there is no real way of treating tobacco ringspot.

If there is any reason to believe the virus could be an issue in your garden, you can have the soil tested for dagger nematodes and then use a pesticide to treat it if needed. If you do get an infection, you’ll need to remove and destroy the plants and be very careful about disinfecting any tools with bleach.

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Virus Disease Guide in Grapes

By: David Appel, Sheila McBride, and Olufemi J. Alabi

More than 70 viruses infect grapevines world- wide. Grapevine virus diseases can ruin crops and inflict great costs to winegrape producers because of the detrimental impact on vine health, productivity, the quantity and quality of berries, and the quality of the finished wines.

Viruses are unique among plant pathogens because of how they infect their hosts, spread throughout a plant, and are transmitted from diseased to healthy plants. Virus diseases can be difficult to diagnose, and the damage they cause can be unpredictable. Some viruses cause vines to decline, while others have little economic impact. Some severely damage grapevines and are well understood, while others are poorly described or do little or no damage.

Symptoms depend on the virus, the season, the cultivar (both scion—a shoot or bud grafted to a rootstock—and rootstock), and cultural factors affecting vine health and performance. Specific symptoms of virus infections can be misleading because they can mimic nutritional disorders, herbicide damage, or other non-viral diseases.

In some cases, a virus can be latent, meaning the vine is infected but has no apparent symptoms.


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NEW INSECTICIDES FOR ARMYWORM CONTROL IN PASTURES By Lee Townsend

(Frankfort) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has granted special registration for two insecticides to combat armyworms in pastures and hayfields in Kentucky, the Ky Department of Agriculture has announced.

The insecticides are Pounce 3.2 EC (FMC Corp.) and Confirm 2F (Rhom and Haas Co.). Both are Restricted Use pesticides. Cattle can be present during application, if necessary, when Pounce is applied and they may graze fields after treatment. However, pastures sprayed with Pounce cannot be cut for hay during the remainder of the season. Pastures sprayed with Confirm 2F can be harvested for hay after a14-day wait.

Applicators must have a copy of the appropriate state (24-c) label for Pounce or the Crisis Exemption label (Section 18) for Confirm. These are available from the pesticide dealer when the products are purchased.

WORKSHOP ON MICROSCOPIC IDENTIFICATION OF GRAY LEAF SPOT OF PERENNIAL RYEGRASS By Paul Vincelli

BUYERS BEWARE: SOME CHEMICALS MAY BE DUDS By Lee Townsend

JUST FOR APPLICATORS

PROPER MIXING PROCEDURES By James R. Martin

TOBACCO

CURRENT BLUE MOLD STATUS By William Nesmith

Moderate to damaging levels of blue mold are present in many communities in the region. Strongest activity is in northern Kentucky in a 30- mile wide band along the Ohio River from near Owensboro to near Maysville, and in an 80-mile wide ban in eastern Kentucky running from near Maysville southeast to near Jackson, being strongest in the Kentucky River (main , Elkhorn Creek, Eagle Creek), Licking River, and Red River valleys. In addition, isolated pockets of strong activity were being reported over the weekend in Warren, Simpson, and Logan counties. Most of this strong activity is the result of the weather events of July 8 and 9, and that event was behind my reasons for maintaining the warnings/watches for the following extension areas: Southern Ohio, western West Virginia, Green River, Louisville, Northern Kentucky, Licking River, Northeast Kentucky, Bluegrass, Ft Harrod, Quicksand, and Wilderness Trail. In addition, on Friday I returned the Lake Cumberland, Southern Indiana, and Southeastern Indiana to the watch status and today will place all the Mammoth Cave, Lincoln Trial, and Pennyrile areas to a watch, but several counties in those areas are already under warnings.

County Extension Agents report considerable grower apathy about blue mold control. Most growers lack access to the equipment required to effectively use foliar fungicides and they are slow to accept Actigard because of cost and the phytotoxicity issues. In part, however, this apathy is also resulting from the amount of carry-over crop on many farms from last year. Many growers feel they can afford to take the damage dished out by this years outbreaks and are just letting it run. Growers not in that situation, however, need to realize such farms could generate a lot of nearby inoculum.

Some dealers are reporting difficulty in obtaining adequate supplies of Acrobat MZ. Remember that Acrobat 50 W is now labeled under a federal label, but it must be tank mixed with another labeled fungicide. We have tank mixed Acrobat 50 W and Actigard 50 W and applied them for full coverage following the Acrobat 50W directions for application and obtained successful control. However, there was limited improvement in control over Actigard alone, if this tank mix was applied with a broadcast boom to the tops of the plant.

For the latest blue mold status and other tobacco disease information, check the KY Blue Mold Warning System.
http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/kpn/kyblue/kyblue.htm

TOBACCO "WORMS" By Lee Townsend


For more information about tobacco pests, visit "Insect Management Recommendations".

MISCELLANEOUS TOBACCO FEEDERS By Lee Townsend

For the latest blue mold status and other tobacco disease information, check the KY Blue Mold Warning System.
http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/kpn/kyblue/kyblue.htm

SECOND GENERATION CORN BORERS ACTIVE By Ric Bessin

European
Pepper producers need to be monitoring and managing second generation European corn borer. The larvae of this generation are active now across the entire state. Those in the western half being about 7 to 10 days ahead of those in central KY. Keep in mind that sprays are preventative and need to be applied prior to egg hatch with peppers. As little as 12 to 24 hours are needed for the larvae to tunnel into the pepper fruit. Producers picking peppers during this time will need to carefully select insecticides to control European corn borer that have preharvest intervals that are compatible with picking schedules. Preharvest intervals can range from 0 to 7 days for the commonly used insecticides on peppers.

Southwestern
Southwestern corn borer moth flight from emerging first generation corn borers is beginning to increase in western Kentucky. This means that second generation egg laying is just around the corner. The greatest threat from SWCB this year will be to late planted fields, as those are the fields that generally are harvested last. The longer that harvest is delayed, the more time that these corn borers have to girdle the base of the stalks. What we have observed in the past is that the majority of girdling begins to occur in September, with most complete near the end of the month.

In early to mid August, corn producers should identify the fields with the worst corn borer infestations. These fields should be harvested as early as practical in order to avoid lodging. Everything else being equal, fields with less of a corn borer infestation can be harvested after the heavily fields have been shelled. Fields with low corn borer infestations are likely to loss less corn to harvesting losses.

For corn producers that have the ability to treat late season corn borers, we used 25% plants infested with larvae that are still in places accessible to insecticides as the threshold for southwestern corn borer. For European corn borer, we use the threshold provided in ENT-49, Corn borers in corn. With late season ECB, only 2.7% in preventable yield loss will occur by treating a 40% infestation, while 6.7 % preventable yield loss will be saved when treating an 80% infestation. As always, only ECB or SWCB that have not bored into the stalk and are still exposed to sprays can be controlled. Timing is very important.

For more information about corn pests, visit "Insect Management Recommendations".

FALL ARMYWORM By Ric Bessin

DELAYED PREEMERGENCE HERBICIDE APPLICATIONS FOR CORN By J. D. Green

ALFALFA

BLISTER BEETLES AND ALFALFA HAY By Lee Townsend

SOYBEANS

CAUSE OF SOYBEAN "UNTHRIFTINESS" By Don Hershman

Over the past month, the Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Princeton has received numerous samples of "unthrifty" soybean plants. Many times rather large areas within a field are involved and in some cases, the majority of a field has been impacted in some way. This situation has resulted in my receiving many phone calls and making farm visits to try to determine the cause of poor soybean growth. Many of the affected fields are in the Green River Area, but other areas of the state also have problem fields.

In all the instances I have seen, the unthrifty plants exhibit abnormal roots and, consequently, the plant foliage is yellowing and/or scorched and plants have stunted growth patterns. The abnormal roots show a variety of "symptoms." In some instances, the lower taproot has died and plants have responded by generating new roots in the upper taproot region. In other cases, the root system has a "J" or "L" appearance and overall root biomass is reduced. Oftentimes, reduced root systems have odd nodulation patterns or reduced nodulation. In some fields, the root system has a "bottle brush" appearance in which plants develop a short stubby root system in the vicinity of the upper taproot. In other cases, the overall root system is reduced in size and roots have a thickened, stubby appearance. In almost all cases there are some discolored roots throughout the root system. In addition, reddish brown cankers at the soil line are frequently evident plant stems in this area are often swollen, fissured and may be brittle.

In the majority of the fields, I have ruled out a plant pathogen as being the primary source of the problem. I have regularly observed Pythium spp. and Rhizoctonia in discolored roots, and various species of Fusarium have been isolated. Some soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is involved, but most affected root systems have been minimally impacted by SCN. In addition, it is common to find Rhizoctonia associated with lower stem cankers, but this is not always the case.

After discussions with agronomists, we have concluded that the root problems appeared to be related to a wide-ranging set of adverse soil situations/conditions which have existed this spring in many fields. Furthermore, that these adversities (in some cases multiple adverse conditions in a single field) have significantly stressed the root systems of plants. It is my opinion that the plant pathogens we are seeing are secondary in nature and have infected stressed, dying and dead roots. Having said that, I feel certain that the fungi are having a negative impact on root system recovery. Nonetheless, we are talking about plant pathogenic fungi that are present in all agricultural soils and are opportunists. Thus, it is unlikely that anything could have been done to prevent the infections unless the original stress could have been avoided in the first place.

Now, what are the adverse conditions I am referring to- Well, it is a "laundry list" of sorts:

  • Soil compaction, hard pans, adverse soil pH, poor soil drainage, seedling development problems associated with no-tilling under marginal soil conditions, herbicide carryover from previous growing season, herbicide damage from spring applications, moisture extremes at various times during the season - even in the same field, soil fertility imbalances, nutrient excesses and deficiencies, planting marginal quality seed, and probably many others.

I feel certain that dryer than normal soil conditions this spring have exacerbated many of the above factors and this has led to even greater problems. Many problem fields have started to recover now that adequate moisture exists in most areas (at least for now). I expect plant recovery to continue unless late?season stress or pests become a significant limiting factor.

JAPANESE BEETLE ACTIVE IN SOYBEANS By Doug Johnson

SPIDER MITES IN SOYBEANS By Doug Johnson

FORAGE

ERGOT RISK IN TALL FESCUE By Paul Vincelli

APHIDS AND SPITTLEBUGS ON ALFALFA RARELY A PROBLEM By Lee Townsend

PASTURE

ARMYWORMS IN PASTURES By Lee Townsend

NO REPORTS OF GRAY LEAF SPOT ON PERENNIAL RYEGRASS YET By Paul Vincelli

EARLY WEEVIL DEGREE DAY ACCUMULATIONS By Lee Townsend


WHEAT

WHEAT FUNGICIDE LABEL UPDATES By Don Hershman

ARMYWORMS IN WHEAT By Doug Johnson

SORGHUM

SORGHUM PESTS By Doug Johnson

GREENHOUSE

BEDDING PLANT DISEASES By John Hartman

SPRAY PROGRAM FOR TOMATO TRANSPLANT PRODUCTION IN A GREENHOUSE SYSTEM By William Nesmith

SMALL GRAINS

ARMYWORM PRESSURE CONTINUES By Doug Johnson

FRUIT

GREEN JUNE BEETLES By Lee Townsend

PLUM CURCULIO By Ric Bessin

HUMAN/PUBLIC HEALTH PESTS

TICK NUISANCE INCREASES AND SMALLER STAGES BECOME ACTIVE By Mike Potter and Lee Townsend

TICKS ACTIVE NOW By Lee Townsend

VEGETABLES

DOWNY MILDEW ALERT FOR CUCURBIT CROPS By William Nesmith

Once present in Kentucky, downy mildew will continue until frost as long as sufficient leaf moisture is present from dew or fog. Without timely and well?applied controls, downy mildew can quickly destroy most cucurbit crops, including cucumber, cushaw, muskmelon, squash (summer and winter types), pumpkin, and watermelon. Downy mildew levels vary greatly from year to year in Kentucky, and greatest damage occurs when it arrives early, prior to August 15.

Symptoms vary by crop, but it usually starts as tiny yellow spots on the upper leaf surfaces of older leaves that quickly expand to blight the entire leaf. Dead leaves result in poor fruit development, plus it exposes the fruit to sun scald. Under wet conditions, the fungus usually can be found sporulating on the underside of the lesions, as a downy, fuzzy growth that is clear, white, gray or blue in color. It is not as easily seen with the unaided eye as is tobacco blue mold.

The disease can be very damaging in prolonged foggy or humid periods, plus it can strike very rapidly. Growers following our guidelines should already be following a regular preventive, and well? applied fungicide spray program for control of gummy stem blight, anthracnose, or Alternaria leaf spot (depending on the crop) but with downy mildew around, they will also need to include a specific downy? mildewcide in the control. See ID? 36, for commercial vegetable control guidelines for each crop, which is also available at the following website address http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/id/id36/id36.h tm. Those planting fall cucurbit plantings should consider downy mildew resistant varieties where available.

Connections to the Downy Mildew Forecast are available at the following website address http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/kpn/kyblue/do wny.htm

COPING WITH ACCIDENTAL APPLICATIONS By Lee Townsend

LAWN & TURF

WHAT WAS THAT BIG YELLOW, ORANGE & BLACK THING. By Mike Potter

PYTHIUM COTTONY BLIGHT By Paul Vincelli

SHADE TREES AND ORNAMENTALS

DISEASES OF WOODY ORNAMENTALS AND TREES IN NURSERIES ? A NEW REFERENCE BOOK By John Hartman

After several years of work by almost ninety contributing authors, APS press has recently released a new book entitled Diseases of Woody Ornamental Plants and Trees in Nurseries edited by Ronald K. Jones and D. Michael Benson. Plant pathologists from throughout the U.S., including two authors from Kentucky contributed to this book.

The book covers diagnosis and control of diseases of more than 65 ornamental crops (shrubs, ground covers and shade trees) grown in nurseries throughout the United States. A summary of timely control measures is given for each disease in this book. These control strategies provide an in?depth guide to integrated disease management including, cultural control, sanitation, disease resistance, fungicides and bactericides as well as information on control of various pathogen groups. Many of the crop chapters include information on cultivar resistance to plant disease. The role of recycled water in disease development and ways to manage pathogens in recycled irrigation water is also covered. Readers are helped further by 160 color plates illustrating disease symptoms, tissue culture techniques to eliminate pathogens from propagation stock, a state-by-state list of disease occurrences to make you aware of local problems, and an explanation of the role of plant diagnostic clinics in assisting nurseries in disease diagnosis.

Diseases of Woody Ornamentals and Trees in Nurseries presents state-of-the-art information on important nursery crop issues. It explains the latest horticultural practices in relation to the prevention, diagnosis and control of diseases on nursery stock and may be used by anyone involved with the care of these valuable plants including: nursery professionals, extension specialists, county agents, growers, tree?care professionals, master gardeners, researchers, educators, and regulatory personnel.

Table of Contents: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map Plant Disease Development Abiotic Cause of Disease Abiotic Diseases of Woody Ornamentals Biotic Cause of Disease Fungi Bacteria Nematodes Viruses Phytoplasmas Botrytis Blight (Gray Mold) Crown Gall Cylindrocladium Diseases Damping? Off of Seeds and Seedlings and Cutting Rot Nematode Diseases Phytophthora Root Rot and Dieback Powdery Mildew Diseases Caused by Pseudomonas syringae Rhizoctonia Web Blight Southern Blight (Sclerotium rolfsii) Verticillium Wilt (Verticillium dahliae) Diseases of Specific Crops Arborvitae Ash Aucuba (Japanese Laurel) Azalea Barberry Birch Boxwood Camellia Cedrus Cotoneaster Crapemyrtle Cryptomeria Daphne Dogwood Eleagnus Elm English Ivy Euonymus Fatsia and Fatshedera Fir Flowering Crabapple Flowering Pear Forsythia Gardenia Ginkgo Hawthorn Hibiscus Holly Honeylocust Hydrangea Indian Hawthorn Ixora Juniper Leucothoe Leyland Cypress Ligustrum Lilac Linden Lonicera (Honeysuckle) Magnolia Maple Mountain Laurel Nandina (Heavenly Bamboo) Oleander Osmanthus Palm Photinia Pieris Pine Pittosporum Podocarpus (Southern Yew) Poplar Prunus Pyracantha Redbud Rhododendron Rose Sourwood Spirea Sycamore and Planetree Taxus Ternstroemia Tuliptree Viburnum Wax Myrtle (Bayberry) Disease Management An Introduction to the Management of Infectious Plant Diseases In the Nursery Integrated Disease Management in the Nursery Sanitation: Plant Health from Start to Finish Horticultural Practices to Reduce Disease Development Control of Fungal Diseases Control of Bacterial Diseases Control of Viral Diseases Control of Nematode Diseases Fungicides for Ornamental Crops in the Nursery Bactericides Disease Management For Nurseries Using Recycling Irrigation Systems Disease Resistance Mycorrhiza Effects on Diseases Biological Control of Woody Ornamental Diseases Plant Problem Diagnosis and Plant Diagnostic Clinics Tissue Culture of Woody Plants Regulatory Control Appendix Diseases of Woody Ornamentals and Trees by State and, Glossary.

Publication and ordering specifications: 2001 8 1/2" x 11" softcover 482 pages 160 color photographs (est.) ISBN 0-89054-264-3 $89. This book may be ordered on-line or by calling toll-free 1-800-328-7560.

DAY LILY RUST FOUND IN KENTUCKY By John Hartman

Day Lily rust disease was identified for the first time in Kentucky today. This disease is a real threat to this popular Kentucky garden plant grown by homeowners, nurserymen and others.

The specimen came from a Fayette County non- commercial daylily grower who buys plants from the south.

We are in the process of notifying USDA officials (through our USDA APHIS Kentucky Nursery Inspectors housed here at U.K.) as to what, if anything, needs to be done about the diseased plants to keep the disease from spreading.

Some of you may recall reading about this in a recent Kentucky Pest News article (July 2). Excerpts from that article follow.

Daylily rust was found for the first time in North America last year in Florida. Since then, it has been spread (mainly on infected nursery plant material) to several other states including Alabama, California, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. (. and now Kentucky)

The causal agent is Puccinia hemerocallidis, a rust fungus. The disease is identified by bright yellow or orange colored spots with raised pustules on the foliage of affected plants and by orange colored spores which emerge from the pustules. As symptoms progress, leaves turn yellow and dry up. The following web site (http://www.ncf.ca/

ah748/rust.html) shows good pictures of this and other daylily diseases and disorders.

It is believed that the disease will become a serious pest of daylilies. The disease is easily spread in the nursery trade because viable spores may be carried long distances on plants and propagative material not showing symptoms.

If daylily rust is suspected, immediately remove all infected foliage and burn or bury the clippings except to save a leaf or two to send to the County Extension Office the agent will get them to our plant disease diagnostic laboratory. Most County Extension Agents will recognize rust disease and would be able to tell the homeowner immediately whether daylily rust is present, or if it is suspected. Following diseased foliage removal, sterilize tools with 70% alcohol, 10 % bleach, or lysol to prevent spread. Wash hands, gloves, or clothes afterwards, if necessary, to prevent spread to the rest of the garden. New foliage can be protected as it emerges with fungicides such as propaconizole (Banner Maxx), azoxystrobin (Heritage), flutolonil (Contrast), or myclobutanil (Systhane, Eagle). Because this is a new disease, there is no specific label of daylily rust. Be sure that the label indicates that the fungicide product used can be used on daylilies or on ornamentals generally in the nursery or landscape. Resistant cultivars have not yet been identified.

Agents, homeowners and nurserymen are urged to be on the lookout for this potentially serious disease of daylily.

WHEEL BUGS ON MANY PLANTS NOW By Lee Townsend

EUROPEAN PINE SAWFLY ACTIVE By Lee Townsend

FOREST

SOUTHERN PINE BEETLE OUTLOOK 2001 By Lee Townsend and Lynne Rieske-Kinney, UK Forest Entomologist

HOUSEHOLD

. AND ALONG CAME A SPIDER By Mike Potter

Numerous calls are received each year about spiders. Typically, the caller wants to know if the spider they've seen is dangerous, and what if anything should be done in terms of control.

Many different kinds of spiders live in and around buildings. Some, such as the house, cellar, and garden spiders, construct webs to help entrap their prey. Others, like the wolf spiders, are free-roaming and make no webs. The vast majority of spiders are harmless, and in fact are beneficial because they prey upon flies, crickets and other insects. They generally will not attempt to bite humans unless held or accidentally trapped. Moreover, the majority of spiders have fangs too small or weak to puncture human skin. Of the hundreds of species found in Kentucky, only the black widow and brown recluse are dangerous. Fortunately, both are relatively uncommon, and have markings which can be used to distinguish them from other non-threatening species.

Even though most spiders are harmless, few people are willing to tolerate them inside the home. Their unsightly webbing and fecal spots outweigh the beneficial aspects of spiders to most homeowners. This column provides practical tips on spider control for concerned clients.

General Control Measures (all species)
1. Routine, thorough house cleaning is the most effective way to eliminate spiders and discourage their return. A vacuum cleaner and broom are the householder's most useful tools for removing spiders, webs, and egg sacs. Egg sacs in particular should be removed since each may yield hundreds of new spiders.

2. Spiders prefer quiet, undisturbed areas such as closets, garages, basements, and attics. Reducing clutter in these areas makes them less attractive to spiders.

3. Large numbers of spiders often congregate outdoors around the perimeter of structures. Migration indoors can be reduced by moving firewood, building materials, and debris away from the foundation. Shrubs, vines and tree limbs should be clipped back from the side of the building. Maintaining a vegetation-free zone next to the house also lowers the moisture content of the foundation and siding, making them less attractive to termites, carpenter ants, rodents and decay.

4. Install tight-fitting window screens and door sweeps to exclude spiders and other insects. Inspect and clean behind window shutters, and inside the orifices of gas barbecue grills.

5. Consider installing yellow or sodium vapor light bulbs at outside entrances. These lights are less attractive than incandescent bulbs to night-flying insects which, in turn, attract spiders.

6. To further reduce spider entry from outdoors, insecticides can be applied as a "barrier treatment" around the base of the foundation. Pay particular attention to door thresholds, garage and crawl space entrances, and foundation vents. Sevin, Dursban, or any of the synthetic pyrethroids (e.g., Bayer Advanced Multi-Insect Killer (cyfluthrin), Spectracide Bug Stop (tralomethrin), Ortho Home Defense System (bifenthrin)) are effective, but may need to be reapplied periodically throughout the summer.

--Brown Recluse/Black Widow
Both of these spiders are potential health threats. They are timid, however, and will only bite in response to the threat of being injured. Most bites occur while putting on a shoe or piece of clothing in which a spider has hidden, or while unpacking boxes, sorting through clutter, etc.

The female black widow is about 1/2-inch long, shiny black and usually has a red hourglass mark on the underside of the abdomen. In some varieties the hourglass mark may be reduced to two separate spots. Most adult brown recluse spiders are about the size of a dime to a quarter with legs extended. Coloration ranges from tan to dark brown, with the abdomen often darker than the rest of the body. The feature that most readily distinguishes the brown recluse from many other harmless spiders is a somewhat darker violin-shaped marking on the top of the leg-bearing section of the body. The neck of the violin "silhouette" points toward the rear (abdomen) of the spider. Closer examination under magnification will reveal only three pairs of eyes toward the front of the head most other spiders have eight eyes. Although both the black widow and brown recluse have distinctive markings, a "spider is a spider" to most people. Concerned homeowners or victims of spider bites should be advised to bring the specimen in for confirmation.

Spider bites are difficult to diagnose, even by physicians. Black widow venom is a nerve toxin and its effects are rapid. The victim suffers painful rigidity of the abdomen and usually tightness of the chest. Victims should seek medical attention promptly. The bite of the brown recluse is usually painless until 3 to 8 hours later when it may become red, swollen and tender. Later the area around the bite site may develop into an ulcerous sore from Ѕ to 10 inches in diameter. Healing often requires a month or longer, and the victim may be left with a deep scar. Prompt medical attention can reduce the extent of ulceration and further complications. Not all brown recluse bites result in ulcerations and scarring.

The brown recluse may be found living indoors or outdoors. Black widows are more often encountered outdoors. Thorough inspection of cracks, corners, and other dark, undisturbed areas with a bright flashlight is an essential first step in determining the location and extent of infestation. Indoors, pay particular attention to basements, attics, crawl spaces, closets, under/behind beds and furniture, inside shoes, boxes of stored items, and between hanging clothing. Brown recluse spiders also may be found living above suspended ceilings, behind baseboards, and inside ductwork or floor/ceiling registers. Another way to detect infestations in these areas is to install glueboards or sticky traps. Designed to capture mice and cockroaches, these devices can be purchased at grocery or farm supply stores. Placed flush along walls and in corners, they are useful monitoring tools and will also capture large numbers of spiders.

Brown recluse and black widow spiders also live outdoors in barns, utility sheds, woodpiles, and underneath lumber, rocks, and accumulated debris. To avoid being bitten, wear work gloves when inspecting inside boxes or when moving stored items.

Each of the management tips (1-6) mentioned above for spiders in general are useful for the black widow and brown recluse. Removal of unnecessary clutter is especially helpful in making areas unattractive to these pests. Indoor infestations of brown recluse and black widow also warrant treatment with insecticides. Insecticides should be applied into areas where spiders are living, making an attempt to contact as many spiders and webs as possible with the treatment. Most household insecticides with spiders listed on the label will kill spiders provided the spider is treated directly. Spot treatment with synthetic pyrethroids such as those mentioned earlier are especially effective. In attics, storage sheds, and other inaccessible or cluttered areas, total-release foggers (e.g., Raid Max, containing cylathrin=cyfluthrin) will have a better chance of contacting spiders that are hidden.

Severe infestations of brown recluse or black widow spiders require specialized skills, persistence and equipment to eradicate. In these situations, it would be prudent to call a professional pest control operator.


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This factsheet discusses the symptoms and treatment for blue mold of tobacco.

Cercospora Leaf Blight of Soybean

Cercospora blight is a common foliar disease of soybeans in North Carolina. Early symptoms may mimic several other common soybean problems, and accurate diagnosis is important for selecting management practices.

Soybean Seedling Diseases

Soybean seedling disease is caused by several different pathogens. While cultural management is the same across seedling diseases, chemical management may differ depending on prevalent pathogen and environmental conditions.

Asian Soybean Rust

Although uncommonly observed in North Carolina, soybean rust can be a yield limiting disease for soybeans. Proper identification is important to developing a management strategy.

Fusarium Wilt of Soybean

Fusarium wilt can be an important disease in soybean when it appears. Although not a yearly problem for most of North Carolina producers, it can be locally damaging. The signs and management of the disease are described in this factsheet.

Aerial Web Blight

This soybean disease factsheet covers aerial web blight, a generally minor disease of soybean in North Carolina.

Pythium Root and Crown Rot of Industrial Hemp

This factsheet discusses pythium root and crown rot in industrial hemp production.

Target Spot of Tobacco

Target spot is a potentially devastating leaf spot disease in tobacco in North Carolina. This factsheet summarizes the signs and symptoms and offers treatment plans.

Reniform Nematode of Soybean

The reniform nematode is not a common nematode pressure for soybean growers in North Carolina, but is limited to several southern counties of the state. This factsheet will help growers identify and management the nematodes in soybean production in North Carolina.

Chapter 6: Crop Production Management - Flue-Cured Tobacco

This chapter of the North Carolina Organic Commodities Production Guide covers key management practices for organic flue-cured tobacco production.

Soybean Cyst Nematode

Soybean cyst nematode limits yields in every major soybean production region worldwide. This disease note describes SCN in North Carolina and its management.

Root Knot Nematode of Soybean

Root knot nematodes can cause significant damages to soybean fields in North Carolina. This factsheet describes the different species of root knot nematodes and their management in soybean production.

Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome

Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) first appeared in Arkansas in 1971 and has since spread to almost every soybean producing state. SDS rarely affects plants in North Carolina, but losses are seen when infections are concurrent with soybean cyst nematode infections or cool, wet environmental conditions. This factsheet describes SDS and its management in North Carolina.

Root Knot Nematode of Cotton

Cotton root knot nematodes are capable of causing significant losses to cotton production. In addition to direct damage, root knot nematode can allow for secondary pathogens to impact yields, as well. This publication describes root knot nematodes and their management in cotton.

Target Spot of Soybean

This factsheet offers information on target spot in soybean production in North Carolina.

Disease and Nematode Management

This publication, chapter 8 of the North Carolina Soybean Production Guide, discusses disease management in soybean production.

Soybean Vein Necrosis Virus

This factsheet offers information on the signs, disease cycle, and management of soybean vein necrosis virus (SVNV), an occasional foliar problem in soybean in North Carolina.

Stubby Root Nematode of Soybean

This factsheet summarizes the symptoms and management of stubby root nematodes in soybean in North Carolina.

Alternative Product Demonstration and Research Guidelines for Extension Agents

This publication provides guidance to Extension agents on how to design and conduct trials and demonstrations on alternative products for plant and soil health and pest and disease control purposes. It provides standardized experimental design criteria and best practices for planning and executing trials for these products.

Bacterial Blight of Soybean

This factsheet discusses bacterial blight of soybean in North Carolina.

Tobacco Ringspot Virus of Soybean

Tobacco ringspot virus is a disease of soybean in North Carolina. This factsheet offers information on the disease's symptoms and management.

Managing Diseases

This publication, chapter 8 of the 2021 Flue-Cured Tobacco Information handbook, covers disease management in tobacco production.

How Have Foliar Treatments Affected Soybean Yields in North Carolina Trials?

This publication discusses the trends identified by research on the impacts of foliar fungicides and fertilizers on soybean yields in various environments across North Carolina.

Soybean Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a common foliar disease caused by a fungus. The causal agent of soybean powdery mildew is host limited to beans. This factsheet describes soybean powdery mildew and its management in soybeans.

Red Crown Rot of Soybean

This factsheet covers the signs, symptoms, and management of red crown rot, a problem in soybean production in North Carolina.

Anthracnose of Soybean

This soybean disease factsheet covers anthracnose, a fungal disease affecting maturing soybean stems and pods in North Carolina.

Soybean Mosaic Virus

Soybean mosaic virus (SMV) is one of the most prevalent and destructive viral pathogens of soybean worldwide. This soybean disease factsheet discusses the range, symptoms, disease cycle, and management of the virus in soybean production in North Carolina.

Cowpea Chlorotic Mottle Virus of Soybean

This soybean disease information factsheet describes the symptoms and disease cycle of the cowpea chlorotic mottle virus, a disease of soybean and cowpea in North Carolina.

Soybean Stem Canker

This soybean disease factsheet describes southern stem canker, a disease of soybeans in North Carolina.

Root Knot Nematode of Cotton

Root knot nematode is an economically important pathogen for cotton production in North Carolina. Accurate identification is useful for selecting the proper management method.

Steam: An Alternative Method of Float Tray Sanitation

Due to the limited availability of methyl bromide, tobacco growers need other methods to sanitize float trays prior to reseeding every year. This factsheet offers information on using steam as an alternative.

Bean Pod Mottle Virus

Virus diseases like bean pod mottle virus can significantly impact soybean yields when disease pressure is high. This factsheet describes the identification and management of bean pod mottle virus.

Brown Spot of Soybean

Brown spot is a common pathogen in soybeans in North Carolina. Symptoms from brown spot may be confused with other leaf spot pathogens, and accurate diagnosis is important for management decisions.

Southern Blight of Soybean

This factsheet examines the symptoms and management of Southern blight in soybean production in North Carolina.

Seed Decay and Pod Blight

This soybean disease factsheet discusses various fungi that cause seed decay and pod blight of soybean in North Carolina.

Gray Leaf Spot in Corn

This corn disease information note offers information on the symptoms and management of gray leaf spot in corn production in North Carolina.

Disease Management in Cotton

This publication, chapter 9 of the 2021 Cotton Information handbook, covers disease management practices for cotton production.

Corn Rusts: Common and Southern Rust

Common and southern corn rusts may affect corn in North Carolina. Management for each is specific to the rust, and proper identification is necessary to determine the appropriate tools to use.

Nonfoliar Yield Enhancement Products in North Carolina Soybeans

This publication discusses trends identified in how nonfoliar yield enhancement products affected soybean yield over the past five years across 15 locations in North Carolina.

Phytopthora Root and Stem Rot of Soybean

Phytophthora root and stem rot is a common pathogen in North Carolina due to our frequent wet weather. This factsheet describes the symptoms and management of the disease in soybean production.

Frogeye Leaf Spot of Soybean

Frogeye leaf spot (FLS) of soybean is a common foliar disease in North Carolina with losses reported annually. This soybean diseases factsheet offers information on the signs, symptoms, and management of FLS.

White Mold of Soybean

The symptoms and management of white mold, an important cause of yield loss in soybean in North Carolina, are covered in this soybean disease factsheet.

Lance Nematode of Soybean

Lance nematode is not a common problem of soybeans, but can cause local damages in fields where it is found. This factsheet covers the symptoms and management of lance nematodes in North Carolina.

Sting Nematode of Soybean

This soybean diseases factsheet discusses sting nematodes, a minor pest of soybean in North Carolina.

Soybean Charcoal Rot

This soybean diseases factsheet examines charcoal rot in North Carolina soybean production.


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