Unusual pest report helps grower
Demonstrating continued value in reporting the unusual, we received information early January about significant leaf skeletonisation.
Initially seen on a pear tree adjacent to kiwifruit, the concern was that the insect might move across to the adjacent kiwifruit crop. With help from experts at Plant & Food Research we were able to confirm the damage was not a new association and caused by a pest called “pear slug”, or pear saw fly larvae, known to be more prevalent during hot summers.
The pest is quite easy to control, by spraying with water or dusting the affected tree with wood ash or lime, and we were able to pass this on to the grower and allay any fears of a biosecurity risk.
Reporting unusual symptoms and pests like this is a good thing – it shows that as an industry we are all on the lookout and aware of the need to report potential biosecurity threats that could be significant risks to the industry.
The information we then gain and can share with other growers helps identify similar symptoms they may be seeing on their own properties and assists with on-orchard management and plant health.
Image below: Pear slug causing skeletonisation on leaves and reported to KVH.