Becoming an Insect Investigator

March 1, 2024

More Info

Do you stream dramas about Crime Scene Investigations? You can sleuth out what’s eating your vegetables by gathering evidence at the “scene of the crime,” using the same evidence-based approach. It’s not only fun, it also will help you protect your vegetables from future issues. And avoid spending time and energy chasing the wrong culprit. Join us!

The 2024 MI Ag Ideas to Grow With conference was held virtually, February 19-March 1, 2024. This two-week program encompasses many aspects of the agricultural industry and offers a full array of educational sessions for farmers and homeowners interested in food production and other agricultural endeavors. While there is no cost to participate, attendees must register to receive the necessary zoom links. Registrants can attend as many sessions as they would like and are also able to jump around between tracks. RUP and CCA credits will be offered for several of the sessions. More information can be found at:


Video Transcript

Good morning everybody. My name is Ben Werling and I get to work with vegetable growers in West Central Michigan. I'm beaming to you live from Hart, Michigan, in the heartland of asparagus. Well, if you've been with us for the series, you have gotten to here from Salta, perhaps, and Ben about figuring out what is wrong with your vegetables. Today is going to continue that theme, focusing on insects. I am a big mystery fan. I like to read mystery novels. And my wife and I like to watch mystery or suspense shows on TV. Who done it? That's what it appeals to, a problem solving side of our brains. And what we really, or what I like is watching the detective, or whoever is the protagonist, work through the problem at the beginning of the show. Working through evidence and weighing it to figure out who done it. And today I'm just going to hopefully convince you that you are an insect investigator, walk you through the process that you can use to interpret symptoms and signs which are the evidence that insect pest leave behind. To figure out who done it, I'm going to start with a case I encountered early on in my extension career, the case of the distorted pepper. It's very ominous. This was an experienced pepper grower, but he was seeing this discoloration and distortion on his pepper fruit. The challenge was that if you don't know what it is, you can't take effective action. You can try lots of things, but they may not work. That's what we're going to talk about today. When you see when you have a who done it in your vegetables, how do you weigh evidence to figure out to come to a conclusion and solve the mystery? It really is like solving a crime. It's really the same process that a crime scene investigator would use. Let's imagine that this is John Doe. John Doe always seems to die. He did again. The crime scene techs visit the scene of John's demise and they take his body tent. It suggests he died in the last 24 hours. They determine the cause of death was a gunshot wound. Ballistics shows it was a 45 caliber gun. And John Doe fought for his life. There were some skin underneath his fingernails that they probably from a struggle with the perp and they isolate DNA from them. And then you as a detective hit the pavement and start talking to John Doe's associates. He wasn't very popular guy. Apparently there are three folks who really had it in for him. But you find out that suspect number one was visiting his grandma in Florida for the past week. He wasn't here and he didn't get back until this very morning. He had an alibi. You can rule him out. Suspect two didn't have an alibi but his DNA didn't match. Can rule him out. When you search suspect number three's apartment, you find a 45 caliber gun and his DNA matches. Basically, in this fake murder investigation, you've used evidence to rule out some suspects and link others to the crime. That's exactly what you do in figuring out vegetable who done it. You're probably already doing this over time. As you develop that mindset, it really becomes second nature. But just like in a murder investigation, where you might use the manner of death and the weapon to link somebody to the scene. Insects, when they feed on plants, cause specific symptoms that can help you link specific bugs to the crime scene. Just like a crook might leave behind traces of their activity or physical evidence. Insects do too, and that can link them to the crime. We're going to start with symptoms. There are four types of symptoms that we can think about when we talk about insect feeding. First of all, what is the symptom though Salta talked about symptoms on Wednesday and has the same definition for insects, it's just the characteristic appearance of damage on the plant after an insect pest has been active. One common type of symptom are holes or tunnels that insects chew and leaves, stems and roots. Some insect feeding or vector diseases will cause discoloration. Here we have a nice yellow summer squash, but it's an off color. You can see that green mottling. It could be distortion, where the leaves are fruit, become knobby or bumpy or twisted. They're not their normal shape. Or an entire plant or a part of a plant could wholesale or die back. Observing those symptoms is useful because insects have different weapons that they're used to feed on the plant with. You can almost immediately narrow down what type of bug you might want to look for based on what you're seeing. Many insects have chewing mouth parts like that 1950s horror movie ant. They have mandibles that they used to remove leaf tissue and chew it up. They will leave behind holes or tunnels, or if the feeding is extensive enough or in the right place, the whole plant might die back. Now, other insects are more like mosquitoes. They take a more surgical approach and they have basically a hypodermic needle that they stick into the plant and suck out the juice. Here what you might see is misshapeness, discoloration, or die back. You can see that these two broad categories of bugs cause different symptoms. Another important clue to what bug might be the culprit is where you are finding the damage. Because oftentimes a specific pest feeds on a specific plant part. Some might feed on the fruits, some might like leaves, Some might feed on stems. Some might feed on seeds that's all above ground. While other types of pests might feed on the roots, or they might even feed on the seeds. As what I will do next is walk through the types of symptoms that insects with chewing and sucking mouthparts cause. Both above and below ground. Okay, There are three main types of insects with chewing mouth parts. The larvae of moths and butterflies. Like this monarch, caterpillar have chewing mouth parts. Caterpillars are one of our main groups of pets, and adults of beetles are another main group of pet that have chewing mouth parts. Here's an example of a important pet, Colorado Potato Beetle, which can completely mow down your potato plants. The larva flies, which are called maggots, also have chewing mouth parts. They're a little bit different from the other two groups, but they do chew tunnels in plants with them. Now I want to walk you through some of the symptoms that you will see when you have a chewing insect. When you have removal of leaf tissue above ground, it's called defoliation. Basically, it's holes in leaves. If you see that, like you see in this broccoli plant here, look for a beetle or caterpillar pest. In the case of brassicas, the cabbage family, we know that they are attacked by three caterpillars. Diamondback moth, cabbage loop, and cabbage white. In this case, the appearance of the damage can even give you more clues. If you look here, you can see that it looks like the caterpillar left behind a thin skin of plant tissue that looks like a window. It's called window painting. Only diamond back moth causes that. If you see that Nebraska, you not only know it's a caterpillar, you know that you ought to look for diamond back moth. There are other insects that lead behind characteristic chewing damage. Have any of you had flea beetle issues? This is a bit I'm casting out to see if anyone unmutes. Um. Oh, right. You mentioned that you've had flea beetle issues on eggplant. Yeah, that is potato flea beetle. There's also one that's very problematic on brassicas. What I'm guessing you've seen are what looks like leaves blasted by shotgun pellets. Because if you see these tiny little round holes chewed in a cabbage family plant or an egg plant or potato, that's a good sign there's a flea beetle at work. You can look for these tiny hopping insects. All right. Another characteristic type of chewing damage you might see in the spring can happen from a pest called cutworm, which is a caterpillar. It will hang out in the soil during the day, but at night it will clip seedlings at their base. Here you have a sweet corn plant where cutworm has been active, clipping off those plants. If you see that type of damage, you know that it'd be good to dig around in the ground, in the soil, around the base of some of the plants to see if you can find a caterpillar. All right Ben, let's launch our first poll. What I want you guys to imagine is that you are walking through a pumpkin field. Do you encounter this leaf with holes in it? I want to ask you, what do you think caused that damage? Do you think it was a stink bug, a beetle, a caterpillar, or a disease? All right. So most of you thought it was a beetle and a couple of you thought it was a caterpillar or disease. But none of you answered stink bug, which is great because the answer was in fact, in this case it was spotted cucumber beetle. Caterpillar would have been a good answer too because both beetles and caterpillars have chewing mouth parts, they could make holes in leaves. Stink bugs have piercing sucking mouth parts. They would not make a hole in leaves. Could also be a good answer because sometimes you do get diseases that infect the leaf and then the dead pieces fall out. But basically what you can do here is look at the plant in your brain, get narrowed down the list of suspects, and then do some scouting to see if you can find a beetle or caterpillar. In the case of cucurbits, we know that there aren't really any caterpillar pests, but there are beetle pests that could help too, Okay? There are some caterpillars that are bores that will actually bore into stems. One of the main ones that you least hear about in vine crops is an insect called squash vine B. That's a picture from my zucchini in the garden. Here the moth laid an egg on the plant, the caterpillar bored in it left behind this characteristic saw dust at the entrance hole, which is a poop or fra. When I split it open, I found some excellent fishing bait. The squash vine bore caterpillar. What happens is that it feeds on the plumbing of the plant. Water and nutrients can't get from the roots to the shoots. What you'll observe then is wilting. One of the things you could look for if you see wilting and die back, and pumpkins especially is this entrance hole. And a squash, fine bore. We talked about chewing insect feeding on leaves, in stems. They can also feed on fruits and seeds, which is really bad because a plant can take some leaf feeding and survive. But we've got a fruiting vegetable, that's the part we want to sell, It's almost immediately nonmarketable. A good example of a pest like this is corn earworm, which is also known as tomato fruit worm. You can see it here tunneling in a tomato. But it's better known for eating up kernels in the ears of sweet corn. Another pest that does this is tomato horn. Were now moving below ground. The main pests that you would see that have chewing mouthparts, there are beetle larvae and some fly larvae. An example of this that's very common are wire worms. Here's a wire worm, which is a larva of a click beetle that was tunneling in a potato. You can especially have problems with those if you're planting after a grass, a turf or hay crop for example. Because those wire worms love that in the populations will build carrot weevil is less common. It's a pest of celery parsley and carrots, but it's the larvae of a weevil that tunnels in the root. In both of these cases, the tel, tunneling or chewing on a fruit is bad. It's the same with root vegetables. That damage makes it unmarketable. Now, sometimes the root feeding is problematic even though we're not harvesting the root. A good example is our root maggots. There's a particular species that causes issues in brassicas called cabbage magot. The fly lays eggs and the tiny magot feeds on the roots. The plant can't get water and nutrients and you'll end up with stunted or wilting plants. This cauliflower here is having a problem with cabbage magot. This one isn't. There are a couple of pets that will also feed on seeds, which means that your veggies really don't even have a chance to come up. One in particular is called seed corn maggot. It's especially a problem when you have soils that are heavily amended with organic matter or you've incorporated a living cover crap, because that's what the flies like to lay eggs in. The seeds are innocent bystanders and they get fed on by these tiny maggots. You'll have gaps in your stand. There's especially a problem in some of our large seeded vegetables like corn beans and cucurbits. Okay, we can move on now to the other group of bugs that have piercing sucking mouthparts. And I'm going to go to show you a video of an aphid doing its thing. And I'm going to speed it up so we don't have to savor it quite so much. What here we go. What you can see here is the aphid was walking on the surface of the leaf. And it's really zoomed in, so you can actually see the cells of the leaf. It's sticking its long beak into the plant, searching for basically the veins of the plant to suck out sugary goodness. What you'll notice is it's not removing leaf tissue, but it's putting something in and taking something out. It's injecting basically insect version of saliva into the plant and then it's sucking out the sugary goodness tapped into the floum which carries the sugars. Because of that, these types of insects cause different types of damage. Insects with piercing sucking mouthparts include true bugs, like the stink bugs that are unwelcome guests in our houses in the fall. Aphids, leafhoppers, mites and thrips. One of the symptoms of insect feeding by this type of pest is discoloration. One of the common pests, if you're growing potatoes or green beans, that you'll probably see a potato leaf hopper. These tiny guys are fluorescent green. If you ever watch them on a plant, you can ID them because they move sideways. They do a sideways shuffle. Well, when they feed, they inject a saliva into the plant that is toxic to the plant. As a result, you'll get this yellowing and die back on the edges of leaves, which we call hopper burn. Again, we're not seeing holes in these plants but they're changing color. The rips are another important pest within the vegetable world. They are most problematic plants in the onion family, in particular onions and leaks what they do, I imagine their mouth parts is a tiny punching bag that bursts open plant cells and leaves them empty because they suck out the juice. An empty cell that has air in it will have a silvery appearance. Here are some leak leaves that have that characteristic silvery appearance of thrips feeding. Here's the, compared to a drop of water, you can see they're very tiny. Here's a close up of thrips. Okay, We mentioned stink bugs a couple times. They are another pest that has those piercing sucking mouth parts. They can be a problem in fruiting vegetables. In particular. Just to show you what that looks like, here's a stink bug. This is what damage might look like when they feed on unripe tomato fruit. It's like you can actually see the spots where it's stuck its beacon. They already have a whitish discoloration. Now when that fruit ripens, those spots may turn white or yellow, You'll get that discolored appearance. Another interesting fact, if they feed on fruit after they're ripe, they won't have this clear cut appearance. But you might see some cloudy damage. But you can still peel back the peel and see these white spots under the skin. Again, they're causing discoloration. This is a picture of a watermelon leaf. If you notice the leaf edges are curled up and they don't look normal, they're distorted. If you turn those leaves over, you might find a bunch of aphids on the underside, because feeding by aphids, especially in watermelon, can cause that leaf distortion. Now, in other craps, even on pumpkins and things like that, aphids actually aren't that important for the direct damage they cause because they're actually light feeders. They're not like a potato beetle mowing down leaves. They're sticking that hypodermic needle in. They're taking sips from the plant and the plant can handle that. What they're actually important are disease carriers. Does anyone know what carries the disease, malaria? I drop it in the chat if you do. Yeah. So what type of insect carries malaria? West Nile Virus. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you, Jacqueline and Ken, you got it? Thank you, Steve. It's a mosquito. Um. One of the reasons that a mosquito is an important disease vector in humans is it's feeding directly in our bloodstream. It's not just walking around on our skin. It's actually an intimate contact with our bloodstream where it can pick up a disease and then carry it to another. Human diseases have co, evolved to take advantage of that, figured out how to multiply in a person because that disease can't move on its own very well. It relies on the mosquito to carry it to different hosts. Plants are no different. In fact, insects with piercing sucking mouthparts are probably more important as disease carriers than for their direct impact on plants. I had a little video to show you why, what that might look like. Here's an aphid sucking up some yummy plant juice. It actually sucked up some virus particles along with the plant juice. For this type of virus, it moved to the salivary glands. Those virus particles got injected into the next plant. It basically, it's carrying around a dirty needle. It gets dirty by feeding on an infected plant, picks up the virus, flies to another one and infects those plant diseases can cause some of the weirdest symptoms that you will see. They're often confused for other things such as herbicide damage or nutritional issues because they cause discoloration in the plant or distortion in the vine crop world that's especially important for our yellow fruited zucchini and summer squash. Here's a picture of a zucchini plant that was infected by a virus called Watermelon mosaic virus. An aphid must have fed on it and infected it. Here you can see this weird yellow mottling or discoloration of the leaf. This green bands of tissue along the veins with yellow veins. That weird discoloration can be caused by a virus. It's especially a problem I saw this past year and Ben Phillips did too. Yellow fruited summer squash because the fruit get discolored even though they're fine, customers wouldn't like to buy them. They're unmarketable if it's carry other viruses too. There's another one that infects vine crops called Zucchini, Yellow Mosaic Virus. It not only causes discoloration, it causes distortion. You'll get this really wordy fruit on an infected plant. Then you'll get these thin strap like distorted leaves that almost look like herbicide damage, but in this case, it's actually caused by a virus. Okay. Now there are other types of insect vector diseases out there. One that's a little different is something you might have encountered if you're growing cucumbers or melons or squash and pumpkin. It just called bacteria will. In this case it actually is a chewing in the striped cucumber beetle that carries it. What happens is the beetles right now are hibernating often in sheltered areas, outside the field, but inside belly, inside their gut, they're carrying a bacterium. In spring they'll emerge when it gets warm, they'll feed on small plants and make a hole then and that poop will carry that bacteria outside of the gut, under the plant surface, and into the wound. What happens is the bacteria multiply and clog up the plumbing of the plant. Just like in the case of squash vine bore, the plumbing can't transport water and nutrients and the plant wilts. You guys may or may not know that Michigan is in the top five for celery production. We're not California, but we do have a long history of production. I get to work with growers on the west side who multi generation celery farms. I got to see this. This is not an uncommon sight. You have a cell releaf's twisted and distorted. In this case, I happened to take a photo. Here is a normal cell reliaf plant, did not have aphids on the right. If you had looked closer on this plant with a hand lens, you would have seen it covered in aphids. Disease was also a good answer because an insect vector disease could also cause distortion beetles and catts have chewing mouth parts not a suspect here. In summary, the symptoms that you're seeing out there can, in a second nature way, help you filter out what you should take a closer look for on the plant. For example, if you're looking at the leaves or stems and you're seeing defoliation, you should look for a caterpillar or beetle pest. Whereas if you're seeing discoloration or distortion, it could be due to a different type of pest. Okay guys, the next question is, what do you think damaged these green beans? Our top answers were caterpillars and disease, but the answers were more different on this one. All right, thank you. Dale, you notice that there are a bunch of leaves dying. And Jacqueline, you notice that there's no discoloration and it looks like the tops are missing but there's really no other symptoms. That's good. You feel like it's not an insect with sucking mouthparts and Dale you keyed in on the leaves look like they're dying. Those of you who thought disease, why did you think that might have been a good answer? The answer in this case, this was a trick question. It was actually a disease called brzectonia, which is a root rot that infects the plants, that they die back on top. The reason I put this slide in here is that you can have a set of symptoms that can be caused by multiple different causes. I've got fooled many times and have always been glad when I've asked other people for their opinion. Or set in a sample to the diagnostic lab. For example, if you think of discoloration that could be caused by a nutrient deficiency, Hal could damage leaves. That is why, at least in the insect world and in the disease world, signs are really important because they're the direct physical evidence that links a pest or disease to the problem for insects. These are things that you can observe with your eyes, which is really nice. It might actually be the various life stages of the insect. Like the er itself, it's eggs, it's larva adults, it could be it's caterpillars. For example, we saw that squash vine bar where you saw that saw dust along the hole. That was what's called frass or insect poop. That's a physical sign that a caterpillar is present. Aphigs, excrete sticky sugar, water as honeydew which can coat the leaf. That's a sign the aphid is present. And then other insects may leave behind empty cocoons or webbing. That's another sign that they are active. As an example, here, we've got a pumpkin leaf and you can see some discoloration. I want to ask you guys what do you think caused this? I bet somebody knows. Yeah. Thank you Ken. It's squash bug. You can actually see the squash B nymphs, the babies right there. If you see this discoloration and you see a squash bug, you can be more confident in your cause effect answer. Now for squash bug, you can also another sign you might see are there red eggs? They're laid on the underside of leaves characteristically, right where two veins meet, that's another sign that they're present or you might see the adults. Okay. This next picture is of a tomato leaf that's discolored. Do you guys have any idea what might have caused it? Or any suspects? Yeah, you guys got it. What made you think of spider mites? Yep. You got it, Jacqueline? And they both put webbing in there if you didn't see this discoloration could be caused by a nutrient deficiency. But in this case, the webbing, a visible sign that two spotted spider mite is present. If you've got a hand lens out and look closer, you could get a smoking gun because you could see these tiny mites moving around in the webbing. The point here is that you can use a combination of symptoms and signs to more definitively nail the culprit. Now, you're not alone. Um, and it's best not to be alone and making a diagnosis. I certainly benefit from other people and resources. Google is a great resource. There's also this extension search browser. It's really just a Google search that only searches extension websites. But a good thing to do if you've got a problem in a crap, let's say you are in peppers, you could Google pepper pats. Then it'll come up with a list of suspects that you can try and match up with what you're seeing. A really unique and rate resource we have here in Michigan is our plant and pest diagnostic lab. They're especially helpful or diagnosis of things like diseases, nematodes. They have an entomologist as well. They have microscopes and techniques that they can use to more definitively diagnose what's going on. That's really helpful, especially when it's a problem that might reoccur. In future years, $25 is not that much to spend to get a handle on what your problem is. If we go back to the case of the distorted pepper, I wanted to ask you guys what symptoms are you seeing and where are you seeing them? What type of mouth parts do you think an insect pest might have? Jacqueline. And are that you see some damage on the leaves? The leaves are actually curly in this case, especially the new growth and they're yellowy. Earl noticed that. And then Jacqueline, notice this browning on the top. We have some discoloration and distortion. I think that's why a lot of you guessed sucking insect or sucking critter. In this case, I needed help because I could not see anything directly on the plant. I tapped in a friend or colleague they suggested to look for an insect called Broad Mite and they told me where to look for it under the pepper cat, that I probably needed a microscope. When I did that, um, I found these small moving white things that are actually mite called broad mites. They like to hide out on the pepper cat, which is why you get that feeding along the shoulder and that rusting, they'll also cause problems on new growth. It was tricky because they're tiny and hard to detect By sending some pictures of symptoms and talking to colleagues was able to figure out what it was. In summary, I hopefully convinced you of, I think you should be convinced of, because you guys answered the questions really well, is that you already have what it takes to start the process of figuring out what's going on with your veggies. That's a skill that as you practice it, it just becomes second nature. Also, as you practice, become more aware of when you need help. You become aware of when you can come to a good diagnosis and when you really need some outside expertise. So symptoms can help you narrow down the list of suspects. Signs can more definitively prove that an insect is responsible. And you guys can do this, and probably already are. Jacqueline asks, how do you manage for and treat for broad mites? I've never seen them before. U Thankfully, they're not a common pest. Sometimes extension agents take pictures of oddball stuff because it's a fun learning experience if you do have them. If you're a commercial grower, there are special insecticides called Akai that will target mites that you could use. Another interesting thing, in peppers and in other crops, there's this weird conundrum where that sometimes you can spray more and have more problems. Some insect pests are like thrips and aphids in some cases are well controlled by beneficials. If you spray a broad spectrum insecticide you can kill them off. Increase the chances you've got an issue. There's a couple of questions here. Earl's is easier for me to answer than Ben. Have a better answer for Ken. Earl asked, is seven a good general insect problem solver? I would say yes, but it depends because seven doesn't kill everything. That's where knowing what your problem is can be helpful. For example, seven may not work for something like Colorado Potato Beetle because it has developed resistance. But it's great for something like Cucumber beetle. It's great for some caterpillars and a lot of other pets. It's readily available to homeowners if you're looking for another off the lows Home Depot shelf, insecticide something that has permethrin or bifenrin can also be helpful. There are some biologicals out there for homeowners if you're mainly dealing with caterpillars and you don't mind spraying every week. There are BT products which are really nice because they only kill caterpillars. If you were growing broccoli or cabbage, you could get those in that they're very safe for you and for other critters. Ben, would you mind taking a crack at Ken's question? You may not have any better answer than me. No, I don't have any great recommendations. The Spinosad might be the only organic product that would touch it. The timing is tricky on pepper maggots. Pepper maggots are a fly. They lay their eggs on the fruit of peppers and then their maggots live inside the peppers is really tough for pepper maggot. It's not a very frequent, I rarely come across it though, I think in places where rotation might be tight in space. In a garden setting perhaps where you've got peppers that don't move too far away each year, there's a potential for a build up of that pest, and that might be what you're experiencing, in which case rotation may be a good idea. Or giving peppers a break for a season or two to draw that population down. Those are organic methods as well. They're not sprayable. They can be inconveniencing for production because you're basically taking peppers out for a period of time. The best way to try to time sprays it would be with traps. Yellow sticky traps can be helpful to identify when the adults are flying around. And that would be when you target your spray times. You wouldn't just spray it indiscriminately. You want to make sure you spray in a way that can kill adults because once their eggs hatch, the larva get protected by the fruit and there's nothing that you can spray at that point. Even a conventional product wouldn't help at that point. Timing, based on when you see flying appromagot, adults would be the way to go. The best way to do that is with yellow sticky traps. Thank you Ben. Okay, Janine asked about corn, earworm on sweet corn, or cutworm on sweet corn. If you're having cutworms chewing on your sweet corn, it's always, there's a product called Permethrin that I mentioned that you can apply to the soil that will kill cutworms. As far as corn, earworm on sweet corn. What you could do is use that same product I mentioned, either you could use Permethrin or bien. Both of those. You won't find that name on a bottle at Home Depot or Lows, it will be called Kills All or something that's like Lipitor. I take a generic and it just says Atorvastatin. But if you can get one of those, what you can do is when the corn makes, you can go out there with your backpack sprayer and just spray the silks with that, maybe once a week, U and then do that until the silks turn brown. It won't solve it completely, but it will help Japanese beetles on vegetables and ornamentals. Organic solutions preferred. I don't know if I have a good solution. Do you have any thoughts? There are none. They're very robust. Big, crunchy beetles are hard to kill even with conventional insecticides, trapping can sometimes help. I see David said he has done that. Traps tend to be too effective with Japanese. They aggregate really well based on those chemical cues and you can bring a lot more in than you would want sometimes with those. I've heard the advice given to put the traps on your neighbor's property, which is not always possible of there's a biological way to control Japanese beetle, they're a tricky pest. The biological agent is a fungus that you apply to turf grass because they lay eggs in turf. Turf is the number one crop in America. Japanese beetles lay their eggs. They live in the soil at a year. I think they go two years into adults, the powerful fliers that distribute across the landscape. And it doesn't matter if you can kill them where they've landed because there's a constant supply coming from turf environments. It doesn't seem to matter that much if you can control them in your turf either because there's turf everywhere where you control measures aren't being taken. So they're a very difficult one to handle. And my only motivational or hopeful message with them is that they are an invasive species. They tend to be worse at the edges of where they are currently moving into, in places where they've been a problem in years past. The environment has begun to tax them in a way that there are natural enemies. Taking them out, some of these soil based fungi that I was telling you about have essentially colonized areas in a way that is now suppressing their population. Of course, that's not great news for you who might be in like the heat of their invasion zone, but in a couple of years, they tend to fade away as a primary pest. You get a follow up about a host tree for Japanese beetles. Well, they're generalists. They generally aren't hosted by a particular species. They'll eat literally anything They tend to like raspberries and grapes more than other stuff. That's what I've noticed. They like asparagus a lot to. They distribute every which way because they can eat anything. They're not particularly attracted in any given direction and they'll lay eggs on all grass equally. Any turf is a place where they'll go and they'll lay their eggs. It's the blanket the landscape. David said. Would it be good to assume the Japanese beetles come from my neighbor's 200 acre hay fields? No, I don't think so. At least they're not hatching from there because they're not really going to be laying eggs. Well, it depends on the species of hay. If it's a mixture of grasses and alfalfa, then perhaps, yeah, that could be if it's straight alfalfa. They're not laying eggs in that. They might feed on it a little bit as adults but they're not like reproducing in that. But if they've got Timothy and other grasses in there, then yeah, it's possible that they're in there because hay crops tend to be grown over many years. They're not annually tilled and everything. Yeah, that's a possibility. They're like whack moles. If you knock down some, they'll just be more coming up. You can't really pinpoint the source because they're everywhere. Another, a saving grace for them is that they tend to be fairly seasonal. Getting into August and September, their activity tends to decrease. They're in the same family of beetles that June bugs are in. They follow a fairly similar lifecycle bugs. They, they're named after the month that they tend to be the most active in. They get all their wiggles out, then they reproduce and then they die off. Japanese beetles seem to last a little bit longer, but they are a bug that seems to have a fairly seasonal activity. Birds like them or not, I feel like they'd make decent fish bait. If they would sink, you probably got to put a sinker on that line, but they are shiny. I bet they'd stay on the hook. Good, That'd be nice. Yeah, I think they would. Well, thank you everyone for your attention today. I appreciate it.