Spongy Moth
Image by Cornell University

Pests and Pathogens on Nature Calls: Conversations from the Hudson Valley

Episode 120: Pests & Pathogens Retrospective (Part 1)

Welcome to another of our retrospective series which are compilations of shorter segments on related topics that were previously aired and that we’ve now packaged into an episode for easier access. This is the first of a three episodes focused on Pests and Pathogens. This one contains segments on diagnosing plant problems, beetles and spongy moths. These are three short segments that were previously aired, but we've repackaged them for easier listening.

Dede Terns-Thorpe and Jackie Hayden are Master Gardener Volunteers from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties. They join the Nature Calls: Conversations from the Hudson Valley podcast to provide insights on common issues that can be found in home gardens and landscapes.

Diagnosing plant problems is key to coming up with the correct control mechanism. Many plant issues are caused by environmental issues, but there are times when insects, or fungal, viral, or bacterial factors are the problem. The location and the type of the damage are an important clue in determining any insect cause damage diseases. Learn how to monitor your plants and isolate the potential issue.

Do you know that forty percent of all insect species are beetles? They include plant feeders, predators, scavengers as well as parasites. Typically beetles pass through four stages of development, the egg, the larva, the pupa, or the cocoon, and the adult. The larvae are commonly called grubs and the pupa is something called a chrysalis. Learn about Colorado beetles, Japanese beetles, and Lady bugs on this segment of the episode.

Then stay tuned for a segment on the Spongy Moth (Lymantria dispar dispar, also formerly called the European gypsy moth) which is native to Europe and first arrived in the US in 1869. This moth is a major pest because the caterpillars have huge appetites for >300 species of trees and shrubs, posing a danger to New York’s forests. The caterpillars defoliate trees, leaving them vulnerable to diseases and other pests, and can eventually kill the tree. Egg masses, which have a spongy or hair-like covering, survive through the winter months and can be moved inadvertently on household items and agricultural products. Early detection is critical to limiting the spongy moth's spread. This segment may help you to understand what can be done to manage any reoccurrence.

Host: Jean Thomas

Guests: Dede Terns-Thorpe and Jackie Hayden

Photo by: Cornell University

Production Support: Linda Aydlett, Deven Connelly, Teresa Golden, Xandra Powers, Annie Scibienski



Xandra Powers
Community Horticulture Coordinator
518-828-3346 x106

Last updated May 9, 2024