UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance
University of California
UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance

Fall 2013 Field Observations: Recent insects from Florida

by Jim Bethke

There has been a rash of insect pests intercepted on plant material from Florida in the last couple of weeks (see below). I have received an average of one call per week about a new pest interception that San Diego County officials need to deal with. I think the regulators have been exceptionally fair with the local growers who have the interceptions.

There are two important points to make here. First, the growers in Florida need to do a much better job of cleaning their product before they ship to California. Second, if the product comes to your facility, it is incumbent on you to get a little tougher with your suppliers and not with the regulators who have the very tough job of protecting California agriculture.

It makes very little sense to allow a potentially serious agricultural pest into the state and claim that it can be cleaned up with a little pesticide. That’s not always the case and with many of these pests, complete elimination is highly unlikely. As always, the ornamental industry is constantly implicated in moving pests worldwide. Why take the chance and exacerbate the problem?

Pests Detected in Shipments from Florida in the last four weeks in San Diego County.

Pest Common Name

Pest Scientific Name

Plant Species Harboring Pest

Jack Beardsley Mealybug

Pseudococcus jackbeardsleyi

Aglaonema sp.

Magnolia white scale

Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli

Phoenix roebelenii

Red wax scale

Ceroplastes rubens

Aglaoenema sp.

Shield bug


Hygrophila corymbosa

Florida wax scale

Ceroplastes floridensis

Dypsis sp.

Magnolia white scale

Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli

Dypsis sp.


James A. Bethke
Farm Advisor, Nurseries and Floriculture
UC Cooperative Extension San Diego, North County Office
151 E. Carmel St., San Marcos, CA 92078
(760) 752-4715 phone
(760) 752-4725 fax






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