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Tawny Crazy Ant

“Crazy ant” is a common name that can refer to several invasive species found in the southeastern U.S. Their fast and erratic movement makes them appear crazed. This article will focus on the tawny crazy ant (TCA), as they are a large threat to Mississippi.
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Asian Citrus Psyllid

What is it The Citrus Psyllid is an insect that feeds on the leaves and stems of citrus trees, and the Asian variety (Diaphorina citri, ACP) is a threat to citrus crops in the U.S. The adult ACP is very small (usually 2-4 millimeters) and is typically mottled brown in color. Pregnant females and nymphs (juveniles) are yellowish orange, and nymphs have bright red eyes. Adults are often found feeding on the underside of leaves, but the nymphs feed only on new growth. The ACP eggs are yellow in color and are usually found on the newest growth, tucked in the folds of new leaves. How does it cause harm? The adult ACP feeds on the sap of leaves and twigs of citrus trees (including orange, lemon, lime, mandarin, pomello, kumquat, grapefruit and tangerine) producing sticky honeydew, which can cause the leaves to mold. Nymphs are equally dangerous to young plants as they feed only on new growth and can cause leaves to grow misshapen and deformed. Excessive feeding can cause leaf buds to die preventing leaves from forming. Established plants can survive the nymphs feeding, but young plants often die before they can establish healthy leaf growth. Though excessive […]
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Asian Longhorn Beetle

What is it The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) is a longhorned or sawyer beetle from central Asia that was accidently imported into the U.S. in wood-packing material used in shipping. The beetle was first discovered in Brooklyn, New York in 1996. Since it was first identified, the ALB has spread throughout parts of New York State, Illinois, Massachusetts, and California. Because of the relatively small infestation area, it is believed that eradication efforts can be successful. Examples of successful eradication include the state of New Jersey, which was declared ALB-free in March of 2013, and Canada, which has been ALB-free since 2007. How does it cause harm? The ALB lays its eggs on the bark of hardwood trees. When the egg hatches, the larva burrows under the bark and begins to consume the xylem and phloem of the tree, causing the tree to eventually die of starvation. It usually takes two years for the larva to reach maturity inside the tree. Upon reaching maturity, the beetle will bore its way out of the tree and prepare to mate. The damage caused by the ALB weakens the tree in such a way that it cannot be used for anything besides packing […]
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European Gypsy Moth

What is it The Gypsy Moth is a native of Eurasia that was introduced to North America, specifically Boston, Massachusetts, in 1869 as an attempt to start a silkworm industry. Some of the moths escaped and have become a major pest in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. However, every state has the potential for an infestation since they all contain habitat that is considered suitable for Gypsy Moths. Damage to trees is caused by the caterpillars that emerge in the spring and feast on the trees’ leaves. The caterpillar feasts on leaves until late summer when it pupates to turn into a moth. They have the potential to completely defoliate a tree. The caterpillars prefer deciduous hardwoods, especially oak, but in heavy infestations, the caterpillar will dine on any kind of tree, including evergreens. The mature caterpillars are between 50-65 mm long and identifiable by their yellow and black heads and a distinctive body pattern, 5 blue spots followed by 6 red spots. However, these features are not present in young caterpillar (those measuring less than 12 mm). As an adult, the moths are sexually dimorphic, meaning they vary in appearance between males and females. Females are larger […]
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Imported Fire Ant

The imported fire ant is just that: an ant, imported from South America, with a sting that feels like fire! Why is that such a problem? Because these ants are aggressive and have a painful sting that causes mild to severe allergic reactions in most people, and they like to live in areas where humans and farm animals spend time.
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Emerald Ash Borer

What is it? The Emerald Ash Borer, otherwise referred to as EAB, is a small, green beetle from northeastern Asia; it was introduced to North America in 2002. During the larval stage, the EAB can be found under the bark of ash trees, feeding within the sapwood; adult beetles can be found feeding on the leaves. Upon arrival in Michigan, in Michigan in 2002, EAB infested our native ash trees at an alarming rate. Much the same as other invasive species, the EAB, spread throughout eastern North America with ease due to a lack of natural predators, parasites, and pathogens. This contributed to the EAB earning a pest status in North America whereas the EAB is not considered a pest in Asia. Limited funding and growing EAB populations lead to the abandonment of eradication efforts early on. The speed at which EAB populations have grown and spread are problematic to the U.S. and Canada, both of which have extensive populations of ash trees. As an adult, the insect is recognizable by its bright green, metallic sheen; hence its common name, “Emerald” Ash Borer. The adult EAB is quite small, shorter in length than a penny is in diameter (width). While […]
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