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As an extension Specialist (78%), I am responsible for educational programs covering management of insect pests of commercial and recreational turf, sod farms, ornamental plant production, pecans, Christmas trees and fish bait production. I also handle identification of insect specimens sent in to the Tifton office. The research portion of my appointment (22%) is used to support my extension programs.
The most serious pests of turfgrass in the Southeast are mole crickets, and most of my turf work has focused on various approaches to management of this problem. In addition to pesticide screening trials that provide the data to refine our recommendations for mole cricket control, I have made releases of three biological control agents for mole crickets. One, the nematode Steinernema scapterisci, is now established and widespread in Southeast Georgia. The parasitic fly, Ormia depleta, so far has not survived. The parasitic wasp, Larra bicolor, is apparently established in the Tifton area and has been released elsewhere. Monitoring and releases of natural enemies continues.
Insect problems in ornamental plant production are much more varied than in turf, and range from mites to whiteflies and aphids to caterpillars and beetles. I am currently working on control, both conventional and biological, of whiteflies, spider mites and Ambrosia beetles.
Pecans are an important crop for Georgia, with roughly half of the U.S. crop produced here in the state. Significant pest problems are relatively predictable and the IPM challenge is to refine scouting techniques and find ways to use pesticides, both familiar materials and newer products, to manage pests without disrupting the ecology of the orchard and creating more problems. We are still refining our use of the new types of insecticides for controlling mites and the pecan aphid complex, but it appears that pecan growers will be able to improve control of these key pests even when many of the organophosphate insecticides that have been used are no longer available.
Hudson, W.G. 1989. Field sampling and population estimation of the tawny mole cricket (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae). Fla. Entomol. 72: 337-343.
Braman, S.K., A.F. Pendley, B. Sparks, and W.G. Hudson. 1992. Thermal requirements for development, population trends, and parasitism of azalea lace bug (Heteroptera: Tingidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 85: 870-877.
Parkman, J.P., W.G. Hudson, J.H. Frank, K.B. Nguyen, and G.C. Smart, Jr. 1992. Establishment and persistence of Steinernema scapterisci (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae) in field populations of Scapteriscus spp. mole crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae). J. Entomol. Sci. 28: 182-190.
Braman, S.K. and W.G. Hudson. 1993. Patterns of flight activity of pest mole crickets in Georgia. International Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 7: 157-159.
Hudson, W.G. 1994. Life cycles and population monitoring of pest mole crickets. In Leslie, A.R. (ed.) Handbook of IPM for Turf and Ornamentals. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL.
Hudson, W.G., J.A. Reinert, and R.L. Crocker. 1995. Bermudagrass and related Eriophyid Mites. pp. 29-31. In Brandenburg, Rick, L. and Michael G. Villani (eds.) Handbook of turfgrass Insect Pests. Entomol. Soc. of Amer., Lanham, MD.
Hudson, W.G. 1995. Mole Crickets. pp 78-81. In Brandenburg, Rick L. and Michael G. Villani (eds.) Handbook of Turfgrass Insect Pests. Entomol. Soc. of Amer., Lanham, MD.
Hudson, W.G. 2001. Surface movement of the tawny mole cricket, Scapteriscus vicinus (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae). International Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 9: 774-779.