Kate Burroughs 3/17/01

I spoke to an entomologist today (Kate Burroughs of Harmony Farm Supply in Sonoma Cty) who told me that she experienced something recently that made her really believe that the sharpshooter would just go away by itself if nature were allowed to take its course.

She said that in Feb 2001 (last month) she went on a field tour of a UCR Citrus Foundation planting -- 861 different varieties of citrus; it was a "tasting tour", and the tour group consisted of 20 entomologists from around the country.

The entire area was a non-sprayed area. One of the entomologists asked to see a gwss, as he had never seen one, and he was told "No problem" (apparently they had been plentiful there). So this team of entomologists looked and looked but only ONE adult gwss was to be found. They did find egg masses all over the place, and they examined each one and they were amazed to find that 100% of them had been parasitized by local wasps. (I.E., they were dead.)

Her conclusion was that maybe naturally occurring beneficials (local wasps) are now realizing that there is this great new food source, the gwss. And that therefore the gwss may not be that big a problem. She has been an economic entomologist for 25 years, and reads the journals and has never seen any news about big gwss problems coming from the areas of the country where it has supposedly been established for awhile (SE US, on citrus), so she concludes it is not that big a pest tbere..

... Just as the ash whitefly was a big pest 10 years ago, and within 3 years the parasite was established and took care of the whitefly (actually she said that entomologists help establish its parasite)


Admittedly, this was in the winter (but late winter, Feb.) and the egg masses were probably left over from the previous summer, when the native parasites do a good job on the second generation of eggs. But to only find ONE adult seems remarkable, and the testimony of Everett Dietrich also speaks to this.