Why Is The Redbay Ambrosia Beetle An Invasive Species Of Concern - Krostrade

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Why Is The Redbay Ambrosia Beetle An Invasive Species Of Concern

Answering why is the redbay ambrosia beetle an invasive species of concern is because they can cause death towards different woody plants. If death isn’t the immediate problem, these beetles can still damage the plants’ limbs and stems. They are also especially concerning in different states across the United States because several species are not native

Gardeners must know how to keep bugs out of the greenhouse to ensure the crops’ health and productivity. And while your plants may not be vulnerable to the redbay ambrosia beetle, it will help to know how to control them should the problem arise. You will distinguish these dark, bullet-shaped beetles by their snout, so be on your greenhouse lookout. 

Why Is The Redbay Ambrosia Beetle An Invasive Species Of Concern


Why Is The Redbay Ambrosia Beetle An Invasive Species Of Concern And How To Manage Them


Why are redbay ambrosia beetles concerning?

You have probably seen different articles where states have mentioned the concern about redbay ambrosia beetles. For example, in Maryland, this insect has even become the so-called “invader” of the month because of how fast it spreads and the number of plants that could get infected. But what is the effect of redbay ambrosia beetles towards plants?


Fungus vector

One of the main concerns with redbay ambrosia beetles is that they are vectors of Raffaelea Lauricella, a vascular fungus that can damage and kill plants in a short period. It causes laurel wilt, which affects the vascular system of trees. Over time, you’ll notice leaves’ wilting, and the trees can even die within weeks or months. 

The redbay ambrosia beetles become concerning because states have seen significant damage and decrease in the affected plants’ population like redbay trees. States like Florida and South Carolina have increased redbay mortality within a short period. And what makes these beetles effective vectors is that their flight alone allows the transfer of fungus successfully. 

The good news with using a greenhouse is that the structure efficiently protects plants from invasive species like redbay ambrosia beetles. With diligence in cleanliness and sanitation, you won’t run the risk of carrying these insects indoors. Sadly, some areas experienced economic concerns in crops like avocados because of these beetles. 

The spread of redbay ambrosia beetles in states where it’s a non-native insect is due to the introducing of wooden crates and pallets from southeast Asia. Failure to treat these materials is one reason why places like Georgia have identified this non-native species. Later on, this article will discuss how to manage these pests further. 


What are the effects and signs of redbay ambrosia beetles infection?

You can immediately notice that a plant or tree is infected by these beetles, not only by the tunnels but also by looking for their excretions. These feeding beetles will leave sawdust toothpicks on the trunks and branches of the infected trees. Furthermore, you can check the trunk inside where the laurel wilt fungus has left a blue stain. 


How to manage redbay ambrosia beetles?

As discussed earlier on, the spread of redbay ambrosia beetles is due to the arrival of infected wooden cargo. It doesn’t matter if the wood contains the beetles as adults or larvae because either type can cause infection. And besides wooden paraphernalia and packing materials, redbay ambrosia beetles are also transferable from firewood, smoke wood, wood chips, and tree trimmings. 

Places should also avoid taking wood from the beetle’s native environment, such as southeast Asia and states with many redbay and sassafras host plants. These states include Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas in the US. Therefore, preventing the spread of redbay ambrosia beetles is deductible into avoiding wood transport from native environments. 

Instead, infected trees should be mulched and left on sight. Sadly, there is no cure if a plant already gets infected by laurel wilt. Besides avoiding wood transport, the other management practices for redbay ambrosia beetles are limited to chipping and burning infested trees.


Can you treat infested trees infested with redbay ambrosia beetles?

Is there a chemical treatment that you can use for infected plants? The University of Florida is developing possible products. However, there are no other methods besides prevention that you can do for managing redbay ambrosia beetles at the moment. 

It takes a long time to develop a chemical treatment for these pests because it can be impractical as the adult beetles bore into the trees. Instead, you should maintain your trees’ health and prevent them from experiencing stress due to the weather, temperature, and nutrient deficiencies. Manuka oil and Phoebe oil are also known baits to monitor the population of the beetles. 



Using a greenhouse makes it easier for gardeners to maintain practices that’ll prevent the infestation of bugs. However, if you live in one of its native states, you must know why is the redbay ambrosia beetle an invasive species of concern. In general, the redbay ambrosia beetles are problematic since they are vectors of the disease laurel wilt. 

This can cause the wilting of leaves and even death to trees that has affected the avocado industry. Therefore, you must avoid introducing potentially infected wooden materials to your land. And if you have detected the beetles, mulch the infected trees.

While there is no chemical treatment available for infected trees, management practices for preventing infestation will be effective against redbay ambrosia beetles. Additionally, be responsible and do the recommended methods for the infested trees once you detect them. 


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How to Start an Avocado Farm: 4 Things to Remember

How to Start an Avocado Farm: 4 Things to Remember

Are you interested to learn how to start an avocado farm? Embarking on this journey requires time, effort, and commitment. Plus, you need to consider a number of factors including soil preparation, as well as weather conditions.

You’re probably aware that avocado trees or Persea spp, are originally from Mexico. This explains why one of the famous Mexican cuisines include avocado-based guacamole.

You can choose to grow avocado trees indoors or outdoors. If you plan to grow them in a hobby greenhouse or at home, all you have to do is to sow the seeds in pots. When they’re grown outdoors, avocado trees can grow up to 40 feet. You can al

Moreover, these trees thrive well in regions where the weather is mostly warm and sunny. However, don’t expect them to grow in areas that experience extreme temperatures during the summer and winter.


Avocado: The Superfood

Did you know that the global demand for avocados has been steadily increasing? Aside from the fact that its fruit is known for its full, buttery flavor and rich texture, it’s also packed with loads of essential nutrients that are good for your body.

A single serving of avocado fruit contains vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, potassium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, and vitamin A.  It also has protein, fiber, and healthy fats. If you’re on a low-carb plant food diet, you’d want to incorporate avocados into your diet.


What are the Growing Requirements of an Avocado Tree?

Since avocado trees need to be grown in warm semi-humid climates, they only grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 8 to 11. However, it’s important to note that while avocado trees may be grown in those zones, they don’t always thrive well in areas that get extremely hot during the summer or frosty, chilly, or snowy in the winter. This implies that the ideal environment for an avocado tree should have moderate temperatures all-year-round.


What are the 3 Primary Groups of Avocado Trees?

If you’re planning to start an avocado farm, you need to know the 3 main groups of avocado trees: Guatemalan, West Indian, and Mexican. Each type has its own ideal growing range.


Guatemalan Avocados

A Guatemalan avocado is known for its hard skin that features plenty of warts.


West Indian Avocados

This type of avocado tends to flourish in warm climates. Unlike the Guatemalan avocado, a West Indian avocado has thin and shiny skin and could weigh up to 5 pounds.


Mexican Avocados

A Mexican avocado thrives well in tropical highland areas. Compared to the other avocado groups, the Mexican avocado is more tolerant of cold weather. In fact, it can manage to survive even when temperatures drop to 26˚F.

Moreover, this type of avocado produces smaller fruit that weighs less than a single pound and its skin has a distinct papery-smoothness to it.


Expert Tips on How to Start an Avocado Farm

Unless you’re willing to take on a long-term project, spend a considerable amount of money on planting, and wait for a period of 3 to 5 years for your first harvest, don’t get into avocado farming. However, if you’re willing to go through the whole nine yards to enjoy top yields for many years, check out this guide:


Tip #1: Plant them in areas where the temperatures are consistently cool

Be sure to plant your avocado trees in cool temperatures that can range between 68˚F to 75˚F on a daily basis to avoid fruit drop. However, when they’re flowering, or when they’re starting to bear fruit, the humidity levels shouldn’t go below 50% at midday.


Tip #2: They don’t like wind

In case you’re not aware, avocado trees have brittle branches that easily snap off. For this reason, it’s best not to plant them in areas that are mostly windy because wind can cause considerable damage to their fruit.


Tip #3: Most of them need proper irrigation

If your avocados are rain-fed, they need to have at least 1,000 mm rainfall spread out throughout each year. Before their flowering season, avocado trees require a drier season that lasts for about 2 months. On a weekly basis, avocado trees need about 25 mm water.

It’s extremely important to test the quality of irrigation water because if its pH and bicarbonates are really high, they trigger a build-up of free lime in the soil. You also need to remember that high levels of sodium and chloride can have a negative impact on your avocado plants.

Since the plant’s roots are shallow, the ideal way to apply water is via a micro-sprinkler or drip. This ensures an even distribution throughout the avocado tree’s root area.

Moreover, proper moisture control needs to be ensured in the root zone because this area tends to easily dry up.


Tip #4: Determine the soil’s suitability and prepare it accordingly

You can’t just plant an avocado seed on soil that hasn’t been prepared accordingly. To prepare the soil for planting, you need to dig soil profile pits throughout your farm. Make sure that the pits are 1.5 m deep.

Only a single put per ha is required. However, you need to dig more pits if the location is non-homogenous or hilly. Check the color of the soil, its texture, structure, patches, sitting water, concretions, hardpans, stones, and gravel.



Grow Your Avocado Trees in a Hobby Greenhouse!

Since avocado trees require specific levels of temperature and humidity, you’ll find it easier to grow them in a hobby greenhouse. The enclosed space allows you to customize the environment to meet the needs of your plants. What’s more, it protects them from strong winds and the constant threat of pests.

Learning how to start an avocado farm outdoors is great, but growing them inside a hobby greenhouse is even better.



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