2 Pests Found in Areas of West Virginia; Might Cause Problems - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

2 Pests Found in Areas of West Virginia; Might Cause Problems

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Two pests have been spotted in the state and could be causing problems in North Central West Virginia.

Fall webworms create giant webs on trees that hold their larvae. They feed in groups and can skeletonize leaves, or consume entire leaves as they reach maturity.

Even though the webs might be an eye sore, Entomology specialists said they are harmless.

"It's cyclic. The populations some years are bigger than others," said Daniel Frank, a WVU Extension Services Entomology Specialist. "Just because you have it doesn't mean you're going to have problems year after year after year. And again, the best thing to do is nothing. If you can."

The harlequin bug is also a pest that has been seen in areas of West Virginia. The bug feeds on vegetable crops and has been spotted in areas of the state.

The pests often remain throughout the winter; they seek shelter in crop residues and other organic debris such as dead leaves, mulch or bunches of grass.

Heavy infestations can cause plants to turn brown and die. But weeding and chemical options can keep them at bay.

Chemical options include numerous compounds in the pyrethroid and neonicotinoid class of insecticides. Pyrethrins are permissible in organic production.