Dr. Will Hudson is 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. He also handles identification of insect specimens sent in to the Tifton office.
The most serious pests of turfgrass in the Southeast are mole crickets, and most of his 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, he has 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. He is currently working on control, both conventional and biological, of whiteflies, spider mites and Ambrosia beetles.