Icerya genistae (Hempel)
Significance: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has published an informative alert about the recent Icerya genistae detections in Florida. These detections were a first for Florida and the continental United States. There are also new reports of I. genistae in Barbados, where the pest is spreading quickly and causing damage to numerous vegetable and ornamental crops. Besides Florida and Barbados, this insect has only been collected from Brazil.
Issues of Concern: Little is known about its biology or natural enemies and there is concern this scale could be confused with other species of Icerya, such a I. purchasi, that is already present in Florida.
A description, host list, and photos of Icerya genistae can be found at: Hodges, G. 2006. Pest Alert: Icerya genistae (Hemiptera: Margarodidae); A new exotic scale insect for Florida. 9 November 2006. www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi/enpp/ento/i.genistae.html More information about Icerya genistae in Barbados can be found at: The Associated Press. 2006. Invasive bug species sucking life out of crops, wild plants in Barbados. 29 November 2006. International Herald Tribune. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/11/29/news/CB_GEN_Barbados_Invasive_Insect.php CBC. 2006. New pest destroying crops. 28 November 2006. CBC.bb http://www.cbc.bb/content/view/8520/10/