Posing new challenges for growers, additional pests have been shown to transmit the laurel wilt pathogen to avocado groves in Florida.
 
In a new study, University of Florida plant pathology professor Randy Ploetz said scientists found new types of beetles that can carry the pathogen that can kill avocado trees.
 
More than 14 different ambrosia beetles may infest avocado trees, Daniel Carrillo, entomology assistant professor at the University of Florida Tropical Research and Education Center, Homestead, said in a news release.
 
Carrillo is studying the beetles to identify vectors in the spread of this disease and working on ways to control them, according to the release. Scientists don’t yet have a best management practices manual for the beetles, according to the release.
 
According to the release, scientists don’t know how many species of ambrosia beetle transmit the fungus that causes laurel wilt, also known as Raffaelea lauricola.