Pests are relentless on crops all season long. However, during the hot summers, there are a few specific insects southeastern growers should be on the lookout for. Ayanava Majumdar, Extension entomologist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, recently collected data from sticky wing traps in the field. He reports that he found high levels of moths.
Majumdar says the traps detected high numbers of tobacco budworms, corn earworms and beet armyworms. He warns producers that several other pests tend to follow these detected insects. “Typically, beet armyworms will be followed by fall armyworms, then southern armyworms,” he says.
Furthermore, Majumdar has seen some cabbage looper numbers, which are usually followed by soybean loopers. “As the crop starts to grow rapidly, we see more of the soybean looper,” he explains.
According to Majumdar, correctly identifying these pests is crucial. Different species require different control methods, so correctly identifying the pest and then checking the state’s integrated pest management guide is the best way to go.
Majumdar encourages growers to take pictures of the moths or caterpillars when found, and then share those pictures with their local Extension agents. “Just remember that typically you will have several species of caterpillars mixed together, so it’s a good idea to take pictures of them as you see them,” he says.
Listen to Majumdar’s full comments for more information:
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