Category Archives: Insect

Tarnished Plant Bug Update

My name is Seth Dorman, and I’m a graduate student with Dr. Sally Taylor in the Virginia Tech Department of Entomology. My research focuses on tarnished plant bug (Lygus lineolaris) management and distribution in Virginia cotton. In recent weeks, large numbers of tarnished plant bug have been active throughout southeastern Virginia in fallow fields and ditch banks with an abundance of flowering, weedy hosts as well as in corn. Plant bugs have begun migrating into some early-planted cotton fields and were observed in cotton fields in Suffolk and Southampton counties last week.

Tarnished plant bug feeding on weedy host, daisy fleabane (Erigeron annuus).

Tarnished plant bug may move from preferred alternative hosts into cotton fields as flowering weeds senesce, and cotton plants begin to develop small, pinhead squares and subsequent flowers. Feeding during early squaring can cause plants to abort squares. Feeding on larger squares and small bolls may cause anthers in flowers to turn brown (“dirty bloom”), and small bolls to shed. Sustained feeding by tarnished plant bug from first square to early bloom can delay maturity and result in substantial losses. Scouting cotton fields once or twice a week is highly recommended after squares become visible on plants. The best indirect method for sampling plant bug is estimating square retention. Square retention can be measured by calculating the percentage of squares in the top two or three nodes of 25 randomly selected plants in a given field. If square retention drops below 80%, direct sampling for plant bugs with a sweep net is recommended. For sweep net sampling, conduct a minimum of eight 25-sweep samples randomly throughout your cotton field. We recommend using Admire Pro or other neonicotinoid products until bloom. Adult plant bugs can reinfest quickly following applications. Use restraint when treating early in the season when plants have time to compensate for injury.

Scar of an aborted square at the fruiting site on a cotton plant.

More updates on plant bug activity throughout Virginia’s cotton regions will be posted soon!

EPA decision on chlorpyrifos

The head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, signed an order last night denying the petition to ban chlorpyrifos (Lorsban). This decision will allow peanut growers in our area the continued use of this insecticide for the foreseeable future, perhaps until 2022 when the EPA is required to reevaluate safety of this product. The environmental group that filed the 2007 petition to ban chlorpyrifos has announced its plans to appeal the decision.  More information can be found here – https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-administrator-pruitt-denies-petition-ban-widely-used-pesticide-0

Warm weather and grain bin insects

Our recent warm weather has done more than wake up your plants – it has signaled to many insects that it is time to start feeding and reproducing. Prompted by a call from ANR agent Mike Parrish in Dinwiddie County, I spoke today with Kathy Flanders at University of Auburn about her recommendations to mitigate insect injury in store grain. Her #1 suggestion – turn on those fans! Your goal should be to keep the temperature inside your bin below 60 degrees. Make sure and leave equipment running long enough to cool the entire structure. If you are unable to keep temperatures below this threshold, or if our nights do not stay cool, make sure to take samples regularly to scout for insect injury. Consult this guide for management recommendations specific to the Southeast: http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/I/IPM-0330/IPM-0330.pdf.

View the Program: Virginia Eastern Shore Ag Conference and Trade Show

We look forward to seeing you January 25th and 26th at the 27th Annual Eastern Shore Ag conference & Trade Show! You can find the program online at: https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21AEczhxLIHkUCwmY&cid=05F6B732110DB231&id=5F6B732110DB231%2129963&parId=5F6B732110DB231%21813&o=OneUp. Virginia pesticide re-certification and Certified Crop Adviser credits will be available. See the program for more information.

The event will be held at the Eastern Shore Community College Workforce Development Center, 29300 Lankford Highway, Melfa, VA 23410. When you enter the driveway to the Community College, we will be meeting in the building to the left.

The Annual Oyster Roast will be held on Wednesday night, January 25th beginning with a social at 6:00 pm and oysters served at 6:30 pm. Along with oysters, there will be all-you-can-eat barbecue, sides and beverages. Tickets will be $35.00 in advance and $40.00 if purchased the day of the oyster roast.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact either Theresa Pittman (tpittman@vt.edu) or Ursula Deitch (ursula@vt.edu) for accommodation. Thank you!

Virginia Cooperative Extension logo

Virginia Eastern Shore Ag Conference and Trade Show

Join us in Melfa, VA for the 27th Annual Eastern Shore Agricultural Conference and Trade Show on January 25-26, 2017. This event is free, open to the public, and will be held at the Eastern Shore Community College Workforce Development Center. We will offer Virginia Pesticide Recertification credits for categories 1A, 10, 60, and 90. We will also offer Certified Crop Adviser Credits for nutrient management (2), soil and water (1), integrated pest management (4.5), crop management (6), and professional development (0.5). Click on the following link for topic areas being presented: ag-conf-press-release-2017

Insect update for Sep. 29, 2016

The 2016 survey of Virginia soybean for brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) and kudzu bug is now finished.  We would like to acknowledge the Virginia Soybean Board and the USDA/NIFA Extension Implementation Project for their funding support.  Since mid-July, scouts Ed Seymore, Jamie Hogue, and the Tidewater AREC entomology crew made 867 soybean field visits to 68 counties for this project.  Ed and Jamie traveled a combined 22,600 miles.  BMSB were found in 42 counties, with the highest populations coming from Bedford, Shenandoah, Rappahannock, and Orange Counties.  Please see the map for the BMSB densities.

BMSB_density_map_2016

Large numbers of green stink bug were reported in soybean in King George (11 greens per sample), Nelson (12), New Kent (10), Rappahannock (11), and Lunenburg (9); these beans were all in the R6 growth stage.  The threshold for R3-4 to R7 stages is 5 stink bugs per 15 sweeps.  Moderate green stink bug populations (approximately 3-5) were reported in most of the other counties surveyed this past week.  After R7 (beginning maturity),  the stink bug threshold is doubled.

Scouts reported less than one kudzu bug nymph per 15 sweeps this week.  Over the course of the season, kudzu bugs were found in soybean in 32 counties.  Here is the final kudzu bug map:

KB_map_29_Sep_2016We conducted 77 cypermethrin vial tests this week with 61% survival by corn earworm moths.  We plan to finish out the season with what we collect and test next week.  The seasonal average now stands at 43.1% survival.

AVT_29_Sep_2016Finally, our black light traps have been shut down for 2016.  The assistance of the participating Virginia Cooperative Extension Agents, growers, and Virginia Tech faculty and staff in this study is greatly appreciated.  Here are the final tables for this season:  BLT_29_Sep_2016

BMSB and kudzu bug survey of soybean: Sep. 22, 2016 update

Our soybean scouts detected brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) in three new Virginia counties this week (Halifax, Greensville, and Brunswick).  They found soybean fields in the following counties at BMSB threshold (3-5 adults + medium to large nymphs per 2-minute visual count or per 15 sweeps):  Albemarle, Bedford, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Orange, Rappahannock, and Shenandoah.  Please see the map for more details.

When monitoring, don’t forget about our native stink bug species–we have been seeing moderate to high numbers of green stink bugs in some fields.  The threshold for a normal mix of stink bug species (green, brown, and BMSB) is 5 in 15 sweeps.

BMSB_map_22_Sep_2016Kudzu bug numbers in soybean remain below threshold.

KB_map_22_Sep_2016

Insect pest update for Sep. 15, 2016

Soybean–brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB):  Our scouts detected BMSB in two new counties this week–Charles City and Stafford.  Eight counties were at threshold (3-5 per 2-minute visual count along the field edge)–these are listed at the bottom of the map.

BMSB_map_15_Sep_2016Soybean–kudzu bug:  A range of zero to 5 kudzu bugs per 15 sweeps was reported this week.  While no counties were at threshold levels (15 kudzu bugs per 15 sweeps), the highest numbers were reported in Campbell (5), Appomattox (4), and Amelia (3 per 15 sweeps).

KB_map_15_Sep_2016

Sorghum–white sugarcane aphid, Melanaphis sacchari:  No new counties reported for this pest this week.  So far this season, it has been confirmed in the following Virginia counties:  Amelia, Bedford, Charles City, Dinwiddie, Franklin, Greensville, Hanover, Isle of Wight, New Kent, Nottoway, Prince George, Southampton, Suffolk, Surry, and Sussex.

Corn earworm/bollworm resistance monitoring:  Survival of moths in the vial tests remains high.  We evaluated 297 moths this week, with 40.5% survival to the 5 microgram/vial rate of cypermethrin.  Our seasonal average stands at 42.8% survival (n = 1,552  moths evaluated).

Black light trap report:  Some reporting stations had a small bump upwards in the number of corn earworm moths captured (Warsaw, Prince George, Essex); declines occurred in Suffolk and Southampton.  Very few BMSB were caught.  Please refer to the tables for more information.  BLT_15_Sep_2016