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Flea Beetles and Southern Corn Leaf Beetles in Southern Illinois

April 27, 2001
During the week of April 16, Bill Tarter, Alvey Labs, Breese, Illinois, reported finding some corn leaf beetles and southern corn leaf beetles causing minor feeding injury in a cornfield in St. Clair County. Both of these insects have figured prominently in our early-season hand-wringing during the past few years, so people will want to know about their presence. However, because the spring of 2001 is unfolding a bit differently than the spring of 2000, it's hard to predict whether either of these insects will cause any significant problems. We've already offered an overview of flea beetles in the Bulletin (issue no. 3, April 13, 2001). We'll provide more details about the now-infamous southern corn leaf beetles in next week's issue of the Bulletin. In the meantime, for all of you who are scouting in the few fields that have emerged, keep your eyes peeled. Southern corn leaf beetles are small and hard to find at first. But watch carefully and you will discover them eventually. I learned this firsthand last year with the master observer himself, Dale Burmester, Gateway FS, Red Bud (Randolph County). And if I have enough patience to find these small insects, anyone does.--Kevin Steffey

Author: Kevin Steffey

The Pest Management and Crop Development Bulletin
Executive Editor: Kevin Steffey, Extension Entomologist

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