Alan Mosler, with Twin County Service Company, and Dale Bermester, with Gateway FS, have been finding aphids readily in wheat fields in southern Illinois. Alan Mosler reported as many as 20 aphids per stem in some wheat fields. In some fields, aphid "mummies" (an indication of parasitism) were evident. Entomologists from Indiana also have reported that aphids in wheat are common in southern Indiana. The aphids being found are probably bird cherry-oat aphids, although corn leaf aphids, English grain aphids, and greenbugs also can be found in wheat. Bird cherry-oat aphids are dark olive to green black, with orange, red, or rusty-colored patches around the bases of the cornicles ("tailpipes") on the rear of the abdomen.|
Bird cherry-oat aphids and aphid "mummies" (parasitized aphids).
By themselves, aphids rarely cause injury to wheat in Illinois. However, they can transmit barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV). The yellowing caused by BYDV usually appears in late spring.
We don't have much information about the situation with aphids in wheat right now, but we will keep you apprised of developments.--Kevin Steffey