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A Few Insect "Thumbnail" Reports

May 17, 2002
Following are some brief reports of occurrences of a few insects in Illinois or elsewhere in the Midwest:

· A few people have reported finding flea beetles feeding on seedling corn plants in some areas. Matt Montgomery, Sangamon/Menard Extension unit educator in crop systems, found approximately three to four per plant in one field--below the threshold of five beetles per plant but bumping up against the threshold.

· Ron Hines, senior research specialist at the University of Illinois Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, reported three southwestern corn borer adults in his traps in Massac County on May 18 (refer to "The Hines Report, This first capture is comparable to first captures in 2000 (May 19) and 2001 (May 18). Southern Illinois farmers will want to keep abreast of the activity of this pest this year. Ric Bessin, extension entomologist at the University of Kentucky, indicates that later-planted corn is more susceptible to damage caused by southwestern corn borers. However, survival of southwestern corn borers this year has been fairly low. Ric has written a nice article summarizing this information for Kentucky Pest News ( kpn_02/pn020506.htm#corwet).

· Ron Hines also continues to capture a few European corn borer adults in his traps. We'll discuss European corn borers in more detail in future issues of the Bulletin.

In northern Illinois, alfalfa weevils seem to be most noticeable by their absence or at least the scarcity of economic infestations. It's possible that the cool, wet weather has fostered epizootics of the fungus Zoophthora phytonomi. In addition, I have received more than one report that adults and cocoons of Bathyplectes wasps have been found in some fields. Nevertheless, alfalfa producers in northern counties need to keep watching for alfalfa weevils, at least for a short while. Natural enemies may not be present in all fields.--Kevin Steffey

Author: Kevin Steffey

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

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