No. 14 Article 3/June 30, 2006

Numbers of Japanese Beetles Are Enormous in Some Areas

Ron Hines, senior research specialist at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, has reported capturing enormous numbers of Japanese beetles in his traps in southern Illinois. In one 24-hour period, the trap in Massac County captured 11,664 Japanese beetles, with a three-day total of 21,614. The one-week total for captures was 47,018 Japanese beetles! For more details about these captures, visit "The Hines Report".

Ron Hines is not the only person reporting huge numbers of Japanese beetles in southern Illinois. We have received numerous reports from several individuals. In addition, some people in central Illinois are finding large numbers of Japanese beetles feeding in corn and soybean fields. One individual driving his car west from Champaign indicated that the sound of beetles hitting his car was similar to driving along a gravel road. Others have also reported the disgusting results of driving through "storms" of Japanese beetles.

Many people are worried about the effect that Japanese beetles will have on corn pollination. I addressed this concern in last week's issue (no. 13, June 23, 2006) of the Bulletin. However, it's worth repeating that we believe the best management practice is to wait for the corn to begin pollinating before applying an insecticide. Insecticides applied too early may not last long enough to protect the silks when they emerge, possibly necessitating a second insecticide application. Two insecticide applications to control Japanese beetles in corn is not economically or environmentally sound.--Kevin Steffey

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