No. 2 Article 3/April 6, 2007

Arthropods in Wheat Deserve Your Attention

Everyone scouting for insects and mites in wheat should be on the alert for a number of these potential pests. Kevin Black, insecticide/fungicide technical specialist with Growmark, provided the following commentary about a number of arthropods in southern Illinois during the last week of March: "Hessian fly numbers are very high in volunteer wheat, as are numbers of wheat curl mites. Wheat streak mosaic virus symptoms are obvious in mite-infested volunteer wheat. Adult Hessian flies are emerging right now. Bird-cherry oat aphid numbers are variable, sometimes above the 10-per-foot-of-row threshold for limiting barley yellow dwarf virus infection."

Hopefully the article "Hessian Flies Should Be on Our Radar Screens" published in issue No. 1 (March 23, 2007) of the Bulletin provided enough information for you to be on the alert for this pest. However, Kevin Black's additional observations about Hessian flies and about the wheat cur mite and aphids are worthy of note. It's also not too early to mention armyworms once again. Captures of armyworm moths, although not heavy in most Illinois traps, continue, and the relatively recent memory of the impact of armyworms in 2000 should still be a motivator to scout diligently. As we receive more reports from people scouting wheat fields, we'll keep you apprised of developments. Obviously the forecasts for colder temperatures should slow insect and mite activity, but the presence of these potential pests should be noted early and regularly.--Kevin Steffey

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