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Bollworms in AR Cotton and Soybeans

June 28, 2019
This illustrated image shows a bollworm

In advance of this year’s July bollworm flight, higher-than-average numbers of moths are being caught in test field traps. With some fields seeing up to 300 moths per trap, Pest Patrol entomologist Dr. Gus Lorenz’s latest update provides information on when this year’s flight will impact different parts of the state. Dr. Lorenz also reports that soybean fields may be impacted by bollworms this year.

Cotton bollworm, also known as corn earworm, damages cotton, corn and several other crops. In cotton, larvae feed on squares, blooms and bolls, as well as growing terminals. Shallow gouges on the boll surface may become infected with rot organisms, leading to further damage.

Bollworm moths typically move from corn into cotton during July. When scouting, check the entire plant for eggs and larvae, as well as signs of damage to fruiting forms. Eggs are cream colored and flat at the base. Mature larvae can reach 1.5” long and be light green to light brown on the upper body.

For best results, check with you extension agent for local thresholds. Typically, insecticides are most effective when the crop has a significant number of squares or green bolls that will have enough time to mature before the end of the season. Once bolls begin cracking, plants have become too mature to be susceptible.

Besiege® insecticide provides fast knockdown and long-lasting residual control of a wide range of pests, including cotton bollworm. Dual modes of action provide pest control by contact, ingestion and ovicidal action for the most comprehensive bollworm control.

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