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If you have Peredovik sunflower trap crops that you may have received during an Extension event or you have okra/eggplants in large numbers, then take note of the leaffooted bug and brown stink bug invasion that has started after the recent rains.
The picture on top left shows several adults of the leaffooted bugs (Leptoglossus phyllopus) that are commonly found in trap crops around this time of year. These insects will stay away from the tomato main crop if you have a wide swath of the Peredovik sunflower and NK300 sorghum planted on your farm or garden. These insects have a very wide host range and are extremely mobile. Leaffooted bugs will keep gathering in large numbers on the sunflower (about two peaks in activity) and then migrate to the sorghum heads. Leaffooted bugs are about half inch long with leaf-like expansions on the hind legs. Brown stink bug is shown in the picture on top right. Both insects are devastating to many fruiting vegetables—so watch their activity and take timely action.
Another insect that you may find in the sunflower trap crop is the large leaffootedbug - Acanthocephala femorata. This is a very large insect and I have never seen feeding in large groups, unlike the Leptoglossus. Acanthocephala has dark body and reddish antennae; males have several spines on the hind legs. Check out more pictures on the ALABAMA VEGETABLE IPM page on FACEBOOK and use the online guide to identify the insect pest correctly. If you insect control issues in organic or conventional farming systems, give us a call immediately. Get in touch with a Commercial Horticulture or Home Grounds Regional Extension Agent at your local Extension office.
Numerous insect control IPM guides are available on ACES Store. Look at the past issues of the IPM newsletter for control recommendations or links to IPM publications. Visit https://store.aces.edu/ for more information. Attend any of the Extension field events to learn about conventional or organic vegetable production and pest management systems.
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