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Commercial Horticulture > Comm Hort Blog > Posts > Alabama Insect Pest Monitoring Report (May 14-27, 2015)

(May 14-27, 2015)

Shown below are the sticky wing trap catches for some insect pest species. Producers are encouraged to refer to the IPM guides on ACES website for crop-specific control recommendations. Consult a Regional Extension Agent for developing a farm-specific IPM plan.

Beet armyworms: Has 5-6 generations in the south. Host plants include bean, corn, cowpea, eggplant, pea, pepper, potato, tomato, and many other vegetables. Field crops may include corn, cotton, peanut, sorghum, and soybean. Moth numbers are building up in certain areas of central AL – so be on the lookout for caterpillars if the weather becomes hot and dry.


Fall armyworm: Has 4 generations in the south – migrates upward from FL and gets bad mid- to-late-season on specialty crops. Prefers to feed on grasses then move to various row crops and vegetables that include fruiting crops. It appears that at present fall armyworms are not aggressively migrating into row crops or vegetable fields but hot dry weather can make populations worse. Hay and livestock producers are encouraged to read this article by Dr. Kathy Flanders, and contact her for additional observations.  


Corn earworm: Has about 5-7 generations in the south. Corn, tomato and cotton appear to be favorite crops among numerous others row and horticultural plants that may also be attacked. Moth numbers have not increased during the past two weeks locations monitored but that doesn’t mean moths are not present. Peak activity usually happens in mid-summer with several overlapping generations present. Tomatoes are a favored host for egg laying if corn is unavailable – so vegetable producers should watch out!


Tobacco budworm: Has 4-5 generations in the south. Host crops cotton, soybean, and peanuts among others. May attack vegetables as pea, pepper, pigeon pea, squash, and tomato. We have detected a very low population in Lee County but moths may be active in many southern AL counties. These insects are difficult to kill with synthetic pyrethroids – so look before you spray!


Soybean looper: Infestations happen from migrating populations or moths may be moved by weather systems. Attack soybean and peanuts among other row crops. Also attacks many summer vegetable crops during late season. Moth numbers/activity appears low in observed locations.


Lesser cornstalk borer: 3-4 generations may occur. Prefers various legume (including peanuts and soybeans) and grassy crops. The moths are usually detected in high numbers in row crops which is evident from the reported numbers. However, crop damage from caterpillars usually follows prolonged hot dry weather.


Squash vine borer: One generation per year. Moths are day-flying and they can migrate long distances during early spring to find host plants. Vines must be protected using insecticides or with insect netting ahead of the insect to reduce egg laying. Moth activity is high in many of the monitoring locations and producers should be on high alert to prevent infestations. Moths look like wasps and lay eggs on the stem close to the soil.


Ayanava Majumdar

Ext. Entomologist/SARE Program Coordinator


Luke Knight and Lucinda Daughtry

 Undergraduate IPM Project Assistants​ 


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