“Bad year for insects,” says Integrated Pest Management specialist

Insects are on the march across the Midwest.

University of Minnesota Extension integrated pest management specialist Bruce Potter says conditions in his state and several others have been favorable for pests.

“This has just been a really bad year for insects. It started out with cutworms and armyworms and rootworms, and those are still an issue.”

In soybeans, he tells Brownfield spider mite infestations are spiking because of hot, dry weather and aphid populations are building.

“Higher aphid populations tend to be kind of where some of the planting went on early, but the other factor that seems to be driving these things is enough rainfall for a good soybean crop but not so much moisture stress that you’ve got good mite conditions.”

And Potter cautions soybean growers against using a broad-spectrum insecticide to treat aphids and spider mites.

“We’ve got some products that are pretty selective on aphids, they work well. And they don’t disrupt the natural enemies as much, so they’re not going to make spider mites worse.”

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