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Department of Entomology

Department of Entomology
123 W. Waters Hall
1603 Old Claflin Place
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506-4004

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Special Notes 2003

New Bulk Pesticide and Fertilizer Regulations:

Kansas Department of Agriculture announced Dec. 2, 2003 that owners of pesticide bulk storage facilities need to certify compliance with new regulations by December 27. Owners of existing bulk pesticide storage facilities have until Dec. 27 to certify they are in compliance with load pad and secondary containment regulations that went into effect earlier this year, or to certify how their facility will be modified to achieve compliance. To help facility owners determine if they are affected by the new regulations, the Kansas Department of Agriculture's pesticide and fertilizer program has posted to its website easy-to-follow flow charts that list the criteria that trigger the need for secondary containment. The website is at: www.accesskansas.org/kda/Pest&Fert/Contain.htm Questions about load pad and secondary containment regulations for bulk pesticide storage facilities should be directed to Diana Keller at (785) 296-3454.

St. Louis (Nov. 3, 2003) Monsanto Receives EPA Registration For Yieldgard Plus Insect-Protected Corn Monsanto's YieldGard Plus corn offers U.S. growers the first biotech product designed to control both the corn borer and corn rootworm pests.

Soybean Aphid Found in 17 Kansas Counties during 2003

Low numbers of soybean aphids were reported from three counties on August 8, 2003 (Riley, Wabaunsee and Pottawatomie counties) and five more counties had been reported as of August 13, 2003 (Clay, Cloud, Republic, Shawnee and Washington). By August 22, six more counties had been added to the list Anderson, Dickinson, Franklin, Geary, Jefferson and Nemaha. Then trace numbers were found in 3 more counties by August 26 (Pawnee, Thomas and Sheridan).This means that producers should be watching for this pest, but the good news is that economic populations have not been reported yet. In addition during more recent surveys of some of these fields no aphids were detected. Could be the hot, dry weather, natural enemies, or they may have disbursed naturally without colonizing. Will continue weekly monitoring. See our soybean aphid web page or Extension>Insect Information>Crop Pests>Soybeans>SBA>03 for more information.

‘Butterflies in Kansas’ Wheel Now Available

The slick cardstock wheel has two layers. Around the rim, it shows the state’s 16 most common butterfly species as adults. Cutouts in the smaller top layer rotate to reveal pictures of the caterpillar and cocoon (pupa) that go with each adult. The wheel also includes the butterflies’ common and scientific names, as well as the plants each caterpillar prefers, interesting facts, and Web site addresses for more information.

Electronic Monitoring System Counts Insects and Identifies Species (html) or (pdf) -- Agricultural Research Magazine --July 2003 - Vol. 51, No. 7

New product labeled for treating stored grain.

Gustafson has recently received a label for Storcide a Grain, Bin and Warehouse Insecticide containing cyfluthrin and chlorpyrifos-methyl. More information on it and other products used to protect stored grain can be found on our web page Stored Grain Management Options

New Publication Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus (March 2003)

Wheat Head Armyworm

Looks like we are in the middle of a wheat head armyworm outbreak.

Elevators from Scott City to Bird City to Russell are reporting every truckload as having significant IDK and some loads running sample grade.

The pest responsible for the damage is the wheat head armyworm. This insect is often overlooked because its coloration allows it to blend into the head and it does most of its feeding at night. The larvae feed directly on the developing seeds and the damage in mature kernels looks a lot like that caused by stored grain weevils.

It often occurs at low levels in the margins of wheat fields, feeding on developing grains. However, apparently this year conditions were just right to foster a serious outbreak of this pest in some parts of western Kansas.

Several elevators are reporting IDK (Insect Damaged Kernels) at levels that are exceeding the maximum allowable levels for No. 1 wheat. This can result in substantial discounts to grain producers. In some cases damage is high enough to cause the grain to be classified as sample grade.

Since the larvae will not survive in storage and since the wheat is ready to harvest there is really not much that can be done at this time. Any insecticides that could be applied to wheat would require a several day pre-harvest interval that would delay harvest, which is never a good idea at this time of year. In addition by the time the wheat reaches maturity most of the larvae should be nearly full grown and most of the damage has already been done.

In areas where the wheat is still several days from harvest one could survey for wheat head armyworm using a sweep net. Keep in mind that it tends to build up in field margins, which can lead to false alarms if the whole field is not sampled. Insecticide treatments could be considered if populations were detected while larvae were small and the heads were still green. But once harvest has started there is nothing that can be done.

Questions that are being asked most often include the following:

Why is the problem so bad this year?

Not sure that we know specifically, but it is probably related to the weather. Evidently the long mild spring that we have had was ideal for the larvae of this insect to survive.

Will these larvae migrate out of the wheat fields to damage nearby crops?

Not aware of this being a major concern like it is with the true armyworm, but with the types of numbers that are being reported it would be prudent to watch nearby fields for a few days after harvest just to be safe. Grass type plants like corn and sorghum would be the most likely crops to be damaged by migrating larvae. Luckily most of the larvae are nearly fully grown by the time the wheat is harvested and should be ready to pupate soon.

Will these larvae be a problem next year?

Again can't say any thing for sure, but unless we have very similar weather conditions, I would not anticipate serious problems again next year. This insect is present most years, but seldom causes much concern.

Phil Sloderbeck
Entomologist Kansas State University
Southwest Area Extension Office

Press Releases

Worms Evident in Some Kansas Wheat and Alfalfa 11/21/03

Central States Still the Epicenter for 2003 West Nile Virus Cases 9/17/03

At the Kansas State Fair: 4-H Bugs Termed ‘Tops’ 8/27/03

Deadline Approaching: Cattle Grub Treatments 8/26/03

Soybean Aphids Spreading Rapidly in Kansas, U.S. 8/25/03

Nasty Little Bloodsuckers Again Invading Bedrooms 8/4/03

Blister Beetles Attacking Kansas Gardens, Fields 7/31/03

Most Areas of Kansas Now Positive for West Nile Virus 7/18/03

Wheat Head Armyworms Causing Unhappy Surprise at Elevators6/25/03

‘You’d Better Watch Out. You’d Better Not Cry’: Brown Recluse Spiders Are Now Nearby 6/19/03

Chigger Season is Here--Tiny Mites A Prime Cause of Itching, Irritation 6/19/03

Ugly Trees, ‘Honeydewed’ Cars Point to Scale Insect Infestations June 12, 2003

Grasshoppers Staging ‘Spotty’ State Invasion 6/11/03

Tick Bits 6/5/03

Don’t Go into Tick Territory Without Following the ‘Rules’ 6/5/03

Some Mosquito Products Can Be Worse Than Having No Protection 5/23/03

K-State Entomologists Asking Kansans to Report Dead Birds (May 14, 2003)

Notes on Alfalfa and Wheat Pests for Western Kansas -- March 15, 2003 -- Army Cutworm, Brown Wheat Mites, March Fly Larvae and Pale Western Cutworms.

The Mosquitoes Are Active; Prepare for West Nile Virus (May 8, 2003)

Spring 2003 May Be Heaven for Dust Mites Released (May 1, 2003)

Termite Protection Begins With Understanding of Environment (April 23, 2003)

Dry Spring May Spark Chinch Bug Outbreak (April 14, 2003)