Everyone in the peanut industry in Georgia knows that burrower bugs are bad. That is why I get several calls each spring from folks who have found burrower bugs in their fields and are understandably concerned. Sometimes the offending creature is the peanut burrower bug, but most of the time it is not.
The “other” burrower bug that is commonly seen this time of year is the white-lined burrower bug.
This cousin to the peanut burrower bug can occur in large numbers and is often seen on weeds as temperatures begin to rise and land preparation and planting get underway. Fortunately the white-lined burrower bug is not considered a pest of peanut, and growers should not be alarmed by its presence.
The white-lined burrower bug gets it name from a white line on the margin of its body (see image). The peanut burrower bug is solid dark brown to black and has very distinct spines on its legs.
If you find “burrower bug like” insects in fields and are not sure about their identity, your local county Extension agent can help you.