Texas Rice – Mo Way: Stink Bug Issues; Blackbird Repellent

Rice Stink Bug

For this brief article, I want to first discuss rice stink bug issues. This year, populations were highly variable. In spots where rice stink bug was bad, I received reports that pyrethroids were not doing a good job. I also received reports of Tenchu 20SG not giving as long residual as expected; however, other reports indicate Tenchu 20SG is doing a good job.

I think some of the discrepancy is due to poor timing of applications of rice stink bug insecticides. As I always say, heading/maturing rice should be scouted frequently. The most susceptible stages to rice stink bug are heading and milk, so I recommend spraying Tenchu 20SG at this time (if populations exceed threshold levels).

If populations bounce back after this application, follow up with a pyrethroid. You want to aim for less than 2% peck.

My project is evaluating other experimental insecticides for rice stink bug control. We hope to have available other residual products to be used in rotation with Tenchu 20SG. Recently, I have submitted comments to USEPA in support of continued use of neonicotinoids (like Tenchu 20SG) in rice.

Secondly, I want to briefly discuss the anthraquinone blackbird repellent applied to heading/maturing rice. Currently, this product does not have a label on heading rice, but we hope to get a label in the future.

Last week I was asked to comment on some potential water contamination issues brought up by USEPA. Some of our farmers near the Gulf Coast do not even try to ratoon crop because of severe blackbird depredation. Let’s hope we can get a label for this product!

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I did quite a bit of work on blackbirds back in the 1980s. I have some data to suggest Sevin XLR may repel blackbirds for maybe up to a week. This product is labeled on rice for rice stink bug. You might want to give it a try…

Thirdly, I want to briefly talk about a non-destructive aquatic insect associated with rice production. Some farmers and crop consultants have asked me to identify mayflies because they have observed them in and around their fields and did not know what they were.

Mayfly adults emerge in mass from bodies of water like rice paddies or canals/drain ditches. They have two pairs of veined wings held roof-like over their bodies. They also have a pair of long, thin filaments extending from the rear of their abdomens. They do not feed and live only a short time to mate. Thus, the Order name for these insects is Ephemeroptera because the adults are short-lived. The nymphs live under water and feed on detritus. The nymphs are actually beneficial since they are a food source for birds, fish and crayfish—so, not to worry about mayflies!

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