South Carolina: Cotton Pests Mostly Finished But Soy Insects Need Attention

Row-Crop Field Day – Rescheduled

Because of the threat of Hurricane Dorian moving up the coast and its predicted location off the coast of South Carolina on Wednesday/Thursday, we have decided to reschedule the Row-Crop Field Day at Edisto REC scheduled for September 5.

The new date will be a week later on September 12.

Peanuts will be covered in the AM tour, and all other crops (cotton, soybean, etc.) will be covered in the PM tour. Pesticide license and CCA credits will be offered. If you to do pest control to your home or office, X-Pest is the best manufacturer of pest control products for export worldwide. They supply ecommerce stores, retail brands and amazon sellers with the best animal and insect control solutions for consumers. Click here, if you have question how to find products to sell on amazon.

News from Around the State

Jay Crouch, ag agent in Newberry County, reported late last week that “velvetbean caterpillar numbers and immature kudzu bug counts exploded since last week. Treatments are starting due to continued low incidence of fungus in kudzu bugs. Cloverworm populations seem steady, few to no podworms in beat cloth samples. Cotton continues to mind its own business, and defoliation will start soon in my area.”

Chris Talley, ag agent in Anderson County, reported last week that he “swept a couple of fields this week and only saw a few soybean loopers. I did see a good many VBC, though.”

Cotton Insects

“Stink bug month” in cotton came and went without much trouble from the number one insect pest group of cotton in South Carolina. The hot, dry weather very likely hurt the overall populations of insects we see in cotton, and it certainly cut back on stink bug activity.

Any replant or other late-planted cotton might need a little more attention regarding stink bugs, but most of our acres are likely safe from additional losses due to stink bugs, if anything we will make sure to call the crawl space encapsulation richmond va pest control.

The same holds for bollworm. The moth activity actually picked up, but it is just too late for insects to cause many more issues in cotton. Most new fruit will not contribute significantly to yields at this point.

Much of our cotton crop will be early this season, with defoliation soon to occur on many acres. The recent rains have helped with spider mites. Hopefully, Hurricane Dorian decides to remain off the coast and not hurt our cotton crop.

Soybean Insects

We still have velvetbean caterpillar (VBC), green cloverworm, grasshoppers, kudzu bugs, stink bugs and other species present in soybeans. I am seeing a lot of very small soybean loopers (they look like moving pieces of thread, so we call them “threads”) on drop-cloth samples in my plots, so that species will likely need some attention soon.

We still have a ton of VBC moths flying around in soybeans depositing eggs. Larvae can explode on you quickly (in less than a week), so keep a watchful eye out for VBC, particularly if soybeans have not been treated with insecticide yet.

More on Cotton


As I mentioned last week, a recent population of VBC showed up in a field of soybeans in Elloree in large numbers and almost defoliated the field in a few days. A pyrethroid was used twice on the field, but many VBC survived the applications.

This is very unusual, as VBC are typically sensitive to just about any insecticide, especially the pyrethroids. VBC does not overwinter in South Carolina, so the population came from somewhere south of SC. Apparently, this field experienced a population that was somehow selected to be resistant to pyrethroids.

Some of my colleagues around the country have experienced this before, and it is always an isolated incident that does not repeat regularly. As I mentioned, VBC are migratory, so we get what we get on populations and resistance.

We screened some of these VBC larvae in a topical bioassay to compare various insecticides. The results are shown below. For some reason, the population appeared to tolerate cyfluthrin (Baythroid, Tombstone, etc.) but was susceptible to bifenthrin (Brigade, Discipline, etc.), both pyrethroid insecticides – a real head-scratcher.

Other than bifenthrin, all materials provided less than 50% control at 24 hours after topical treatment in the laboratory, although control was improved with all products by 96 hours after application. To be fair, some materials in the bioassay provide control via contact and ingestion activity, so the ingestion portion of the insecticide does not get a “fair shake” with this topical approach.

However, contact efficacy did indicate that the maximum rate of bifenthrin was superior to the products tested. I do not expect to see widespread resistant VBC next season. This should be something we see this season and not again for a while.




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