Exploding Plant Bugs

Author: Scott Stewart, IPM Extension Specialist 1 Comment

Well maybe plant bugs are not literally “exploding”, but there have been several calls about populations ranging from 10 – 25 immatures per drop cloth. High numbers of green stink bugs are also being seen in more localized areas.  Below are some things you need to know when battling heavy infestations of tarnished plant bugs.

  1. Plan on making two applications, and make the second application on a 4-5 day interval. One application will almost never be enough when populations are three or more times threshold.  You can get in a vicious cycle of weekly spraying if you delay the follow-up application for even a couple of days.
  2. The spray interval is probably more important than the insecticide selection, but use the best treatments at reliable rates.  Again, plan on two sprays.  You can mix it up, but I would suggest using a pyrethroid as a component in at least one of these applications.  Some of my favorite options are listed below.  Your selection should depend on what you have in the field … plant bugs, stink bugs, bollworm, all of the above.
    • Acephate or Orthene at 0.75 lbs ai/acre or more
    • Bidrin at 6 – 8 oz
    • Transform at 1.5 – 2.0 oz  (in approved areas only)
    • Endigo at 4.5 – 5 oz
    • Bidrin XP II at 10 – 12 oz
    • Diamond at 6 – 9 oz
    • Vydate at 12 – 16 oz
    • Pyrethroid insecticides tank mixed with …
      • Acephate at a minimum of 0.5 lbs
      • Bidrin at 4 oz
      • Diamond at 6 oz
      • Vydate at 8 oz
      • Dimethoate 4E at a minimum of 8 oz
  3. Do not use only a pyrethroid if targeting tarnished plant bugs.  We’ve collected a lot of data this week where pyrethroid insecticides provided 0 – 40% control of tarnished plant bugs.  This includes Brigade or other bifenthrin products.  Pyrethroids are a good tool as a tank mix partner, as suggested above, but they are not good enough to be used alone. 
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