Base Insect Management Decisions on Scouting, not the Calendar

Base Insect Management Decisions on Scouting, not the Calendar

April 20, 2012

We often emphasize that it is important to base insect management decisions on scouting information from individual fields. Insect densities can vary greatly from field to field.

Timing of insect activity also can vary greatly from year to year, due to the effect of temperature. Insects develop at a rate proportional to the temperatures they experience, unlike mammals and other animals which can closely regulate their internal temperatures. This year, with the mild winter and warm March, many insects may appear earlier than we are used to seeing them.

This may be true for resident insects which overwinter in Nebraska, as well as migratory insects which move up from the south each year.

The relatively mild winter and warm spring does not mean that we will have unusually high numbers of all insects this year. The weather from now on will also greatly influence insect survival and growth rates.

Stay tuned to CropWatch for updates, and check your own fields on a regular basis to be aware of how insect populations are developing in your area.

Bob Wright
Extension Entomologist