Infestation of pests increases on South Plains

Infestation of pests increases on South Plains

LUBBOCK, Texas -

Damaging pest infestation rates are on the rise in the South Plains and Panhandle, according to a Texas A&M entomologist's report. Katelyn Kesheimer, with Texas A&M's Integrated Pest Management (IPM), says the list of pests doesn't end at bollworms. 

"We've had some yellow striped armyworm, some beet armyworm, and we've had some garden webbworm. These garden webworm are really distinct. They really like pigweed, so if they eat up all the pigweed they'll move into the cotton," Kesheimer said. 

Kesheimer says the infestations vary, but the teamwork and early detection can preserve crops. 

"Every year is a little bit different. We just need to be prepared and communicate to our growers and each other what we're seeing," Kesheimer said. 

"We have somebody that comes and scouts once or twice a week. They are basically experts. We have so much going on with irrigation and other things so it's hard to be an expert," West said. 

West says the more you wait, the worse the infestation gets. 

"The sugarcane aphids a couple of years ago really got to be a problem to get a handle on and get ahead of. We got a lot of waxy leaves," West said. 

 According to the Texas A&M report, bollworms arrive as the crop enters the flowing period.   

"We need to keep worm pressure at a minimum so we don't need to make a significant number of applications," West said. 

If you're experiencing any issues with pests, call Kesheimer's IPM hotline at (806)-775-1740 for assistance. 

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