HYG  Pest newsletter

Issue Index

Past Issues

Scouting Watch

June 19, 2007

Thrips are being reported as being numerous on plants and coming into houses through much of the state. Specimens that I have seen appear to be eastern flower thrips, being tan, slender, and about 1/16 inch long. They are strongly attracted to lights at night and are small enough to go through window-screening. They probe whatever they land on to determine whether it is edible. This feels like a bite when they do it to people, but there is usually no wound left behind. There has been a report in southern Illinois of large numbers of black thrips on arborvitae and boxwood. These may be onion thrips but do not appear to be causing damage. Thrips scrape away the leaf epidermis and suck up the juices inside, resulting in whitish streaks that later turn brown. If damage is occurring, pyrethroid insecticides should be effective on outdoor infestations.

Armyworm moths are being reported in large numbers in central Illinois. These moths are about 1 inch long, with a wingspan of about 1-1/2 inches. The front wings are orangish brown, with a single spot near the tip. Armyworm caterpillars feed on wheat and other small grains, but we have no reports of the larvae being present in high numbers. When present in high numbers, they eat the grass blades off of lawns near grain fields, leaving only brown thatch and crowns. These lawns recover with irrigation. The caterpillars can be controlled with the same insecticides as recommended for sod webworms. There is no control for the moths.

Author: Phil Nixon


College Links