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Vegetable IPM Updates Archive
Cooperative Extension
Bagrada Bug Management in the Desert (August 31, 2016)
Bagrada bug adults generally begin to appear on direct seeded fields and transplants in early September. In fact, trials conducted on untreated broccoli plots at YAC have shown that mid-September has historically been the time that bagrada begin to show up in large numbers; peak abundance of bagrada bug has occurred from late September to early October (see graphs below). However, there has been a trend of lower bagrada bug abundance since 2012, and last fall was the lightest we’ve recorded bagrada populations since we started tracking them in 2010.
So far this season, we’ve yet to see a bagarada here at YAC, but reports of bagrada in commercial cole crops are beginning to trickle in from PCAs, albeit very few. Similarly reports out of Imperial Valley and Coachella suggest that populations are light there as well. So, what should a PCA expect for this season? Can’t say for sure, but don’t be complacent just because you’re not finding a lot of bagrada adults on your first few fields. It would be wise to assume they will eventually show up in some intensity in some of your acreage, and you should prepare for them accordingly. Here are a few management tips to consider. (1) We’ve learned through research that when monitoring for bagrada bugs at stand establishment PCAs should focus on fresh feeding signs on new plant tissue, and adults later in the day when they are most active. (2) Research in the field has also indicated that direct-seeded and transplanted crops are susceptible to bagrada bug infestations during stand establishment and up to the 6-leaf stage. Furthermore, it doesn’t take a large number of bagrada adults to cause significant stand losses or crop injury. In untreated plots, we have consistently observed significant damage (15-20% blind plants) to direct seeded plants during the first 7 days after emergence (cotyledon to 1-leaf Stage) with only finding an average of 1 bagrada adult / 6 row. (3) Thus, we recommend that if you readily find 5% or more of plants with feeding signs during stand establishment, control should be initiated immediately. This can include chemigation or aerial applications with pyrethroids. Contact insecticides such as pyrethroids, Lannate, and Lorsban should be used once stands are lined out and pipe is pulled. After stands are established and plant size increases up to the 2 leaf stage, or on tagged transplants, consider alternating to dinotefuron (Venom/Scorpion) for protecting plants from bagrada feeding. This neonicotinoid will also provide knockdown of adult whiteflies and nymphs. (4) Also, growers who planted with Nipsit (clothianidin), should begin to closely monitor for fresh feeding damage around 14 days after emergence. More information on bagrada bug management on fall cole crops can be found in: Bagrada Bug Management Tips for the Low Desert.




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