By Clint Thompson
As temperatures and dry conditions continue to increase across Alabama, so are insect infestations. According to the Alabama Insect Pest Monitoring Report, as of May 28, moth numbers were up for multiple insects, especially when compared to this time last year.
Fall armyworms have increased the most. In 19 different locations across the state, there were 187 moths reported, compared to just 14 in 2020. There were 105 southern armyworms, compared to just 17 a year ago.
Fall armyworm caterpillars are dark with a Y-shaped mark on their head and four spots at the tail end. Southern armyworm moth activity is high in the southern and central parts of the state. Its caterpillars have a red head capsule and dark body.
There was also a tremendous spike in corn earworms and squash vine borers, with 162 corn earworm moths, compared to just 3 last season. There were 176 squash vine borers, compared to just 16 last year.
Squash vine borer moths should be laying eggs at the bottom of the plants.
Though there weren’t as many reported as this time last year, there were still a great number of lesser cornstalk borers. There were 374 moths, compared to 466 in 2020.
Insect activity should remain high amid the dry conditions. It is important to scout crops regularly.
For more details on pest management recommendations and links to IPM publications, click https://www.aces.edu/…/2021-alabama-pest-report-1-moth…/.