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Wheat Insects

All Wheat Insects Content

aerial view of South Dakota farm and surrounding land

Crops

During the growing season, SDSU Extension provides weekly production recommendations.

Blades of green wheat in a wheat field.

Scouting Wheat Fields

Scouting is the process of monitoring fields and crops during a growing season. It can provide producers with field specific information on pest pressure and crop injury.

A wheat field with patchy brown areas.

Brown Wheat Mite Affecting South Dakota Wheat

Recently, there have been reports of brown wheat mites throughout central and western South Dakota. The brown wheat mite is generally more of an issue in the drier parts of the state, or in areas experiencing drought. The feeding injury caused by these mites leaves white or brown spots that are referred to as stippling.

small light green mites on a green stem

Which mite is it? Identifying the mites in wheat fields

In South Dakota, the most commonly encountered mites in wheat are wheat curl mite and brown wheat mite. In addition to feeding, wheat curl mites are vectors of Wheat streak mosaic virus. Brown wheat mites can build up large populations and injure wheat through feeding. There are other species of mites that may also be observed in wheat, but generally do not reach populations large enough to cause significant injury.

Three light green and brown insects on a blade of wheat.

Continue Scouting Wheat for Aphid Populations

Aphid populations in winter wheat continue to be observed in South Dakota. The major questions now are whether or not aphid populations are at economic threshold and if spraying is really necessary.

Two, dark green aphids on a bright green leaf.

Aphid Populations Being Observed in Wheat

During the past couple of weeks, reports of aphid populations in wheat fields have slowly been increasing. Typically, the initial aphid populations are observed earlier in the season, but the 2019 spring may have delayed infestations.

Weeds growing in a recently harvested winter wheat field.

Winter Wheat Decisions

Winter wheat planting will soon be starting and a number of decisions will have to be made for a successful winter wheat crop, including: the time of planting, the choice of variety to be planted, disease and pest management decisions and crop insurance.

Green and yellow grasshopper with black chevron markings on hindlegs.

Should I Be Concerned About Grasshoppers When Planting Winter Wheat?

During 2019 we have received varying reports regarding grasshopper populations. Many reports have indicated that grasshopper numbers are down. However, we have also received reports of very large grasshopper populations in some areas of South Dakota. So why such a difference?

Green, teardrop shaped insects on a green leaf that has dark spots. Courtesy: Alton N. Spark Jr., University of Georgia, Bugwood.org.

Low-Level Aphid Populations Present in Wheat

Reports of aphid populations in wheat fields have been slowly increasing in the past week. Most of these populations are well below the economic threshold, but there is a potential for them to increase.

Green and yellow grasshopper resting on a head of wheat.

Grasshoppers Are Causing Concerns in Close-to-Harvest Winter Wheat

During the end of last week, we received reports of grasshoppers feeding on winter wheat that was close to being ready to harvest. One of the questions with the report was, “What insecticide can be sprayed that won’t delay harvest?”