Skip to main content

Content by Patrick Wagner

Green canola plants infested with false chinch bugs with dying leaves.

False Chinch Bugs Are Active in Canola

We have received reports of false chinch bug populations in canola this week. Heavily infested canola fields will sometimes appear drought stressed, but closer inspection reveals that false chinch bugs are the culprits for the wilting plants.

A woman applying bug spray to a teenager's arm.

How to Avoid Being Dinner: Preventing Tick and Mosquito Bites

Summer is here, and so are the opportunities to enjoy the long days and warm weather. Ticks and mosquitoes share the outdoors with us, and there are things you can do to prevent bites from both.

Dark colored caterpillar feeding on wheat head.

Scout for True Armyworms in Oats and Wheat

During most years, we start worrying about true armyworm activity in wheat fields in mid-July. However, the strong southerly winds that we experienced during the last two weeks pushed several insect pests north ahead of their normal schedule

Brown caterpillar with tan head capsule and 3, light-tan stripes running along its back.

Monitor Lawns and Gardens for Bronzed Cutworm Activity

Bronzed cutworms can be an issue for lawns and gardens in South Dakota. In grass, bronzed cutworms will feed and leave small brown circular patches. Large populations of bronzed cutworm can result in severe lawn injury.

Small black beetles feeding on a green leaf.

Flea Beetles in the Garden

Flea beetles have been out in full force so far this year. This group of herbivorous beetles can be a pest of many different garden plants, including tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash, lettuce and others.

County map including portions of South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa

Soybean Gall Midge Adults Emerging in South Dakota

Over the weekend, a SDSU Extension collaborator reported that soybean gall midge adults had been captured in Southeastern South Dakota. These are the first adults that have been observed in South Dakota in 2020.

Large mass of small green insects and plant debris present on green implement.

Watch for Pea Aphid Populations in Alfalfa

Recent reports have indicated that pea aphid populations are very large in some alfalfa fields and should continue to be monitored and possibly managed.

Numerous grayish-brown bugs gathering on a green stem.

False Chinch Bugs Back Again

False chinch bugs are active yet again in South Dakota. Although they are normally only a nuisance pest, their populations can become magnified during cool, wet springs.

Small white maggot next to a brown pill shaped pupa. Both a on soil with a yellow tape measure behind them

Watch for Seedcorn Maggots in Emerging Soybean

Of all of the potential early season pests, the seedcorn maggot is rarely an issue in South Dakota. However, we have started receiving reports of soybean fields that have poor emergence or seedling stand reductions occurring.

Two photos of alfalfa weevils during different lifecycle stages. The left is the larva stage and has a longate, green larvae that looks like a caterpillar with white stripe running down the body and brown h

It’s Time to Scout for Alfalfa Weevils

The 2018 and 2019 alfalfa weevil populations were relatively low, and as a result, we didn’t receive very many calls regarding this pest during those years. However, 2020 has been quite a bit different, and alfalfa weevil populations seem to be much higher.