Appearance: Brown, faintly striped worms.
Symptoms: Feeding on early spring growth, no "green up".
Scouting: Inspect loose soil around plant base during Jan., Feb., March.
Treatment: Insecticide treatment during winter dormancy on fields with poor root establishment and more than 4 to 5 worms per plant.
CSU Photo, Photographer
Frank C Schweissing
Banks Grass Mite
Appearance: Tiny, oval-shaped bodies usually green in color, but sometimes paler or they may turn reddish in unfavorable conditions.
Symptoms: Brown leaves from crown feeding and leaf webbing.
Scouting: Watch field edges near corn and sorghum fields during fall months.
Treatment: Selective pesticides sprayed along field edges where mites will migrate in.
Bird Cherry Oat Aphid
Appearance: Dark, olive-green color with black antennae and cornicles (tail pipes).
Symptoms: Sticky leaves, twisted flag leaf and "hooked" wheat heads in spring; can be a vector for barley yellow dwarf virus.
Scouting: Found feeding in the fall but populations of 50 or more in spring can be yield limiting.
Treatment: Sprays have not been effective, but seed treatments have shown aphid supression.
Brown Wheat Mite
Appearance: Rounded body with long forelegs.
Symptoms: Leaves turn a brown/bronze color in fall or spring.
Scouting: Late fall or early spring during the heat of the day.
Treatment: No economic threshold determined but several hundred aphids per row foot can limit yield. Avoid pesticide treatments after mid-April as populations are in decline at this point.
Appearance: Adults have a brown appearance with four black spots on the eighth abdominal section.
Symptoms: Window panes or shot holes on seedlings of early fall seeded crops.
Scouting: Look for shot holes caused by early fall seeded wheat feeding.
Treatment: If greater than 25 to 50 percent of plants in a field have shot hole feeding symptoms, treat with pesticide as fall feeding will continue if left untreated.
Appearance: Yellowish brown, hard-shelled larvae found under the soil close to plants.
Symptoms: Bare patches in the field due to seed, root and undergournd stem feeding.
Scouting: Early spring; sift 1 square foot by 4-inch area of soil with 1/4-inch mesh cloth at more than 10 sites in the field.
Treatment: Populations more than 1 larvae per 3 square feet can warrant control attention by use of crop rotation or seed treatments during following years.
Appearance: Pale green with dark backline and long antennae.
Symptoms: Lower leaf feeding causing reddish spots then brown/yellow discolorations and lower leaf death.
Scouting: Scout in early fall and during Feb. or March typically levels decline in Dec. and Jan. unless unseasonably warm.
Treatment: Look at treating with populations over 100 to 300 greenbugs per row foot, especially in thin stands. Conventional spray insecticides and seed treatments work well to suppress greenbugs; keep an eye out for natural predators like lady beetles and parasitic wasps before treating.
Appearance: Eggs are a rust-like color, larvae have 3/16-inch long with white legs and no head; adults are gnat-like flies.
Symptoms: Larvae feed on crown; causing undeveloped crowns in spring and main stem breakage in the spring, just above the node.
Scouting: Look for crown damage in Oct. and Nov. and spring stem symptoms in mature wheat.
Treatment: Nothing to save a crop where infestations are present. Using a seed insecticide treatment, planting after the Hessian Fly-Free date, using resistant varieties, controlling volunteer wheat before planting can help prevent infestations.
University of NE Photo
Pale Western Cutworm
Appearance: White colored larvae found underground.
Symptoms: Feed on underground portion of plant and can "cut off" plant at its base.
Scouting: Look for feeding in spring after eggs have hatched.
Treatment: Treat with insecticides if 2 or more cutworms per square foot are found.
Russian Wheat Aphid
Appearance: Lime green, football-shaped bodies with short cornicles (tail pipes).
Symptoms: Feeding on new leaf growth causing purple, yellow and white streaks.
Scouting: In early spring, track percentages of tillers with feeding and number of aphids present.
Treatment: Can be yield limiting if more than 10 to 20 percent of tillers show symptoms in early spring. Treat after flowering and before soft dough stage if more than 30 to 40 percent have symptoms and insecticide treatment will pay off.
Dr. Bart Drees, Photographer
TX Cooperative Extension Photo
Appearance: Green to black striped larvae.
Symptoms: Lodging plants where feeding has occurred; feeding on wheat beards and clipped heads can occur late as well.
Scouting: Late April and May, looking for larvae under areas of lodging.
Treatment: Can be justified if more than 4 to 5 larvae per row foot are present; keep in mind maturity of plant and how much feeding is occurring on flag leaft.
Wheat Curl Mite
Appearance: White, long-bodied mites; tiny (too small to see without magnifying lens).
Symptoms: Feed on upper leaf surfaces causing rolled leaves and trapped heads; are also vectors of wheat Streak Mosaic Virus.
Scouting: Look for symptoms throughout growing season.
Treatment: Later planting and controlling volunteer wheat before planting.
Winter Grain Mite
Appearance: Dark brown/black with red tented legs (Use a 10x lens to view).
Symptoms: Leaves take on a grey appearance, with some occurrence of brown tips.
Scouting: In early fall, look for mites at the base of the plant or just under the soil surface.
Treatment: Insecticides are available, but crop rotation away from continuous wheat would be more helpful.
Appearance: Slender, yellow to brown larvae about 1/2-to 1-inch long.
Symptoms: Feeding of seeds, roots and undergorund stems.
Scouting: Look for underground root and stem feeding in early fall.
Treatment: Only treatment strategies are seed treatments for seed planted in fields with wireworm history or when replanting due to feeding damage.