In the past few years, a western corn bug has been hosted on our corn bed. In our area, the pest is not widespread, so the diagnosis was first made incorrectly.
Anyway, scientists have not yet developed effective methods for controlling insects. In this case, prevention and strict adherence to crop rotation is in the first place.
Western corn beetle – the main enemy of corn
Western corn beetle reaches 5-7 millimeters in length and has a yellowish-green body color. Elytra decorated with easily recognizable dark brown stripes and two rounded dents mark the almost square front of the back.
Due to the tiny size of the pest, it can only be detected using special laboratory tests or through pheromone traps.
Central America is considered to be the birthplace of the western corn bug, from where it began to spread around the world from the forties of the last century. Today, he continues to “develop” new territories with an average infection rate of 40 kilometers per year.
Over time, the pest also began to parasitize on soybean plantings. As a result, today more than a billion green pieces of paper are spent on fighting him in America.
Adult beetles eat corn pollen, columns, grains in the stage of milk maturity. But insect larvae damage only the roots of plants, which often leads to their death. This occurs when more than 50% of the mass of all roots is destroyed.
Traces of the insect’s vital activity are easier to spot on the laden corn stalks, especially if the plantings are located close to highways and major highways.
In addition to corn, the beetle also feeds on plants of the family aster, haze, Solanaceae, pumpkin, and legumes. Nevertheless, its larvae adhere exclusively to the corn diet, eating around the underground part of the corn bushels.
In our country, corn beetle causes the greatest damage to the crop in those areas where this crop is grown to produce grain. For example, in the Stavropol and Krasnodar regions, the Republic of Dagestan, the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, the Rostov and Volgograd Territories.
In the north, the distribution range of the pest is already reaching the Voronezh, Kursk, and Saratov regions.
At the current rate of resettlement in the coming years, we can expect a serious increase in budget spending on the fight against the Western corn beetle.
Western Corn Beetle: Control and Prevention Measures
In the free market, you can not find chemicals that can significantly reduce the number and even more so to destroy this pest.
Farms are preventing beetles with a drug called Talstar. It is used for seed treatment when sowing and spraying young seedlings. However, this tool is not available for the ordinary summer resident.
Popular pyrethroid-based insecticides are nearly useless in controlling western corn beetles. So you need to try to prevent the penetration of the pest into the garden.
For this, simple preventive phytosanitary measures are used:
- Each year, the corn bed is moved to a new place. The optimal precursors for the crop are potatoes, fodder and sugar beets, siderites – alfalfa, clover, and all types of grains.
- Only varieties resistant to the corn bug are grown and they buy planting material only in proven places.
- Destroy the beetle brood by annual deep digging in late autumn.
With a small amount of pest, pheromone traps will help to cope with it. They are sold in many garden centers, as well as over the Internet.
By the way, corn is good friends with cucumbers. It protects them from cold and withering winds and serves as a support for long wattle with greenery.