Beet Armyworm: A Costly Caterpillar

Ron H. Smith


In recent years the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exiqua, has become a consistent economic pest for growers in many areas of the southeastern U.S. In 1993, their distribution range extended to most areas of the mid-south, resulting in high yield losses and control costs. Several factors such as mild winter, heavy use of phosphate insecticides, late maturing crop and hot dry summer came together to influence the increased importance of this pest. Management practices for 1994 and lessons learned from prior control experiences are discussed. The beet armyworm (BAW) problem has been greatly reduced in the coastal plains area of the southeast where eradication of the weevil has been accomplished. This is likely due to the role that beneficial insects play in regulating populations of BAW's in the absence of boll weevil controls.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1994 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 13 - 14
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998