Kansas State University


Extension Entomology

Month: September 2020

Sugarcane Aphids

–by Dr. Jeff Whitworth

Sugarcane aphids (fig. 4) are still migrating into sorghum fields throughout Kansas. However, most fields still have large populations of beneficials, thus, so far, sugarcane aphids are present but not in sufficient numbers to cause problems. However, monitoring should continue.

Figure 4 Sugar Cane Aphids (Jay Wisbey)

Three Cornered Alfalfa Hoppers

–by Dr. Jeff Whitworth


Three cornered alfalfa hoppers (TCAH) (see adult, fig 1.)

Figure 1 Three Cornered Alfalfa Hopper Adult  (Ed Beeson)


are causing concern in southeast Kansas soybean fields. TCAH’s have been reported from Kansas in prior years but not many and most often from alfalfa fields.  As the name implies, they will feed from the phloem in alfalfa/sweet clover/peanuts/etc. and usually do not reach population levels that would cause economic losses-more just a novelty in Kansas, so far. However, in parts of the south and southeastern U.S. they can reach densities that may require treatment, especially in soybeans. Both nymphs (see nymph fig 2)



Figure 2 Three Cornered Alfalfa Hopper Nymph (Ed Beeson)


and adults may suck the juice from the plant’s phloem in such a pattern as to cause the stem to actually break (see fig 3.) at the point of this feeding and thus the plant my lodge. However, in Kansas, this remains a rare occurrence but one that should continue to be monitored.

Figure 3 Soybean stem  (Ed Beeson)


Threestriped Blister Beetle

–by Dr. Raymond Cloyd

The threestriped blister beetle, Epicauta lemniscata, is an insect pest that feeds on a wide-range of vegetable crops including: bean, beet, carrot, cabbage, corn, eggplant, melon, mustard, pea, pepper, potato, radish, spinach, squash, tomato, and turnip. Adults are slender, brown to yellow-gray, 1/2 to 3/4 (12.7 to 19.0 mm) inches long, with approximately five black stripes extending lengthwise on the wing covers or abdomen (Figure 1). In addition, there are two spots on the head and two black stripes on the thorax (middle section of body). The thorax is narrower than the head and abdomen, which is a distinguishing morphological characteristic used for identification of blister beetles.


Figure 1. Threestriped Blister Beetle Adult (Raymond Cloyd, KSU)

In general, adults are present from May through October. The adults are active in the morning and late afternoon, and seek shelter during mid-day to minimize exposure to sunlight. Females lay clusters of 100 to 2,000 eggs in the soil. Larvae emerge (eclose) from eggs and feed on grasshopper eggs. Eventually, the larvae transition into pupae. The threestriped blister beetle overwinters as a late-instar larva in the soil. In spring, adults emerge from the soil and feed on vegetable plants causing damage by consuming leaf tissue with their chewing mouthparts. They tend to aggregate in groups when feeding (Figure 2). There are two generations per year in Kansas.


Figure 2. Threestriped Blister Beetle Adults Feeding (Raymond Cloyd, KSU)

Management of threestriped blister beetle adult populations involves placing floating row covers over susceptible vegetable crops ensuring that the sides are fastened down to prevent adults from crawling underneath the floating row cover. Physical removal by hand-picking may be effective; however, be sure to wear leather gloves because adults emit a substance called cantharidin, which protects them from attack by predators, but can cause blisters to form on the skin of humans. Removing weeds within the vegetable garden will eliminate potential alternative food sources; especially pigweed, Amaranthus spp., which is highly susceptible to adult feeding. Foliar applications of insecticides will kill threestriped blister beetle adults; however, multiple applications will be required during the growing season to prevent plant damage.


Commercial Applicator Recertification Training Changes for 2020

–by Frannie Miller

Each year in the fall, I plan trainings and look forward to seeing applicators from across the state as they attend these commercial recertification training programs. This year will look a lot different in terms of training opportunities. Due to the ever presence of Covid, the Kansas State Pesticide Safety Program will be hosting virtual training opportunities through zoom. This will allow the applicator to obtain pest management credits from the safety of his or her home or office. I have heard from some applicators that feel they are technologically challenged, but don’t let that keep you from trying a new way of learning. The team is here to help you every step of the way!

The Kansas State Pesticide Safety Program is hosting training on the following dates:

  • October 20 – 21 (9:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.) (1:20 p.m. -3:30 p.m.) Right-of-Way, Industrial Weed, and Noxious Weed Training (Category 6, 7C, & 9A)
  • November 2 (12:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.) and November 3 (8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Stored Product Pests and Seed Treatment (Category 7B & 4)
  • November 4 (9:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.) Ornamental, Turf and Interiorscape (Category 3A, 3B, & 3C)
  • November 9 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Ag Plant (Category 1A)
  • November 10 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Structural and Public Health (Category 7D, 7E & 8)
  • November 10 (12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.) Core Hour
  • November 12 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Wood Destroying and Wood Preservation (Category 7A & 7F)
  • November 12 (12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.) Core Hour
  • November 13 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Forest Pest, Ornamental, Turf and Interiorscape (Category 2, 3A, 3B & 3C)

Flyers containing the registration information can be found on the Pesticide Safety and IPM webpage at: https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/pesticides-ipm/commercial-applicator.html. If you use Facebook, you may want to consider liking the Kansas State Pesticide Safety and IPM program page, which can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/KSRE-Pesticide-Safety-and-Integrated-Pest-Management-Program-109039044075447.

Other groups or associations may be hosting other training opportunities. A complete list can be found at: https://portal.kda.ks.gov/PAF/PafTraining/TrainingEventList.

If you don’t remember how many credits you have or need, you can look up your training status at: https://portal.kda.ks.gov/paf/pafapplicator/login/

If you have further questions regarding how this training will be conducted contact Frannie Miller at (620)241-1523 or e-mail fmiller@ksu.edu.


Posts for Twitter

Kansas Commercial Applicators – Recertification Training being offered virtually. (Link to blog post)

Kansas Commercial Applicators can view credit hours at: https://portal.kda.ks.gov/PAF/PafTraining/TrainingEventList.