Kansas State University


Extension Entomology

Tag: plants killed or weakened

A Hessian Fly Update

–by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting

An update on a Hessian fly infested wheat field.  Last winter, Mr. Arlan Newby, a consultant in southeast Kansas, discovered a wheat field that had a significant Hessian fly infestation (photos 1 & 2), to the point where many of the plants were actually killed or weakened enough that they were not able to withstand any other stress.  Most of the field was therefore plowed under to allow for planting a spring crop.  However, a small portion was allowed to remain so we could determine the Hessian flies’ impact in spring (photo 3) and just prior to harvest (photo 4).  As seen in these photos, it was apparent that many plants survived into spring and actually looked as though they may tiller out sufficiently to compensate for the Hessian fly infestation.  However, as seen in this most recent photo, the remaining plant stand was significantly reduced and there is already considerable lodging.  This entire field could have ended up like this little corner if it were not for the keen observations of Mr. Newby.  This situation serves as a reminder for how devastating this wheat pest can be.  For more information on the biology and management of Hessian fly, please visit:  http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/MF2866.pdf

Hessian fly Photo 1


Hessian fly Photo 2

Hessian fly Photo 3


Hessian fly Photo 4