Managing Stink Bugs in Wheat and Corn

Rice stink bug in wheat head.Rice stink bug (Oebalus pugnax) in wheat. (Photo by J. Villegas)

Stink bugs are typically found infesting wheat in Louisiana at this time of the year. While it’s not uncommon to find stink bugs on heading wheat, they rarely cause economic damage. The predominant stink bug species found in Louisiana wheat is the rice stink bug (Oebalus pugnax), although brown stink bugs can also be present. These pests are mostly found around the border edges of the field. It takes high numbers of stink bugs to damage wheat. Treatment is only recommended if the threshold of 1 stink bug per 10 heads during the milk stage and 3 stink bugs per 10 heads during the soft dough stage is reached. Pyrethroids such as z-cypermethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin should be effective against these pests. Once wheat reaches the hard dough stage, damage due to stink bugs is greatly reduced. It’s important to note that stink bugs in wheat are not typically treated, but they can be an indication of stink bug infestations in corn. During harvest, stink bugs can be pushed to nearby corn, so scouting adjacent corn fields is important.

The brown stinkbug (Euschistus spp.) is the most common species to attack corn, but the southern green stink bug (Nezara viridula) and the green stink bug (Chinavia halaris) can also be a pest. Treatment is recommended if 5% of plants have bugs prior to ear shoot appearance (1 stink bug per 20 plants). Treatment is necessary for early vegetative stages (V1–V6) if 10% of plants are infested (1 stink bug per 10 plants). Table 1 provides recommended insecticides for managing stink bugs in corn. Managing stink bugs in corn is critical, as they can cause significant damage resulting in reduced yields and kernel quality.

Recommended Insecticides for Stink Bugs in Corn

InsecticideAmount of concentrate per acrelb per active ingredient per acre
Baythroid XL (1)
1.6-2.8 ounce0.012-0.022
Mustang Maxx (0.8)
2.72-4.0 ounce0.017-0.025
Brigade (2)
2.1-6.4 ounce0.033-0.1
Tombstone (2)
1.6-2.8 ounce0.025-0.044
Warrior II (2.08)
1.28-1.92 ounce0.02-0.03

4/19/2023 7:01:27 PM
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