With Dry Weather Watch for False Chinch Bug Outbreaks

Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist
By Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist June 2, 2011 17:09

With Dry Weather Watch for False Chinch Bug Outbreaks

False chinch bugs can be a major problem in cotton and soybean when they reach outbreak levels.  Every few years in MS we see some fields with extremely high numbers.  They are commonly found in dry years and seem to be associated with residue. Also, they can move out of ditch banks into fields.  Usually the problem is confined to parts of fields or field edges but depending on the residue present they may be uniformly distributed throughout the whole field.  I have had several calls on these this year already and after receiving another today, I decided to post some information here on the blog about them.  False chinch bugs attack in numbers. One or two is not a problem, even four or five generally do not cause economic damage.  However, false chinch bugs can reach numbers as many as several thousand per square foot (like I witnessed a 10 days ago in a cotton field).  False chinch bugs have piercing sucking mouth parts so you will not find holes in leaves; they simply get on the plants in extremely high numbers and literally suck it down dry.  When numbers are high this can happen quickly.  In the heat of the day you will find some of them on the plants but most are hiding under the residue.  If you are finding them on plants at any level, move the residue back on the soil surface to get a better idea of what kind of numbers you are dealing with.  False chinch bugs can be very difficult to control.  In cotton, ULV Malathion at 16 oz is a very good choice (has to be ULV, does not control them in water).  I have tried Bifenthrin at 1:20 and Orthene at 1 lb with mixed results. However, in the field I visited last week we tank mixed Bifenthrin at 1:20 and Orthene at 1lb. and had excellent control.  This may seem like overkill, but they are very difficult to control.  Remember, the worst treatment is the one that don’t work the first time.  I would also recommend treatment late in the evening and try to use 20 GPA if possible.  Below are pictures of adults and immatures and damage associated with their feeding.  Check this video out to see false chinch bugs in cotton, by Phillip McKibben.  False Chinch Bug Video 1

Many False Chinch Bugs on Young Cotton Plant

Winged Adult and Immature False Chinch Bugs

False Chinch Bug Immatures on Cotton Plant

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Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist
By Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist June 2, 2011 17:09
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