Category Archives: helicoverpa

Helicoverpa activity and other pests to watch for in winter crops.

Helicoverpa armigera active now. This spring a number of agronomists have just started monitoring pheromone traps across the northern region, and the results from the past two weeks illustrate how useful pheromone traps can be. Over the past 1-2 weeks, the traps are catching relatively high numbers of Helicoverpa armigera, and low catches of H. punctigera. In September it is generally assumed that… Read more »

Recognising caterpillar pests of canola.

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As canola sets and matures pods, and spring temperatures rise, there are a number of caterpillar pests that are active in this crop. Along with helicoverpa there are diamondback moth larvae (Plutella xylostella) and cabbage white butterfly larvae (Pieris rapae) in crops. It is critical that you can distinguish the species, and be familiar with their respective thresholds, in order… Read more »

Helicoverpa and midge management in sorghum

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As crops come into head and start to fill grain, sorghum midge and helicoverpa will start to infest crops. Making a decision about when control is warranted is made somewhat easier with the availability of economic threshold calculators now available on the Beatsheet Blog (; or use the ready reckoners in this article. MANAGEMENT OF SORGHUM MIDGE How to count… Read more »

An economic threshold calculator for Helicoverpa in chickpeas

  Calculating the economics of control is critical to making a decision about if and when Helicoverpa populations in chickpeas require treatment. This season, for the first time, growers and agronomists have access to an on-line calculator to help them make these decisions. The calculator overcomes the need to try and remember the formulas in the field. Best of all,… Read more »

Annual Helicoverpa resistance testing results for 2011-12

Implications for management in grains and pulses The insecticide resistance monitoring program for Helicoverpa aims to measure resistance frequencies of field populations collected from Central Queensland through to the Riverina area of NSW. Field collections of Helicoverpa eggs are reared in the laboratory and larvae are tested with doses of insecticide that are known to kill susceptible insects. Survivors are… Read more »

Helicoverpa and NPV in Sorghum – Current Issues

As the earlier plantings of sorghum progress through flowering, moderate to high Helicoverpa pressure means that many crops have caterpillar numbers over threshold.  Nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV) is one of the main insecticides used to control Helicoverpa larvae in sorghum, however prevailing conditions play an important role in the speed and level of control achieved with NPV.

Late season winter crop pest management – remember to look out for armyworm and helicoverpa

As winter crops finish up and approach harvest, there are a couple of pests that still have the potential to cause some concerns.  Armyworm and helicoverpa in barley, wheat and oats. There have been a number of reports of armyworm activity across the northern region in isolated pockets. Armyworm has the capacity to lop heads in barley, wheat and oats… Read more »

Early Season Helicoverpa issues and the use of NPV to control larvae

Helicoverpa populations have started with a bang this season.  One or more larvae per plant are common in pre-flowering sorghum, corn and cotton. However, early flowering sorghum crops are carrying up to 10 larvae per head.  Corn and sorghum (monocot crops) host only Helicoverpa armigera, not H. punctigera – which has implications for control.  Some key issues relevant to dealing… Read more »

Helicoverpa larvae surviving in failed chickpea crops may be a threat to the following crop

With some chickpea crops being sprayed out, rather than harvested, there are reports of helicoverpa larvae surviving on crop residues. The survival of larvae, particularly large late instar larvae, poses a threat to subsequent crops that may be sown directly into the chickpea residues. It is important to check for surviving larvae under the chickpea residues before the next crop… Read more »