Category Archives: Soil insects

Do I have a wireworm – true or false?

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Wire­worm adults and lar­vae are rel­a­tive­ly com­mon soil pests, attack­ing all field crops. Adults feed on ger­mi­nat­ing shoots, and lar­vae feed on ger­mi­nat­ing seed, seedling roots and shoots caus­ing poor plant vigour or death. Wire­worms are most com­mon in zero till, areas with high stub­ble, or weedy fal­lows. These are habi­tats and food sources that sus­tain the bee­tles and enable… Read more »

Monitoring for establishment pests prior to sowing.

Where there is a his­to­ry of soil insect dam­age result­ing in poor crop estab­lish­ment a pre-sow­ing inspec­tion of the affect­ed fields is war­rant­ed to deter­mine the like­ly risk to the upcom­ing sum­mer crop. Grain baits are an effec­tive way of mon­i­tor­ing for soil-dwelling insect pests of sum­mer crops, and is prefer­able to sam­pling with a shov­el, which is both time… Read more »

Check for establishment pests before planting summer crops

Crops are most sus­cep­ti­ble to pest dam­age at the seedling stage. Pests feed­ing on seedlings can reduce plant estab­lish­ment, increase weed com­pe­ti­tion, delay flow­er­ing and low­er yields. In some cas­es there may be a need for re-sow­ing. Most of the estab­lish­ment pests found in the north­ern region are soil-dwelling insects. Soil insects may be dif­fi­cult to detect pri­or to sow­ing.… Read more »

White-fringed weevil damaging field peas in Bundaberg

The white-fringed wee­vil (Nau­pactus leu­colo­ma) orig­i­nates from South Amer­i­ca and was first report­ed in NSW in 1932.  Although gen­er­al­ly asso­ci­at­ed with warm moist con­di­tions, this pest is now found in many crop­ping areas through­out Aus­tralia and they appear to be increas­ing their range. Infes­ta­tions often go unno­ticed until crops are plant­ed and once they are estab­lished they are dif­fi­cult to… Read more »

Downs update – Symphyla and other soil pests

Fol­low­ing the recent detec­tion of sym­phy­la in some cot­ton fields on the Dar­ling Downs, DAFF Ento­mol­o­gy have been test­ing sam­pling strate­gies for this poten­tial pest of cot­ton. Lit­er­a­ture for a sim­i­lar sym­phy­la species in North Amer­i­ca sug­gest­ed that bait­ing with pota­toes may be an effec­tive strat­e­gy for assess­ing sym­phy­la abun­dance and whether indi­vid­u­als were active­ly feed­ing or in a restive… Read more »

Symphylans recently detected causing establishment problems in cotton on the Darling Downs

An inves­ti­ga­tion into poor estab­lish­ment in a field of cot­ton west of Dal­by this week con­firmed the pres­ence of the soil dwelling sym­phy­la as the like­ly cause. Sym­phy­lans are rel­a­tive­ly com­mon in most soils where they gen­er­al­ly feed on decom­pos­ing organ­ic mat­ter. Sym­phy­la as crop pests Sym­phy­la have caused prob­lems with crop estab­lish­ment for a num­ber of sea­sons in the… Read more »

Black Soil Scarab Damage to Winter Cereals

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This win­ter we’ve seen sev­er­al instances of severe scarab dam­age to win­ter cere­als (wheat, bar­ley and oats) , includ­ing on crops at Jandowae and Fel­ton on the Dar­ling Downs. The pho­to­graph below shows that severe dam­age is most­ly con­fined to areas of pad­docks which were pre­vi­ous­ly pas­ture – and this is where the high­est scarab pop­u­la­tions were found.