Flights of Helicoverpa armigera & H. punctigera detected throughout the Northern Grains Region in July and August

The annual Helicoverpa spp. pheromone trapping program for the Northern Grains Region commenced last month. During the first few weeks of trap catches, trap operators have detected flights of both H. punctigera and H. armigera in pheromone traps across the Northern Region.

Table 1: Latest Helicoverpa spp. pheromone trap counts from the Northern Grains region. Numbers in the table are standardised counts for seven trap nights, calculated as (total moths caught/trap nights) x 7.

As we have seen in the last six years of our trapping program, H. armigera flights are consistently detected in cropping areas during August. This year, flights of H. armigera were detected in some areas as early as July. Our results continue to go against the conventional wisdom that during late winter only H. punctigera will be present in crops.

When making spray decisions, it is worth keeping in mind that:

  1. all armigera populations should be treated as being resistant to synthetic pyrethroids,
  2. armigera is displaying increasing levels of resistance to Steward® (indoxacarb) and Altacor® (chlorantraniliprole), and
  3. Pheromone traps act as an ‘early warning’ for potential egg lays only. To determine what species are actually present in your crop, and therefore what insecticide options you have available, there is no substitute for beat sheeting.

Further information

This trapping network is run by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), funded by GRDC and would not be possible without our network of trap operators.

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