Underground Insect Research Not An Easy Job

LSU AgCenter entomologist Dr. Jeff Davis has been doing research this past year into controlling underground insects.

“For below ground insects,” says Davis, “we’re really interested in insecticide seed treatments.  We know they don’t really have much effect on above ground insects that we have in soybeans during that 28 days period when they’re active.  Maybe a little effect on thrips. But really, the effect is, could be something that’s occurring below ground that we don’t see and can’t sample for on a normal level.”

Davis says they’re going to try and use some different techniques to identify what insects that are being controlled in the ground with any insecticide treatments and which ones are mosteffective.

“The easiest way to scout for below ground insects is to take a shovel and a buck and some water and scoop them out.  Then the hard part is to identify all those insects,” Davis points out

“It’s easy to identify an adult, but the larvae of a weevil or a beetle is much more difficult. You have to be a very good specialist and it just takes a lot of practice,”  Davis concluded.

(This report a service of the Louisiana Soybean and Grain Research and Promotion Board)