Thrips and Fleahoppers in Some Cotton Fields

This week while scouting cotton fields in Calhoun, Refugio, and Victoria Counties, we have found thrips, cotton fleahopper, and aphids.

Photo by S. Biles

A few young cotton fields have thrips above economic levels of 1-2 per true leaf. This is not a comment I am fond of making because, I rarely think of thrips as an economic pest in cotton fields of the Mid-Coast. The problem we are seeing is more of a factor of lack of rainfall than the presence of thrips.

In most years, our cotton fields are growing at a good rate and are not stressed in May. The lack of rainfall has me concerned for higher thrips populations in cotton fields with less than 4 true leaves. In these young fields, you may want to consider treating when thrips numbers exceed the number of true leaves.

Squaring cotton should be inspected 1-2 times per week for cotton fleahopper. I have a brief video demonstrating how I scout for fleahoppers HERE.

Photo by S. Biles

In addition to visual sampling, once the plants get 10-12 nodes, I start to use a 2 gallon bucket to beat the plants into as an easier method of scouting for cotton fleahoppers.

Treatable fields have more than 15 cotton fleahopper adults or nymphs per 100 plants.

I have found aphids in cotton fields. These aphids have been on a leaf here or there with 5-10 aphids. Treat if plants exceed 50-100 aphids per leaf across the field. It has been a number of years since I have last seen a cotton field requiring an insecticide application for aphids prior to bloom.

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