Two KSRE publications related to insect management in Kansas were recently updated and are available to the public. A brief summary of each publication can be found in this article. Full versions of each fact sheet are available online with links provided below.
Corn Rootworm Management in Kansas Field Corn
There are three species of corn rootworms commonly found in Kansas: the southern, Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi Barber; the northern, Diabrotica barberi; and the western, Diabrotica virgifera LeConte. Southern corn rootworms are the most common adult rootworm found in Kansas, but the western corn rootworm does the most damage to corn because of larval feeding on the roots.
Northern and western rootworm larvae tunnel into corn roots, pruning as they feed. Damage limits uptake of soil nutrients and greatly reduces stress tolerance (Figure 1). Under favorable conditions, plants can regenerate roots with minimal yield loss, but under prolonged poor environmental conditions, losses can be severe. Significant rootworm feeding below ground, followed by strong winds may cause plants to lodge, reducing their ability to harvest sunlight.
Figure 1. Healthy corn root (left) and corn rootworm (CRW) damaged roots (right). Photos from Extension Entomology, K-State Research and Extension.
For more information on the different management strategies, see the full publication at: https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF845.pdf
Blister Beetles in Kansas
Blister beetles, commonly referred to as blister or oil beetles, belong to the family Meloidae. This fact sheet describes the life cycle and habits of the blister beetle, highlighting its importance to agriculture. It addresses common questions about damage associated with blister beetles, most notably adverse effects on horses and other livestock from consuming contaminated hay.
The full publication can be found at: https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF959.pdf
Holly Davis, Entomology Research and Extension Associate
Jeff Whitworth, Extension Entomology Specialist