in Texas High Plains Cotton
By Megha N. Parajulee, Ph.D.
Professor, Faculty Fellow, and Regents Fellow
Texas A&M AgriLife Research
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Western tarnished plant bug, Lygus hesperus, is the primary Lygus species inhabiting cotton and several other crop hosts in the Texas High Plains region. In Texas High Plains cotton, Lygus bugs are generally more pestiferous in the boll development stage than in the early squaring stage. Until cotton begins flowering, Lygus prefers to stay in various roadside weed hosts, including mustard, alfalfa, Russian thistle, sunflower, pigweed, and others. As roadside weeds senesce and cotton begins flowering, cotton vulnerability to Lygus infestations increase. Lygus injury to maturing bolls is generally the highest during mid-season (4-5 weeks into flowering). In the Texas High Plains, Lygus can be managed using comprehensive ecologically-based IPM practices, with a focus on non-cotton habitat management. This presentation will help consultants, growers, IPM Agents, and other practitioners in the Texas High Plains to understand more about the Lygus host utilization behavior and sink-source relationships of
non-cotton host habitats, influencing Lygus movement into cotton, and action thresholds and insecticide chemistries.