The Alabama Vegetable IPM program conducts the statewide insect monitoring program as a special service to crop producers. Pest alerts are based on moth counts from sticky wing pheromone traps. However, there is no shortcut to direct crop scouting to detect pest pressure. Producers should monitor insects, keep good records, and develop their own IPM plan suitable for the farm.
Overview of insect pest activity from monitoring traps: (26 locations, May-October 2022).
Moth activity trends:
- 2022 had a wet spring and a dry summer period. This had a major effect on pest populations. Comparatively, 2021 summer was very wet with steady rainfall.
- Beet Armyworm (BAW) activity in 2022 was roughly four times more than Fall Armyworm (FAW). This was the exact opposite trend from our experience in summer 2021.
- Southern Armyworm (SAW) activity is alarming and has been gaining momentum over the past three years when we have been monitoring. Major worry for specialty crop producers.
- Corn Earworm/Tomato Fruitworm activity has been steady over the past two years.
- Cabbage Loopers (CL) were active in 2022 late-summer – these could carryover to the winter crops.
- Squash Vine Borer (SVB) activity was very high last two years – pickleworms and melonworms are adding to grower headache. Check out https://www.aces.edu/blog/topics/farming/how-to-identify-squash-vine-borers-pickleworms-melonworms/ to know more about the borers.
Moth counts from sticky wing pheromone traps
|Species||2022 (wet spring, dry summer)||2021 (very wet year)||2020 (wet year)||2019 (flash drough)||2018 (wet year)||2017 (flood year)||2016 (prolonged drought)||2015 (wet year)|
|Lesser cornstalk borer||7389||4710||7150||6360||5190||6790||4890||4950|
|Squash vine borer||1205||1230||623||1140||530||987||630||565|
Special thanks to Olivia Fuller, David Lawrence, Jacob Kelley, Chip East, Eric Schavey, and Makayla Gothard for contributing to the data collection from multiple locations. Supported by funds from the USDA-NIFA BFRD, SARE Research & Education/PDP, CPPM/EIP, OREI, and ADAI Specialty Crops Block Grant Programs.
Use the following IPM resources for insecticide choices related to specialty crops.
- Southeastern U.S. Vegetable Crop Handbook
- Home Garden Vegetable: Insect Control IPM Guide
- Organic Vegetable IPM Slide Chart
- Urban Farm IPM Slide Chart
The Alabama Beginning Farmer playlist on the Alabama Extension YouTube channel have several IPM videos. One of the new field IPM videos, Integrated Pest Management (Overview), provides an overview of all three levels of pest management.
- Quick Overview of Conventional Insecticides
- Bioinsecticide 101
- Botanical Pesticides
- Basics of Organic Insecticides
- Insect Predator 101
- Tomato Insect Pests 101
- How to Manage Yellowmargined Leaf Beetles in Brassicas
- Cabbage Insect Pest 101
- Spider Mite Outbreak During Drought
- Cowpea Curculio Management – Part 1
- Cowpea Curculio Management – Part 2
- Yellowmargined Leaf Beetle IPM