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How to stop Lygus bugs from attacking your corn

Protect Your Corn: Effective Ways to Stop Lygus Bugs Attack

Lygus bugs, also known as tarnished plant bugs, are a common pest that can cause significant damage to corn crops. These bugs feed on the developing kernels, causing them to become deformed and reducing the overall yield of the crop. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent and control Lygus bug infestations. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to stop Lygus bugs from attacking your corn:

Step 1: Monitor your corn crop regularly

The first step in preventing Lygus bug infestations is to monitor your corn crop regularly. Walk through your fields at least once a week and look for signs of bug damage, such as deformed kernels or brown spots on the leaves. You can also use sweep nets to catch and identify any Lygus bugs that may be present.

Step 2: Plant corn early

Planting corn early can help reduce the risk of Lygus bug infestations. Early-planted corn has a longer growing season, which means that the kernels have more time to develop before the bugs become active in the summer.

Step 3: Use insecticides

If you notice signs of Lygus bug infestations, you may need to use insecticides to control the population. There are several insecticides available that are effective against Lygus bugs, including pyrethroids and neonicotinoids. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully and apply the insecticide at the recommended rate.

Step 4: Use cultural control methods

In addition to insecticides, there are several cultural control methods that can help prevent Lygus bug infestations. One method is to till the soil in the fall to expose any overwintering bugs to the cold temperatures. Another method is to plant a trap crop, such as alfalfa or clover, around the perimeter of your corn field. Lygus bugs are attracted to these plants and will preferentially feed on them, reducing the pressure on your corn crop.

Step 5: Practice good crop management

Finally, practicing good crop management can help prevent Lygus bug infestations. This includes maintaining proper soil fertility and moisture levels, as well as removing any weeds or other plants that may serve as hosts for the bugs. You should also rotate your crops regularly to reduce the risk of insect and disease buildup in the soil.

By following these steps, you can help prevent and control Lygus bug infestations in your corn crop, ensuring a healthy and bountiful harvest.

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