Stick to Thresholds to Minimize Yield Loss from Insects

Brown marmorated stink bug

Entomologists develop thresholds to help farmers determine when insect-control treatments will bring an economic benefit.

“For insect pests, determining bushels per acre lost for every pest can be almost impossible,” says Angus Catchot, Ph.D., Mississippi State University Extension entomology professor. “However, in nearly every situation, yield will be protected by applying appropriate insecticides targeted at the pest of interest when economic thresholds are reached.”

Thresholds are a valuable tool for insect control that allow farmers to make better management decisions, reduce negative environmental impact and reduce unnecessary input costs.

Here’s what researchers recommend

Only apply an insecticide after thresholds are met:

  • Applying insecticides before thresholds are met can sharply increase input costs without getting a noticeable yield benefit in return.

Apply effective insecticides:

  • Many insecticides and insecticide classes exist to control insect pests. Always consult the most up-to-date insect information and options from your local extension service or retailer.

Know your insects:

For the most up-to-date threshold information contact your state or local extension office.