Balancing Pest Management Naturally. The main goal of AWPM for Wheat is to collaborate with wheat producers in evaluating and demonstrating non-chemical pest management techniques, with particular emphasis on the management of the Russian wheat aphid and the greenbug.
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The main goal of AWPM for Wheat is to collaborate with wheat producers in evaluating and demonstrating non-chemical pest management techniques, with particular emphasis on the management of the Russian wheat aphid and the greenbug.
Natural enemies play an important role in regulating populations in wheat in the Great Plains. Field scouting is one part of our program; it includes a presence-absence technique that allows for a quick, yet accurate control decision based on greenbugs and parasitic wasps. Learning about both insect pests and predators helps determine the need for insecticide use or eliminates the need altogether.
Under favorable conditions Coccinellids are voracious predators and can drive an aphid infestation to extinction. If more than one aphid species occurs concurrently in a wheat field, they act for all practical purposes as a single food source for coccinellids.
Lacewings are not considered highly effective at controlling aphids because they lack the prey specificity usually associated with highly effective aphid predators. However, they contribute to the control of aphid infestations.
Nabids (damsel bugs) feed on small, soft-bodied arthropods in wheat fields. Both adults and immatures are predaceous. Nabids are widely distributed in wheat and other crops, and are frequently among the most abundant predatory insects in wheat fields.
The parasitic wasp Lysiphlebus is the most important biocontrol agent of the greenbug in wheat. Mummies produced by Lysiphlebus from the aphid it killed are either tan or brown depending on which species of aphid it parasitized. Tan mummies are formed from greenbugs while brown mummies are formed from bird cherry-oat aphids.
For more specific information, please see the Greenbug Expert system. It offers a detailed description of Glance N’ Go as well as fact sheets on natural enemies and aphids.