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Peanut Insect Management

TEN PEANUT INSECT QUESTIONS and ANSWERS for 2015 Dr. Mark Abney, UGA Extension Entomologist

Q1. Lesser Cornstalk Borer (LCB) took me to the cleaners last year. What do I spray this year, what rate and how often?

  • Do you have any LCB now? If not, do not treat. 2014 was the worst LCB year in memory, and treating fields this year just because there was a problem last year is not a good strategy. Scout your peanuts!

Q2. Everybody is talking about Diamond (novaluron) & Prevathon (chlorantraniliprole) for LCB. Which one do I spray and how much?

  • Neither of these products is currently recommended by UGA Extension for LCB because there are not enough data. Nevertheless, both look promising. If you choose to use one of these products, consult the label for rates.

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Q3. How good is Dimilin (diflubenzuron) on lesser cornstalk borer?

  • Trial results are variable. It is not listed in the UGA Pest Control Handbook for LCB.  Dimilin is an insect growth regulator and it is not as hard on beneficials as Lorsban or other broad spectrum materials, and it will control foliage feeding caterpillars.

Q4. Can I apply liquid chlorpyrifos to my peanut for burrower bug and/or LCB?

  • NO.

Q5. Should I apply granular Lorsban for burrower bugs?

  • Do you consistently have burrower bug damage? If not, then NO. If yes, then you probably should; there are no other options for controlling this pest. Be sure to scout Lorsban treated fields for caterpillars and spider mites.

Q6. I hear they are catching burrower bugs in light traps this year. What does that mean?

  • No one really knows at this point. Burrower bugs are native to the US and feed on a lot more than peanut. We cannot predict if 2015 will be a bad year.

Q7. Spider mites killed me last year; do I need to be worried about spider mites in my peanuts in 2015?

  • You should be monitoring fields for pests including spider mites. Spider mite infestations usually start at field borders, especially those adjacent to dirt roads, and dry corners. Comite and Omite (same AI) are the only legitimate option(s) available. Early detection and good miticide coverage are essential to control.

  • Q8. When do I spray for three cornered alfalfa hopper?

  • There is no validated economic threshold. A threshold that was proposed in the early 2000’s in response to increasing TCAH populations on “Georgia Green” peanut is:


This threshold is probably too low for current varieties. Work is being done now at UGA to determine thresholds for this pest.

Q9. What can I spray for TCAH?

  • Pyrethroids are pretty much it, but they will kill beneficial insects, and you will probably have more caterpillar pressure.

Q10. Should I spray these caterpillars in my peanuts?

  • PART I. Probably not, but since you are going to spray them anyway, please do not mess up. Pyrethroids are cheap, but they kill beneficials, and they do not kill all caterpillar species. There are plenty of good, selective caterpillar materials listed in the UGA Pest Management Handbook.

  • PART II. The threshold for foliage feeding caterpillars in peanut is 4-8 larvae per row ft. Use the lower end (4) on smaller or stressed peanuts and the upper end (8) on healthy, vigorously growing plants.