Skip to Content

Soybean Caterpillar Scouting

Soybean Caterpillars

I know many of you have sprayed soybeans with Dimilin and Boron.  Dimilin is good for green clover worms and velvetbean caterpillar but does not control soybean loopers.   We’ve had a few show up, but UGA Soybean Entomologist thinks that more soybean looppers are on the way.   That said, we need continue scouting fields for them and other caterpillars.  Following is a description of caterpillars found in soybeans.

  • The velvetbean caterpillar has 4 pair of abdominal prolegs. This one will wiggle when touched and usually fall to the ground.
  • The green cloverworm has 3 pair of abdominal prolegs.  Normally does not cause serious economic damage.
  • The soybean looper has 2 pair of abdominal prolegs and black markings. But not all soybean loopers have black markings.  To ID,  you have to check a few to find black markings.
  • Cabbage looper does not have black markings. Normally does not cause economic damage.

Soybean Looper

Soybean Looper

Below is a guide for scouting soybean caterpillars from UGA Extension Entomologst Dr. Phillip Roberts:

We can also look at leaf damage. Following flowering, leaf damage exceeding 15% needs to be treated.

Foliage Feeder Thresholds Soybeans