For starters, Lygus is notorious for migrating from field to field and crop to crop. UC IPM experts say Lygus control starts by keeping overwintering and spring host weeds under control as much as possible. As the season progresses, growers should remain vigilant and conduct regular scouting on emerging populations in neighboring fields—especially since the wet spring we had this year provides a perfect foundation for heavy Lygus pressure.
When it comes to actually controlling existing Lygus, smart IPM is critical. If you keep throwing the same mode of action at Lygus (or any pest, for that matter), you have a good possibility you could develop resistance. Growers must rotate chemistries with different modes of action to reduce the resistance selection pressure on other insecticides. For example, in our work with university and independent researchers in cotton, we’re finding that a 4- to 5-ounce rate of Belay Insecticide early in the season can provide excellent Lygus control in California cotton for nearly two weeks. Then growers can come in a little later with another chemistry, such as Carbine Insecticide, for a different kind of control and a full programmed approach.