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Hessian Fly Observed In Spring Wheat

Hessian fly was observed in spring wheat plantings at the Langdon REC (Source: Dr. Gautam, LREC). Hessian fly is an occasional insect pest problem of wheat in North Dakota. The injury is caused by the white maggot (larval stage). Larvae feed on plant sap and inject a toxic salivary secretion into the plant which interferes with plant growth. In this case, the infested young spring wheat plants were yellowing, withering and dying. Wheat growth and yield can be reduced. Insecticide seed treatments provide only 2-3 weeks of control, but there is no control of Hessian fly larvae with foliar insecticides. Host plant resistance is the most effective method of Hessian fly pest management. Unfortunately, most wheat cultivars do not have the Hessian fly resistance genes.

Hessian fly larvae on spring wheat. (P. Gautam, NDSU)

Spring wheat plants damaged by Hessian fly
(P. Gautam, NDSU)

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