Corn Rootworm Beetle spotted on Nebraska crops

Published: Aug. 2, 2017 at 10:43 AM CDT
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Another threat for Nebraska crops has been spotted in the southeastern and south central part of the state.

Experts with Nebraska Extension say Western Corn Rootworm Beetles have begun emerging in corn crops.

The beetles were first spotted in early July. They feed on corn crops and can destroy significant percentages of corn if left untreated.

“They are about a quarter of an inch long and yellowish green with some black markings on the back wing markings,” said Robert Wright, an Extension Entomologist.

The beetles are native to America, and have been a problem for Nebraska farmers for many years. Wright says since the beetles have already been spotted this growing season, the most effective way to fight them is to plan ahead.

“Growers should be checking their fields and counting the rootworms on their corn. If growers gather information now, it will help them plan for next year.”

The main issue with the beetles right now is that the insects are currently laying eggs in the soil surrounding corn crops. When those eggs hatch next year, they will become a bigger problem.

That’s why it may be a good idea for farmers to rotate impacted corn crops. Doing so will leave the rootworms with nothing to feed on when they hatch.

“Corn is the only crop that these insects can grow on if you rotate to soybeans that can control them.”

For more information on Western Corn Rootworm Bettles and how to scout for them or begin treatment, click