Crop & Pest Report


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Mystery Insect (07/09/20)

This insect was found feeding in terminal of sunflower. Is it a pest?

This insect was found feeding in terminal of sunflower.  Is it a pest?


Answer:  This is the sunflower bud moth, which feeds on cultivated and wild sunflowers. Growers and agronomists often see the larval feeding injury first – deformed heads or stalks with black frass near the entrance hole. Sunflower bud moth have 2 generations per year. The first generation of adult moths emerges from late May through mid-June and the second generation in July and August. The first generation can occasionally cause yield loss in sunflowers when larvae bore into the developing buds and populations are high. Most years, the sunflower bud moth is not economic in sunflowers. There are no developed IPM scouting or management strategies.


Janet J. Knodel

Extension Entomologist

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