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Painted Lady Butterflies Flying (07/27/17)

Swarms of painted lady butterflies can be seen when driving by soybean and other fields.

 Painted Lady Butterflies Flying

Swarms of painted lady butterflies can be seen when driving by soybean and other fields. Thanks for all of the emails, texts and videos sent from most of North Dakota. The painted lady butterfly (adult stage) migrates into ND from southern states in spring. The butterflies we are seeing now are the new generation that completed their life cycle from eggs laid by migratory butterflies. Painted lady butterflies are pollinators and not crop pests. However, the larval stage or thistle caterpillar can defoliate leaves of soybeans, sunflowers, dry beans, flax and canola. It’s hard to say if they will re-infest this year’s crops and cause any defoliation in August or not. After emerging from the chrysalis, butterflies tend to disperse and move into other areas. Scouting will be key to see if they go back into fields or not. Thresholds are available to help make spray decisions and prevent any yield losses in field crops.

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Janet J. Knodel

Extension Entomologist

 

 

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