Small grain-Chinch bug

Blissus spp.

Pest description and crop damage A small black insect (a true bug), approximately 0.18 inch long, with a conspicuous black triangle on the outer margin of their white forewings. The nymphs have a white band that transverses the body. As the nymphs mature, their reddish bodies become darker.

Chinch bugs cause damage to cultivated and uncultivated grasses through direct feeding. Removal of nutrients and obstruction of water transportation system causes the plant to become yellow and wilt. Initial injury occurs at or just below the soil level where the insect is most abundant. Economic losses very rare in healthy grain fields.

Chinch bug damage to cereals is most evident in May through July. Adults move from their overwintering sites in bunchgrasses to wheat and barley. The first generation chinch bug nymphs proceed to feed and develop on the cereal grains until these plants dry down. The nymphs then migrate to other suitable summer hosts.

Management-chemical control

Foliar sprays

  • alpha-cypermethrin (Fastac EC) at 0.02 to 0.025 lb ai/A. PHI 14 days for grain, forage and hay. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 14 days. Do not exceed 0.075 lb ai/A per season. Wheat and triticale.
  • Beauveria bassiana GHA (Mycotrol ESO) at 0.5 to 2 pints/A. PHI 0 days. REI 4 hr. Do not apply more than 6 pints/A. OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • beta-cyfluthrin (Baythroid XL) at 0.019 lb ai/A. PHI 30 days, 3 days for grazing or foraging. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 3 days. Do not exceed 0.038 lb ai/A per season.
  • Chromobacterium subtsugae (Grandevo WDG) at 0.6 to 0.9 lb ai/A. PHI 0 days. REI 4 hr. OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • cyfluthrin (Tombstone) at 0.038 lb ai/A. PHI 30 days, 3 days for grazing or foraging. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 3 days. Do not exceed 0.076 lb ai/A per season of cyfluthrin alone, or the combined total of cyfluthrin plus beta-cyfluthrin. Wheat only.
  • gamma-cyhalothrin (Declare) at 0.015 lb ai/A. PHI 30 days, 7 days for grazing or foraging. REI 24 hr. Do not exceed 0.03 lb ai/A per season.
  • lambda-cyhalothrin (Silencer, Warrior II) at 0.03 lb ai/A. PHI 30 days, 7 days for grazing or foraging. REI 24 hr. Retreatment interval 3 days. Do not exceed 0.06 lb ai/A per season.
  • lambda-cyhalothrin/chlorantraniliprole (Besiege) at 0.098 lb ai/A. PHI 30 days, 7 days for grazing or foraging. REI 24 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not exceed 0.06 lb ai lambda-cyhalothrin or 0.2 lb ai chlorantraniliprole per year. Make no more than 4 applications per acre per crop.
  • lambda-cyhalothrin/tebuconazole (Crossover) at 0.14 lb ai/A. PHI 30 days, 7 days for grazing or foraging. REI 24 hr. Do not exceed 0.11 lb ai/A tebuconazole or 0.06 lb ai/A lambda cyhalothrin per season. Do not exceed 8 fl oz/A or 0.139 lb ai/A per season. Barley, triticale and wheat.
  • lambda-cyhalothrin/thiamethoxam (Endigo ZC) at 0.072 lb ai/A. PHI 30 days, 7 days for grazing or foraging. REI 24 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not exceed 0.06 lb ai/A lambda-cyhalothrin or 0.125 lb ai/A thiamethoxam per season. Groundwater advisory. Barley only.
  • pyrethrin-There are several pesticides containing various amounts of pyrethrins. Check each label for the use and amount needed. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • zeta-cypermethrin (Mustang) at 0.04 to 0.05 lb ai/A. PHI 14 days for grain, forage, and hay. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 14 days. Do not exceed 0.25 lb ai/A (0.125 lb ai/A for MustangMaxx) per year.