Small grain-Chinch bug

Blissus spp.

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

Bugs cause damage 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. However, economic losses almost never occur in healthy grain fields.

Chinch bug damage to cereal grains 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. 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. 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. REI 12 hr. Do not forage or graze within 3 days of application. Retreatment interval 3 days. Do not exceed 0.038 lb ai/a per season
  • Chromobacterium subtsugae (Grandevo) at 0.6 to 0.9 lb ai/a per 100 gal. PHI 0 days. REI 4 hr. OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • cyfluthrin (Tombstone) at 0.038 lb ai/a (wheat only). PHI 30 days. Pre-grazing or foraging interval 3 days. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 3 days. Do not exceed 0.076 lb ai/a per season.
  • gamma-cyhalothrin (Declare) at 0.015 lb ai/a. PHI 30 days. REI 24 hr. Do not apply more than 0.03 lb ai/a per season. Do not graze or forage within 7 days of application. Do not feed straw within 30 days.
  • lambda-cyhalothrin (Silencer, Warrior II) at 0.03 lb ai/a. PHI 30 days. REI 24 hr. Do not graze or forage within 7 days of application. Retreatment interval 3 days. Do not exceed 0.06 lb ai/a per season. Do not feed straw to meat or dairy animals within 30 days after last treatment.
  • lambda-cyhalothrin/tebuconazole (Crossover) at 0.14 lb ai/a. PHI 30 days. REI 24 hr. Do not exceed 0.11 lb ai/a tebuconazole or 0.06 lb ai/a lambda cyhalothrin per season. Feeding restrictions apply. Do not exceed 8 fl oz/a or 0.139 lb ai/a per season.
  • lambda-cyhalothrin/chlorantraniliprole (Besiege) at 0.098 lb ai/a. PHI 30 days. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not exceed 0.06 lb ai lambda-cyhalothrin or 0.2 lb ai chlorantraniliprole per year. Feeding restrictions.
  • lambda-cyhalothrin/thiamethoxam (Endigo ZC) at 0.072 lb ai/a. PHI 30 days. 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. 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, also for forage and hay. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 14 days. Do not apply more than 0.25 lb ai/a per year. Barley, wheat and triticale only.