Sugar beet-Looper

Alfalfa looper (Autographa californica)
Cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni)

Pest description and crop damage This is a minor leaf-feeding pest of sugar beets, most commonly seen late in the season in sugar beets that border alfalfa fields. Mature larvae are up to 1.5 inches long and light to dark green with a thin white stripe along each side. Loopers differ from all other sugar beet caterpillars in that they have only three pairs of fleshy prolegs-on abdominal segments 5, 6, and 10-and crawl in a characteristic looping motion; all other sugar beet caterpillars have five pairs of prolegs-on abdominal segments 3, 4, 5, 6, and 10.

Scouting and thresholds No formal economic thresholds exist for looper insecticide treatment decisions in sugar beets.

Management-biological control

  • Bacillus thuringiensis aizawai (Agree WG, XenTari - live spores of an insect-killing bacterium)-See label for rates. PHI 0 days. Biological insecticide most effective against small, newly hatched larvae. No contact action; larvae must eat treated leaves. Use a spreader-sticker. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Biobit HP, Crymax, Deliver, Dipel DF, Javelin WG, and others - live spores of an insect-killing bacterium)-See label for rates. PHI 0 days. REI 4 hr. Biological insecticide most effective against small, newly hatched larvae. No contact action; larvae must eat treated leaves. Use a spreader-sticker. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • Beauveria bassiana (BotaniGard ES, BotaniGard Maxx, Mycotrol ESO, Mycotrol O - live spores of an insect-killing fungus)-See label for rates. PHI 0 days. Typically requires 7 to 10 days after first spray to see control. Begin treatment at first appearance of pest. Reapply as necessary. OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • Chromobacterium subtsugae (Grandevo, Grandevo PTO, Grandevo WDG - insect-killing bacterium) at 0.3 to 0.9 lb ai/a. REI 4 hr. Must be mixed with water and applied as a foliar spray with ground or aerial equipment for conventional spraying or by chemigation. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.

Management-chemical control

  • alpha-cypermethrin (Fastac CS) at 0.014 to 0.025 lb ai/a. PHI 50 days. REI 12 hr. Apply by air or ground equipment using sufficient water to obtain full coverage of foliage (minimum of 2 gallons per acre by air and 10 gal per acre by ground). Apply no more than 0.075 lb ai/a per season. Do not graze or harvest treated sugar beet tops for livestock feed.
  • azadirachtin-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
    • (Azatin XL) at 0.01 to 0.02 lb ai/a. Foliar application against larvae.
    • (Azatin O) at 0.025 to 0.1 lb ai/a. Foliar application against larvae.
    • (Aza-Direct) at 0.01234 to 0.024 lb ai/a and up to 0.0432 lb ai/a under extremely heavy pest infestation.
    • (Debug Tres) at 0.0375 to 0.1054 lb ai/a
    • (Ecozin Plus) at 0.012 to 0.023 lb ai/acre. Spray nymphs early and repeat application after 7 days.
  • azadirachtin + pyrethrins (Azera) at 0.0125 to 0.025 lb ai/a, and up to 0.044 lb ai/a under extremely heavy infestation. Dilution in a minimum of 30 gal of water per acre is recommended for conventional equipment. May be applied by air at the rate of 0.0125 to 0.025 lb ai/a in a minimum of 25 gal of water. Do not repeat more than every 5-7 days. OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • Burkholderia spp. (Venerate XC - heat-killed insecticidal bacteria)-See label for rates. PHI 0 days. REI 4 hr. OMRI-listed for organic use
  • cinnamaldehyde (Cinnacure)-See label for rate. PHI 0 days. OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • esfenvalerate (Asana XL, S-fenvaloStar, Zyrate) at 0.03 to 0.05 lb ai/a. PHI 21 days. Apply as necessary but no more than 0.15 lb ai/a per season. Apply with ground or air equipment using enough water (at least 2 gal/a) to cover uniformly.
  • methoxyfenozide (Intrepid 2F, Troubadour) at 0.12 to 0.25 ai/a. Apply at egg hatch or when signs of feeding occur. PHI 7 days.
  • pyrethrins (Lynx EC 1.4, Lynx EC 5.0, PyGanic EC 1.4, Tersus)-See label for rates. REI 12 hr. PHI 0 days. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • pyrethrins + Beauveria bassiana (Xpectro OD)-See label for rates. Do not exceed 0.05 lb ai/a. Do not reapply for at least 3 days. In case of extreme pest pressure, wait a minimum of 24 hr before reapplying. .Do not harvest until spray has dried.
  • pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide (Evergreen Crop Protection EC 60-6, Pyrenone, Pyronyl Crop Spray, and others)-See label for rates.
  • sodium tetraborohydrate decahydrate (Prev-AM Ultra) applied as a 0.4% solution for cabbage looper, 40-50 gal per acre. Spray every 7 to 10 days as necessary.
  • spinosad-
    • (Blackhawk) at 0.051 to 0.079 lb ai/a. Do not apply fewer than 7 days apart. Do not apply more than 0.33 lb ai per crop. PHI 3 days.
    • (Entrust, Entrust SC) at 0.075 to 0.15 lb ai/a. Do not apply less than 7 days apart. Do not apply more than four times per crop or apply more than 0.33 lb ai/a per crop. PHI 3 days. OMRI-listed for organic use.
    • (Radiant SC) at 0.05 to 0.0625 lb ai/a. Do not apply more than 0.25 lb ai/a per crop. PHI 7 days.
    • (Success) at 0.025 to 0.05 lb ai/a. Do not apply more than four times per crop or apply more than 0.45 lb ai/a per crop. PHI 3 days.
  • zeta-cypermethrin-
    • (Mustang) at 0.028 to 0.05 lb ai/a. PHI 50 days. Do not apply more than 0.15 lb ai/a per season (at planting + foliar applications). Apply with ground or air equipment using enough water to fully cover foliage.
    • (Mustang Maxx) at 0.014 to 0.025 lb ai/a. 50 day PHI for tops or roots. Do not apply more than 0.075 lb ai/a per season. REI 12 hr. Apply by air or ground using minimum of 2 gal per acre by air and 10 gal per acre by ground.