Stink bugs are the main pest to look out for in cotton right now. There are plenty of them around in places and plenty of insecticide applications are going out. Here are a couple photos below to remind folks of what stinkbug damage within the bolls looks like.
In Clemson Entomologist Jeremy Greene’s latest Cotton/Soybean Insect Newsletter, he stresses the importance of being able to distinguish the species of stink bug you have in your fields. The brown stink bug is widely resistant to pyrethroids, so if a large proportion of the bugs you are seeing are browns, then an organophosphate (like Bidrin) needs to be added to the tank.
The photos above from Jeremy Green show the juveniles and adults of the Southern green stink bug (left) and the brown stink bug (right). Being able to distinguish the juveniles is equally important as it is for the adults.
Remember when making treatment decisions that the threshold for stink bug damage changes throughout the season. It’s important to record when each field begins blooming and to always keep up with which week of bloom you are in currently.
Take a look at page 116 in the SC Pest Management Handbook for more info on scouting and treating for stink bugs.