Minor Soil Pests
Populations of any insect pest whose damaging stage occurs below the soil surface are difficult to detect and equally difficult in evaluating the need for an insecticide. Wireworms, white grubs, seedcorn maggots, and sandhill cutworms are minor soil pests but occasionally cause stand loss which requires replanting. Management decisions regarding the economic feasibility of applying a soil insecticide specifically for a minor soil pest is made even more difficult because no postemergence insecticide rescue treatments are available for any of these four insects. Therefore, control measures must be applied at planting time if economic damage is anticipated based upon past field history or farming practices. Understanding basic biology and the field conditions that are conducive to stand loss from these insects can help reduce potential problems.