Currently, there is not a pest management strategy to control the Sunn Pest on a national or global scale. However, there are a number of methods that farmers can utilize to help limit the damage caused by these insects.
1. Monitor pest populations
Sunn Pest populations vary from year to year in response to climatic conditions. Pest populations should be monitored annually to determine if it is necessary to spray for the insect. Keeping records of population levels is beneficial.
2. Plant early-maturing wheat varieties and harvest early
Damage is less if wheat is harvested before Sunn Pest reaches adulthood. Growing early-maturing varieties and establishing a regional uniform planting date minimizes damage. Early harvesting methods must be developed in relation to local production methods and weather conditions.
3. Maintain shelter belts around wheat fields
Natural enemies reduce Sunn Pest populations and should be encouraged. Cereal crops should not be grown on marginal lands in the foothills. These areas should remain as uncultivated habitats where flowers and grow undisturbed, providing shelter and alternative food sources, which improve survival of these beneficial insects.
4. Use chemical insecticides only if needed
Click here for examples of insecticides used for Sunn Pest Management
Selective insecticides should only be used when pest populations reach economically damaging levels. Applications should be made when adults move into cereal fields. Contact the nearest research station or extension service for more information for more information.
Research has been ongoing for decades to develop and improve management of the Sunn Pest. In 1997, scientists from ICARDA, the University of Vermont, and national agricultural researchers throughout the infested region began working together to develop a model Sunn Pest integrated management plan. Read more about these current experimental management tools in the Research section of this web site.
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