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Insect Pests of Alfalfa

Very little alfalfa is grown in Mississippi, and we do not maintain insect control recommendations for alfalfa. Producers who are attempting to grow alfalfa in the state may wish to refer to the Alfalfa Insect Management Guide, 2014, from Kansas State University, to learn about potential pests and control options. Be aware, however, that the insect pests that attack alfalfa in Mississippi may differ considerably from that in other states and that insecticides labeled for use in other states may not be labeled for use in Mississippi. For example, products containing chlorpyrifos may not be labeled for use in Mississippi even though they are labeled in other states. Read product labels carefully and verify state registration before treating.

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Mississippi is home to several species of cicadas, including this annual cicada. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
Filed Under: Insects-Forage Pests December 21, 2015

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- While many humans anticipate making certain changes with the arrival of a new year, certain insects have much different life cycles.

Periodical cicadas may anticipate emerging from the ground in 2016, while others may simply have to wait a few more years to see the light of day.

Cicadas are curious creatures. From beady eyes on the sides of their heads to prominent veins stretching across their glassy wings, they seem to be created from the Twilight Zone. Yet, they produce one the most common sounds of summer.

Fire ant mounds are common along fence lines where they are protected from grass-cutting equipment and other traffic, such as this mound in an Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, pasture on May 11, 2015. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
Filed Under: Forages, Insects-Forage Pests, Fire Ants May 19, 2015

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Southern farmers may never win the battle against imported fire ants, but aggressive tactics can slow the pests’ invasion, reduce damage and prevent further spread across the United States.

Jane Parish is an Extension/research professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. She said cattle and hay producers have learned to live with and work around the troublesome ants since the pests arrived in the state almost a century ago.

The biggest reason people have trouble controlling fire ants is that they only treat individual fire ant mounds. Individual mound treatments can be useful situationally, but need to be supplemented with broadcast treatments that will control all fire ants in all areas. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
Filed Under: Agriculture, Insects-Crop Pests, Insects-Forage Pests, Insects, Fire Ants, Insects-Pests May 15, 2015

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- People have many misconceptions on how to eliminate fire ant mounds and prevent them from coming back, and these erroneous beliefs hinder efforts to keep the harmful pest from spreading.

Simpson County producer Jimmy Welch's hayfield shows damage from Bermuda grass stem maggots on July 24, 2014. The pest feeds in the tips of developing stems. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
Filed Under: Forages, Insects-Forage Pests, Turfgrass and Lawn Management July 25, 2014

JACKSON -- Turf and forage producers in Mississippi need fewer clouds and more sunshine.

In 2014, forage producers raised an estimated 600,000 acres of hay across the state. There are about 60 farms producing sod for sale in the state.

Turf production…

The unusually harsh winter melted into a cool, wet spring and summer, which slowed spring growth and intensified diseases and last fall’s herbicide injury in sod, said Jay McCurdy, turf grass specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Rocky Lemus, forage specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, examines stem maggot damage on the tips of bermudagrass growing in research plots in the forage unit at the Henry H. Leveck Animal Research Farm in Starkville on Aug. 7, 2013. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
Filed Under: Forages, Insects-Forage Pests August 9, 2013

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Forage producers and their livestock are not the only ones admiring the plentiful bermudagrass fields and pastures across the state this year.

Another invasive insect has arrived in Mississippi, this time to take a bite out of potentially strong hay yields. Stem maggots are joining the list of invasive species in the state that includes fire ants, fall armyworms, kudzu bugs, and once upon a time, boll weevils.

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Your Extension Experts

Extension Professor
Entomology; extension insect identification; fire ants; termites; insect pests in the home, lawn and