Section 14
Chapter 13,673

Control of the salt marsh caterpillar in sugar beets grown for seed

Mast, A.A.; Morrow, W.B.

Proceedings American Society Sugar Beet Technol : 507-510


Accession: 013672816

Migrating salt marsh caterpillars are often a serious menace to sugar beets grown for seed in the Arizona Salt River Valley. The larvae breed mainly in the cotton fields in this area and after defoliating the cotton plants, are a threat to any fields located with 1/4 mile. Light infestations can be fairly well controlled with oil emulsion sprays or dusts containing 3-6 lbs., respectively, of active Toxaphene per acre. Because of the voracious feeding habits and migrating tendencies of these insects, however, chemical control is inadequate where large populations are involved. Under these conditions, barriers constitute the only practical means of control. A number of different types of barriers have been used but the most complete protection, at the least overall cost, is afforded by aluminum foil, .0015 in. in thickness, 7 in. wide. The foil is embedded vertically in the soil, at a depth of 2-3 in. The remaining 4-5 in. standing above the ground is sufficient to prevent the larvae from crawling over the barrier and into the field. A buildup in number of worms is avoided by the digging of holes, as traps, at regular intervals along the foil.

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