Soybean Pest Not Quite to Northern Iowa Yet, But…

Iowa soybean growers have a new threat to worry about, the soybean gall midge. The recently-discovered pest is confirmed in 16 western Iowa counties so far and it’s destructive. Professor Erin Hodgson, an extension specialist in entomology at Iowa State University, says there are still many unknowns about the new bug and they haven’t yet confirmed its species.

Once they reach the fly stage, the midges are small — just two or three millimeters in length. They have long antennae and unusually hairy wings.

So how do you kill it? That’s an excellent question, Hodgson says, but she can’t yet offer a practical solution.

Eventually, there may be an adult control program but for now, there’s no good defense. Treating seeds with insecticide does not appear effective in holding off the midges, she says. The soybean gall midge is confirmed in these counties: Buena Vista, Cass, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Fremont, Harrison, Ida, O’Brien, Page, Plymouth, Pottawattamie, Lyon, Montgomery, Shelby and Woodbury