Adult verde plant bugs are a quarter-inch long, narrow-bodied, and light green. The insect goes through several molts or instars (nymphs). Differences between verde plant bugs and cotton fleahoppers make identification between these two pests easier for producers. Verde plant bugs are generally bigger than a cotton fleahopper, with the smallest verde plant bug nymph about the size of a large cotton fleahopper nymph.

Crumley also warns cotton producers to check for bollworms, especially in non-Bt fields. No worms have been detected across the region but 4 to 6 percent of cotton plants have demonstrated damaged squares with evidence of bollworm eggs in some fields. He reminds growers with Bt cotton that worms must eat until they consume a lethal dose; he currently recommends keeping a watchful eye on egg development or increased signs of damage before taking more serious action. Treatment for bollworm eggs is not recommended, largely because of the effective control by predator insects.

Beneficial numbers of predator bugs in cotton are currently moderate to high with lady beetle adults, big eyed bugs, minute pirate bugs, green lacewing eggs, and damsel bugs being found across the Upper Coast.

Cotton aphids have also been detected in the Upper Coast region. Increasing populations of aphids are continuing to be found in many of the program fields, but, with a handful of exceptions, most are below the economic threshold. But Crumley says with the noticeable recent increase in aphids, populations can and will rise quickly. If they do, he says technology in recent years has provided a number of effective chemicals to fight aphids, including Centric, Intruder, and imidacloprid (Provado and Leverage).

More recently, he says, Carbine has shown good cotton aphid activity in other parts of the Cotton Belt as well as in Texas with fair results over the past few years.

To keep up with the latest in Upper Coast crop news, subscribe to the Upper Coast Crop Improvement Newsletter by emailing your interest and e-mail address to The electronic version is delivered to your inbox complete with color photos.