Early July was “a turning point” for plant bugs in cotton, he says. “Plant bugs are with us every year, particularly in the Delta, but until July they had been only light to moderate. Then we started to see a big influx of plant bugs that we usually would see a few weeks earlier in a ‘normal’ year.

“We had been making applications, but instead of spraying 2X or 3X thresholds, we were treating normal threshold numbers. Recently, though, those numbers have picked up dramatically in some areas. In the next few weeks, I’m expecting we’ll have to tighten the belt in some situations.”

There are some areas where square retention is dropping, Catchot says, “and it seems we’re not getting control. With a lot of adults moving into the fields, we’re having to tighten intervals. So far, this has been the exception rather than the rule. We have some areas of the state where we are now having to spray on four- to five-day intervals. You don’t have to do this for long — maybe a couple of times — but you’ve got to tighten intervals when these heavy numbers come in. So, watch your square retention until you get into bloom.”

It’s “very, very difficult” to evaluate how a chemistry is working with plant bugs, he says. “If you’ve got adult plant bugs moving into a field, and you walk through the field a few days after an application and find the same numbers, or higher numbers than before the application was made, the inclination is to think it’s a control failure. But if square retention is maintained, that’s not the case.

“If square retention is decreasing, then you probably need to move to another chemistry. But it’s very, very difficult to monitor the efficacy of any of these chemistries on adult plant bugs, because they’re steadily moving into the fields.

“In some places, next to corn, treelines, or Group IV flowering soybeans, they’re a real problem — it just depends on where you are. But keep in mind that if you get into this situation, you need to tighten your intervals. Once cotton starts blooming, I don’t mind using OPs and mixtures.”

In the Delta area, Catchot says, “I’m not really a fan of using any product alone, particularly when cotton is blooming. Rather, I’d be looking at mixing these products, particularly with bifenthrin or pyrethroids — I think you get much more bang for your buck. I’d like to see more mixes with all products in heavy infestations.”