Kentucky Pest Activity

Welcome to the Kentucky Pest Activity Page

The information on this page comes from articles in Kentucky Pest News, the Cooperative Economic Insect Report, and from UK entomology research and extension faculty notes and publications. It is intended as an informal record of significant observations on arthropod populations and other significant events.

2013Kudzu bug Megacopta cribraria spp) found in Bell, Laurel and Whitley Counties.
2012Brown marmorated stink bug Halyomorpha halys spp) found in Magoffin County.
2011Blacklegged ticks Ixodes scapularis were collected from humans in Clay, Greenup, Knox, Lee, Lewis, Owsley, and Wayne counties. These are new records.
 Emerald ash borer found in Bracken, Boyle, Garrard, Hardin, and Scott counties.
2010First state records of the brown marmorated stink bug Halyomorpha halys spp) from Boyd, Fayette, Greenup, and Jefferson counties.
 Emerald ash borer found in Boone, Boyd, and Woodford counties.
2009First state records of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis spp) from Jessamine and Shelby counties.
2006First state record of hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae spp) from Harlan Co.
2005Low winter survival of southwestern corn borer larvae according to spring survey.
 Forest tent caterpillar popuplations heavy along Ohio River in Boone, Kenton, Campbell counties.
 Larger than normal fall armyworm flight in western Ky.
2004First state record of deer nose bot larvae (Cephenemyia spp) from Lyon Co.
 Biting goat lice in Franklin Co herd.
 Wet spring leads to many samples of barklice, springtails, and millipedes.
 Third year for common oak moth damage in forests and woodlots.
 Spring survey points to low southwestern corn borer winter survival.
 Localized, generally low populations of eastern tent caterpillar.
 Heavy defoliation by forest tent caterpillars along Ohio River from Madison, IN to Warsaw, KY.
 First confirmed detection of West Nile virus in a dead dove in Ohio Co on May 13.
 Calasoma (caterpillar huner) beetles abundant, possible associated with previous high populations of common oak moth.
 Yellow poplar weevil damage above normal low levels.
 Asian ambrosia beetle samples from Woodford and Anderson counties.
 Straw itch mites causing skin reactions for hay handlers.
2003Squash bug identified as persistent vector of cucurbit yellow vine decline.
2002Small hive beetles found in Bourbon Co apiary. First record for the state.
2001Major true armyworm outbreak in western counties.
 Allegheny mound ants in Madison and Cumberland counties, new county records.
 Despite the coldest December on record, winter temperatures were not sufficient to eliminate SWCB larvae .
 Very high populations of eastern tent caterpillar in central KY, pasture infestations reported in mid-May.
 May armyworm catches at Princeton largest since 1998.
 Unusually heavy 1st generation European corn borer flight.
 Periodical cicada brood XXIII emergence began in late May in Bracken, Campbell, and Mason counties.
 European pine sawflies active in southern tier of counties.
 Thrips populations reported high in vegetable and field crops. Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) on burley and dark tobacco, tomatoes, and peppers. Greatest activity is occurring mainly west of a north-south line from Breckinridge County to Laurel County, KY.
 Twospotted spider mites in soybeans in Union, Henderson, and Daviess counties.
 Green cloverworm moth numbers high around soybean fields in late August.
 Woolly aphid fibers very noticeable in Henderson - Daviess county area during early fall.
2000First detection of the soybean aphid.
 Winter grain mites reported from southern Kentucky wheat fields.
 Wheat leaf curl mite and wheat streak mosaic virus in wheat from southern tier of counties from east of Bowling Green west to Fulton county. Last outbreak occurred in 1988.
 Bean leaf beetle and grasshopper feeding above normal in soybeans.
 Armyworms active in wheat, corn, and double crop soybeans.
 Slugs and burrower bugs abundant in no-till corn and soybean fields.
 Apple maggot flies found laying eggs on central Ky apples in July but below damaging levels.
 Moth flight for 3rd SWCB generation seen in late July.
 High infestation levels of European corn borer and southwestern corn borer, up to 25% infested stalks in Hardin and Larue countues, worst infestations in 20 past years.
 Single infestations of red imported fire ant found in McCracken and Calloway counties. Colonies were eradicated.
 Southern pine beetle outbreak over much of the Commonwealth.
1999High eastern tent caterpillar populations, wandering larvae abundant.
 Ground beetles very common as household invaders in the spring.
 Beet armyworm moths captured in mid-May in Fayettte county.
 Lesser corn stalk borers were found in some Fayette county sweet corn plots.
 Japanese beetle damage increasing in western counties, especially noticeable in soybean fields.
 Near record captures of southwestern corn borer moths in the Green River area.
 Cabbage webworms found on cole crops in some eastern counties.
1998New records for Brood XIX of periodical cicada in Caldwell, Crittenden, Daviess, Livingston, Lyon, McLean, Muhlenberg, Todd, Union, and Webster counties.
 Beet armyworm active on fall cole crops and peppers in Daviess, Henderson, Hopkins, McLean, and Union counties.
 A new county record for the Allegheny mound ant from Taylor county.
 Very high populations of the Southwestern corn borer and significant damage to corn, particularly along the Ohio River west of Owensboro.
 Large populations of bird cherry-oat aphids in wheat; low incidence of barley yellow dwarf virus reported.
 Japanese beetle detected in Carlisle County for the first time.
1997Locust leafminer numbers high on black locust, soybeans attacked in Bourbon Co.
 Alfalfa weevil spring egg numbers high in Hart, Nelson, and Warren counties compared to previous year.
 Diamondback moth captures high in Fayette, Lee, and Wayne counties.
 Corn and tobacco flea beetle injury high following mild winter.
 Cool wet spring led to higher than normal seedcorn maggot, cutworm, and slug damage to field crops.
 Corn leaf aphids abundant in central Kentucky fields.
 Potato leafhoppers above normal levels in central Kentucky alfalfa.
 Very high southwestern corn borer catches in Henderson Co. pheromone traps.
1995Cereal leaf beetle in Fulton Co. wheat. Possible county record.
1993First detection of multicolored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) in Bath, Bell, Bullitt, Caldwell, Jackson, and Knott counties in Kentucky.
1992Southwestern corn borer rediscovered in Kentucky during a survey for the European corn borer.
 First state record of the introduced pine sawfly (Diprion similis) from factory grounds in Nelson Co.
 First state record of multicolored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) from Hickman Co.
 Significant infestation the beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua ) in Daviess Co. commercial pepper fields.
 Second consecutive year of black fly problems along the Tradewater River in Webster Co. Adults appeared in early February, about a month earlier than last year.
1991Brood XIV of the periodical cicada began to emerge in mid-May. The insect was reported from 87 counties - the eastern 2/3 of the state. Polulations varied by locality. An subsequent increase in woolly apple aphid infestations was noted on cicada oviposition wounds in apple.
 Yellow poplar weevil damage was evident on sassafras and poplar in eastern Kentucky.
 An increase in eastern tent caterpillar populations was noted.
 The varroa mite was detected for the first time in honey bee colonies in eastern Fayette and Franklin counites.
 Very high European corn borer populations.
 Severe black fly problems affecting livestock along the Tradewater River in Webster Co. Adults appeared in early March.
1990Viceroy (Limenitis archippus) designated the state butterfly by KRS 2.083 on July 13.
1987Sweet potato weevil found in Carter Co. Possible county record.
 Brood X of the periodical cicada emerged in about 1/3 of Kentucky's counties, Heaviest emergence occurred in the first two tiers of counties south of the Ohio River.
 Cereal leaf beetles damaged wheat in several western Kentucky counties. Parasitoids had never been released in there area because infestations had not been reported in previous years.
 First Kentucky record of the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus from Fayette County
1986Intensive trapping in Anchorage, Kentucky demonstrated that the gypsy moth infestation detected in 1985, was pinpointed to about a square block area.
 Southwestern corn borer begins to re-appear in Ky cornfields.
1985Yellow poplar weevils active in eastern Ky, 20 years since last significant population
 Significantly lower eastern tent caterpillar populations in 1984-85 following very high populations of previous years
 Noticeable increase in reports of European hornet in Ky
 Brown stink bug injury to corn seedlings in Daviess, Hardin, and Pulaski counties.
 For the first time survey trapping for the gypsy moth produced multiple catches per trap in Kentucky at Anchorage, data indicated the infestation was confined to a quarter square mile, heavily wooded residential area.
1984Aphid populations developed about 2 weeks later than normal but populations in eastern Kentucky produced significant amounts of honeydew, producing slick spots on some roads.
 In late July, chironomid midges, apparently emerging from the Ohio River, were nuisances from Ashland to Paducah.
 Western corn rootworm caused more visible damage than any year since its first detection in 1979
1983Mexican bean beetles on soybeans along Ohio River - Meade Co.
 Lesser cornstalk borers found in Pulaski Co. and Fayette Co.
 Second consecutive year of heavy winter kill of honey bees
 Ky Apple IPM Program begins
 Electronic delivery of KPN begins
 First detection of hemlock rust mite Nalepella tsugifoliae
 Ground beetles (Amara) spp abundant in lawns
 Western corn rootworm damage significant- most visible damage since discovered
 Fall webworm populations high
 Linden loopers abundant in western Ky, as were caterpillar hunter (Calosoma spp) beetles
 First collectiom of the blue alfalfa aphid(Acyrthosiphon kondoi)
 Damaging populations of Japanese beetles largely east of I-75
 80% or more of ears in some fields infested with corn earworms
 2nd consectuive large population of European corn borer
1982The white oak defoliator, Phoberia atomaris, caused locally heavy feeding in Estill county Ky.
 Large population of European corn borer
1981Economically significant infestations of green cloverworm on soybean in many areas of Ky
 Fall armyworm infestations extensive
 Northern corn rootworms feeding on corn silks in western Ky
1980Fall armyworm activity high in western Ky
 Infestations of a fungus moth Aglossa caprealis associated with wine barrels in Kenton Co. and wine bottle corks in Jefferson Co.
 First record for European hornet from Trigg Co
 First record for imported longhorned weevil (Calomycterus setarius) from Fayette Co - soybean shake sample
 Bathyplectes anurus county records from Bracken, Campbell, and Pendleton counties
 Bathyplectes curculionis county records from Bell, Knox, Laurel, and Madison counties
 Chinch bug damaging corn next to wheat in Muhlenberg Co.
 First record of Japanese beetle from Owen Co
 Eastern tent caterpillar feeding heavily on wild cherry and crabapples over much of Ky.
 First detection of greenbug on Bluegrass lawns in Jefferson Co.
 Extensive aerial spraying of corn fields for Japanese beetle control in Bourbon, Clark, and Madison counties
 First record of western corn rootworm beetle from Boone, Breckinridge, Calloway, Carroll, Fayette, Gallatin, Grant, Hardin, Henry, Kenton, Owen, Trimble, and Union counties
 Microctonus colesi state record from Campbell Co.
 Japanese weevil state record Pseudocneorhinus bifasiatus state record from tuliptree and schefflera in Madison counties
 Microctonus aethiopoides county records from Campbell, Fayette, Jefferson, and Scott counties
 First detection of strepsipteran Halictophagus actutus in Ky from Fayette Co.
 Tetrastichus julus was recovered from 44% of the cereal leaf beetle larvae collected in Grant county and 26% of those collected from Mason county.
 In Estill county, several hundred acres of oak were defoliated by the white oak defoliator, Phoberia atomaris.
 First detection of strepsipteran Halictophagus actutus in Ky from Fayette Co.
1979Northern corn rootworm beetles feeding on corn silks
1979Western corn rootworm found in KY
 Damage to Louisville area hornbeams, possible caused by Agrilus bilineatus
 Pinewood nematode state record from Daviess, Fayette, Fulton, Hardin, Henderson, and Hopkins counties.
1979Three cornered alfalfahopper damaging soybeans in the Purchase area
1976Mexican bean beetles in soybeans - first report - Bonus variety
 Began training and certifying pesticide applicators
 Elm leaf beetle infestations causing significant damage in Jessamine Co
 Honeylocust plant bug new to Kentucky
 Velvet bean caterpillar on soybeans in Hickman Co.
 Bee swarms heaviest in 10 years
1975 49 confirmed cases of St Louis Encephalitis
 First confirmation of old house borer from Jefferson Co.
 Significant damge to pin oaks by oak leaf skeletonizers
 Very high populaitons of face flies acroos the state
1974Armyworm outbreak - worst since 1953
 Two exotic insect parasitoids, Meteorus pulchricornis and Palexorista spp, were released into fall webworm populations in the Judy Lane Camp in Menifee county and an area close to Aurora in Marshall county in an attempt to be present to attack the gypsy moth when it arrives in Kentucky.
1970 Cereal leaf beetle found for the first time in Adair, Barren, Breckenridge, Clinton, Edmonson, Grayson, Laurel, Perry, Pulaski, Russell, and Wayne counties
  Japanese beetles were found in Bracken, McCreary, and Montgomery counties
1958First record of European hornet Vespa crabro in state in Rockcastle Co.
1955Claybacked cutworm (Agrotis gladiaria) very destructive in small grains, lespedeza, clover, and alfalfa in southcentral and western Kentucky. As many as 40 / sq yd in some fields.
 First state record of vegetable weevil (Listroderes costirostris obliquus) in Cumberland Co.
 Sugarcane beetle (Euetheola rugiceps) abundant in Louisville and Lexington.
 Elm leaf beetle (Pyrrhalta luteola ) at destructive levels over much of the state.
 Swarms of salt marsh mosquito (Aedes sollicitans) appeared in Henderson, Hopkins, and Webster counties where strip mining and oil drilling are underway.
 Very high populations of the European corn borer in southwest Kentucky (1,404 borers per 100 stalks - county not reported).
1954Variegated cutworm Peridroma saucia abundant over much of the state, especially damaging in alfalfa.
 Armyworms attacking small grains in central and southwestern areas in numbers equal to 1953.
 Elm leaf beetles very destructive in the Bluegrass area.
1952Blister beetles (Epicauta spp) in destructive numbers in many parts of the state.
 Corn leaf aphids (Aphis maidis) heavily infesting corn in central and north central Kentucky.
 European red mite (Panonychus ulmi) and two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) infestations high probably due to low rainfall.
 Leatherjackets (Tipulidae larvae) very aboundant in west Kentucky grass and clover fields. Many Lespedesa seedings destroyed.
 High populations of plum curculio (Conotrachelus nenuphar)in west Kentucky.
1951Heavy infestations of corn earworm in late-planted sweet corn.
 Garden fleahoppers (Halticus bractatus) abundant in red clover.
 Boll weevils spread to western Kentucky for the first time in several years. Light infestations in Hickman Co.
 Hornworm (Manduca spp) infestations significant on burley tobacco.
1945Southern corn rootworm reported to cause extensive damage in cornfields.
1937Japanese beetle detected for the first time in Ky on the southern outskirts of Louisville.
1912Heavy fall armyworm damage to alfalfa and rye crops.
1896A once in 50 years infestation of hornworms on tobacco was reported by H. Garman. He stated that the larvae were so destructive that some fields were abandoned and in the fall presented "only a wilderness of stems and midribs of leaves". He observed that the good work done by insect parasites and by skunks in destroying the worms led him to think they would not be as abundant the next season.
1878 An outbreak of yellow fever in Hickman, Ky resulted in 749 cases and 149 deaths, according to entomologist Harrison Garman.

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This page is maintained by Lee Townsend, Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky. Please send questions or suggestions to:

This page is maintained by Lee Townsend, Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky. Please send questions or suggestions to:

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