Management of Insect and Mite Pests in Sunflowers

May 2019


Unmanaged sunflower pests can reduce yield and quality of seed and oil. Pesticides should not be used as a substitute for good agronomic practices or as “preventative insurance” because this approach can cause pest resurgence issues and is rarely economically or environmentally justifiable. Many sunflower pest problems can be avoided by developing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan that includes preventive pest management practices, such as planting high-quality, vigorous, Oklahoma-proven hybrid seed, planting it at the proper time for optimal health and yield, providing proper fertilization and weed control, and using crop rotations.
The information herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Cooperative Extension Service is implied.
Pesticide recommendations in this publication were correct as of the “Modified Date” but always check the label that came with the purchased insecticide for the most current rates and restrictions
The first name listed is the trade name of a product registered for use in corn for the listed pest. The name in (parentheses) listed below the trade name is the name of the active ingredient. The active ingredient name is provided because in many cases, there are other registered products containing the same active ingredient that may cost less, so producers should compare prices.
The number [in brackets] following a product is its Mode of Action number [MOA]. The more frequently insecticides with the same MOA are used, the more likely resistance will occur. This number provides an easy way to select different modes of action to avoid selecting for pests that are resistant to a certain mode of action.

EPP-7196 Grasshopper Management in Rangeland, Pastures, and Crops (OSU)
MF2384 High Plains Sunflower Production Handbook (Kansas State) http://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/mf2384.pdf

Pest, Damage, and Treatment ThresholdInsecticide, Formulation, [MOA Group] &
(Active Ingredient)
Rate of Product per AcreComments
Cutworms (black, granulate, sandhill)Asana XL [3](esfenvalerate)5.8 to 9.6 fl oz
(0.03 to 0.05 lb ai/A)
28-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Striped or solid colored, robust caterpillars that “roll” up when disturbed and prefer to live under ground.Baythroid XL [3](beta-cyfluthrin)
0.8 to 1.6 fl oz
(0.007 to 0.013 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Damage: Cutworms generally feed at night and live under the soil during the day. Plants will be cut at or slightly above the soil level, causing stand reductions.Besiege [28,3]
(lambda-cyhalothrin + chlorantraniliprole)
5.0 to 8.0 fl oz45-waiting period for harvest. Do not use adjuvant with application. Follow drift precautions to protect pollinators.
Threshold: Scout fields at seedling emergence. Threshold is one cutworm per square foot combined with a 25% stand reduction. Treat when worms are less than ½ inch long.Cobalt Advanced [1B,3]
(chlorpyrifos + gamma cyhalothrin)
16 to 38 fl oz45-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Delta Gold [3]
(deltamethrin)
1.0 to 1.5 fl oz
(0.012 to 0.018 lb ai/A)
21-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Karate w Zeon [3]
(lambda-cyhalothrin)
0.96 to 1.60 fl oz
(0.015 to 0.025 lb ai/A)
45-day waiting period for harvest.
Lorsban 4E [1B]
(chlorpyrifos)
2 pts
(1 lb ai/A)
42-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Mustang MAXX EC [3]
(zeta-cypermethrin)
1.28 to 4 fl oz
(0.008 to 0.025 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Proaxis 0.5 CS [3]
(gamma-cyhalothrin)
1.92 to 3.2 fl oz
(0.0075 to 0.0125 lb ai/A)
45-day waiting period for harvest.
Sevin XLR [1A]
(carbaryl)
1.5 quarts
(1.5 lb ai/A)
30-day wait for grazing, 60 days for harvest.
Stallion [1B,3]
(chlorpyrofos + zeta-cypermethrin)
3.75 to 11.75 oz42-day waiting period for harvest.
Tombstone [3]
(cyfluthrin)
0.80 to 1.60 fl oz
(0.013 to 0.025 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest.
GrasshopperAsana XL [3]
(esfenvalerate)
5.8 to 9.6 fl oz
(0.03 to 0.05 lb ai/A)
28-day waiting period for harvest for harvest; do not graze.
1-2 inches long, outer wings leathery, inner wings clear or colored. Enlarged hind legs designed for jumping.Baythroid XL [3]
(beta-cyfluthrin)
2.0 to 2.8 fl oz
(0.016 to 0.022 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest for harvest; do not graze.
Damage: Chew leaves, leaving ragged edges or completely chewing leaf blade. Damage developing seed heads, causing yield loss.Besiege [28,3]
(lambda-cyhalothrin + chlorantraniliprole)
6.0-10.0 fl oz45-waiting period for harvest. Do not use adjuvant with application. Follow drift precautions to protect pollinators.
Threshold: See EPP-7196: Grasshopper Management in Rangeland, Pastures, and CropsCobalt Advanced [1B,3]
(chlorpyrifos + gamma cyhalothrin)
6 to 13 fl oz45-day waiting period for harvest for harvest; do not graze.
Coragen [28]
(chlorantraniliprole)
2.0 to 5.0 fl oz
(0.026 to 0.065 lb ai/A)
1-day PHI.
Delta Gold [3]
(deltamethrin)
1.0 to 1.5 fl oz
(0.012 to 0.018 lb ai/A)
21-day waiting period for harvest for harvest; do not graze.
Karate w Zeon [3]
(lambda-cyhalothrin)
1.28 to 1.92 fl oz
(0.02 to 0.03 lb ai/A)
45-day waiting period for harvest.
Lorsban 4E [1B]
(chlorpyrifos)
1 pt
(0.5 lb ai/A)
42-day waiting period for harvest for harvest, do not graze.
Mustang MAXX EC [3]
(zeta-cypermethrin)
2.6 to 4 fl oz
(0.016 to 0.025 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest for harvest; do not graze.
Proaxis 0.5 CS [3]
(gamma-cyhalothrin)
2.56 to 3.84 fl oz
(0.01 to 0.015 lb ai/A)
45-day waiting period for harvest for harvest.
Stallion [1B,3]
(chlorpyrofos + zeta-cypermethrin)
5.0 to 11.75 fl oz42-day waiting period for harvest.
Foliar-feeding caterpillars (painted lady, woolly bear)Besiege [28,3]
(lambda-cyhalothrin + chlorantraniliprole)
6.0 to 10.0 fl oz45-day waiting period for harvest. Do not use adjuvant with application. Follow drift precautions to protect pollinators.
Various caterpillars, painted lady and woolly bear caterpillars have hairy bodies.Cobalt Advanced [1B,3]
(chlorpyrifos + gamma cyhalothrin)
16 to 38 fl oz45-day waiting period for harvest for harvest, do not graze.
Damage: Feed on leavesKarate w Zeon [3](lambda-cyhalothrin)1.28 to 1.92 fl oz
(0.02 to 0.03 lb ai/A)
45-day waiting period for harvest.
Threshold: Treat when defoliation exceeds 25% and caterpillars are still present.
Mustang MAXX EC [3]
(zeta-cypermethrin)
1.28 to 4 fl oz
(0.008 to 0.025 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest Check label for species labeled rate.
Proaxis 0.5 CS [3]
(gamma-cyhalothrin)
2.56 to 3.84 fl oz
(0.01 to 0.015 lb ai/A)
45-day waiting period for harvest.
Stallion [1B,3]
(chlorpyrofos +zeta-cypermethrin)
3.75.0 to 11.75 fl oz42-day waiting period for harvest. Check label for rates for specific caterpillar pests.
Seed weevils (Red and Gray)Asana XL [3]
(esfenvalerate)
5.8 to 9.6 fl oz
(0.03 to 0.05 lb ai/A)
28-day waiting period for harvest for harvest; do not graze.
Reddish weevil about 1/8-inch long, and grey weevil about 1/4-inch long. Larvae are white, about 1/6-inch long when mature. Baythroid XL [3]
(beta-cyfluthrin)
2.0 to 2.8 fl oz
(0.016 to 0.022 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Damage: Larvae feed inside seed, cut exit hole when mature, and burrow into ground. Besiege [28,3]
(lambda-cyhalothrin + chlorantraniliprole)
6.0 to 10.0 fl oz45-waiting period for harvest. Do not use adjuvant with application. Follow drift precautions to protect pollinators.
Threshold: Scout for red weevil when 85% of plants are past R-4 growth stage. Treat when counts exceed 10 weevils per head. Continue to scout to determine if second spray is needed.Cobalt Advanced [1B,3]
(chlorpyrifos + gamma cyhalothrin)
16 to 38 fl oz45-day waiting period for harvest.
Delta Gold [3]
(deltamethrin)
1.0 to 1.5 fl oz
(0.012 to 0.018 lb ai/A)
21-day waiting period for harvest.
Karate w Zeon [3]
(lambda-cyhalothrin)
1.28 to 1.92 fl oz
(0.02 to 0.03 lb ai/A)
45-day waiting period for harvest.
Lorsban 4E [1B]
(chlorpyrifos)
1.0 to 1.5 pt
(0.5 to 0.75 lb ai/A)
42-day waiting period for harvest.
Mustang MAXX EC [3]
(zeta-cypermethrin)
2.6 to 4 fl oz
(0.016 to 0.025 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest.
Proaxis 0.5 CS [3]
(gamma-cyhalothrin)
2.56 to 3.84 fl oz
(0.01 to 0.015 lb ai/A)
45-day waiting period for harvest.
Stallion [1B,3]
(chlorpyrofos + zeta-cypermethrin)
5.0 to 11.75 fl oz42-day waiting period for harvest.
Tombstone [3]
(cyfluthrin)
2.0 to 2.8 fl oz
(0.031 to 0.044 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest.
Stem weevil Asana XL [3]
(esfenvalerate)
5.8 to 9.6 fl oz
(0.03 to 0.05 lb ai/A)
28-day waiting period for harvest for harvest; do not graze.
1/8 inch long, grayish-brown with varying white spots on wing covers. Adults emerge in mid-late June.Damage: Adults insert eggs in stalks. Larval feeding causes weakening of stalk, easily lodged heads.Baythroid XL [3]
(beta-cyfluthrin)
1.6 to 2.4 fl oz
(0.013 to 0.019 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Threshold: Begin scouting in mid-June. Treat when counts reach one weevil per three plants. In areas with history of problem, treat when plants reach 8- to 10-leaf stage if planted before June 1. Besiege [28,3]
(lambda-cyhalothrin + chlorantraniliprole)
6.0 to 10.0 fl oz45-waiting period for harvest. Do not use adjuvant with application. Follow drift precautions to protect pollinators.
Cobalt Advanced [1B,3]
(chlorpyrifos + gamma cyhalothrin)
16 to 38 fl oz45-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Delta Gold [3]
(deltamethrin)
1.0 to 1.5 fl oz
(0.012 to 0.018 lb ai/A)
21-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Karate w Zeon [3]
(lambda-cyhalothrin)
1.28 to 1.92 fl oz
(0.02 to 0.03 lb ai/A)
45-day waiting period for harvest.
Lorsban 4E [1B]
(chlorpyrifos)
1.0 to 1.5 pt
(0.5 to 0.75 lb ai/A)
42-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Mustang MAXX EC [3]
(zeta-cypermethrin)
2.6 to 4 fl oz
(0.016 to 0.025 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest, do not graze.
Proaxis 0.5 CS [3]
(gamma-cyhalothrin)
2.56 to 3.84 fl oz
(0.01 to 0.015 lb ai/A)
45-day waiting period for harvest.
Sevin XLR [1A]
(carbaryl)
1 to 1.5 quarts
(1 to 1.5 lb ai/A)
30-day wait for grazing, 60 days for harvest.
Stallion [1B,3]
(chlorpyrofos + zeta-cypermethrin)
5.0 to 11.75 fl oz42-day waiting period for harvest.
Tombstone [3]
(cyfluthrin)
1.6 to 2.4 fl oz
(0.025 to 0.038 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest.
Sunflower beetleAsana XL [3]
(esfenvalerate)
1.45 to 5.8 fl oz
(0.0075 to 0.03 lb ai/A)
28-day waiting period for harvest for harvest, do not graze.
Similar to Colorado potato beetle, light yellow with dark brown stripes and measures about ¾ inch long. Larvae are yellow and humpbacked.Besiege [28,3]
(lambda-cyhalothrin + chlorantraniliprole)
5.0 to 8.0 fl oz45-waiting period for harvest. Do not use adjuvant with application. Follow drift precautions to protect pollinators.
Damage: Feed on foliage, chewing holes in leaves.Cobalt Advanced [1B,3]
(chlorpyrifos + gamma cyhalothrin)
16 to 38 fl oz45-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Thresholds: Seedlings: One adult per plant. Larger plants: 10 to 15 larvae + 25% defoliation.Delta Gold [3]
(deltamethrin)
1.0 to 1.5 fl oz
(0.012 to 0.018 lb ai/A)
21-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Karate w Zeon [3]
(lambda cyhalothrin)
0.96 to 1.60 fl oz
(0.015 to 0.025 lb ai/A)
45-day waiting period for harvest.
Lorsban 4E [1B]
(chlorpyrifos)
1.0 to 1.5 pt
(0.5 to 0.75 lb ai/A)
42-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Mustang MAXX EC [3]
(zeta-cypermethrin)
2.6 to 4 fl oz
(0.016 to 0.025 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Proaxis 0.5 CS [3]
(gamma-cyhalothrin)
1.92 to 3.2 fl oz
(0.0075 to 0.0125 lb ai/A)
45-day waiting period for harvest.
Sevin XLR [1A]
(carbaryl)
1 to 1.5 quarts
(1 to 1.5 lb ai/A)
30-day wait for grazing, 60 days for harvest.
Stallion [1B,3]
(chlorpyrofos + zeta-cypermethrin)
5.0 to 11.75 fl oz42-day waiting period for harvest.
Tombstone [3]
(cyfluthrin)
0.8 to 1.6 fl oz
(0.013 to 0.025 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest.
Sunflower (Head) mothAsana XL [3]
(esfenvalerate)
5.8 to 9.6 fl oz
(0.03 to 0.05 lb ai/A)
28-day waiting period for harvest for harvest; do not graze.
Adult is small white moth, 3/8-inch long that folds wings around body when resting. Larvae are brown/purple with longitudinal white stripes.Baythroid XL [3]
(beta-cyfluthrin)
2.0 to 2.8 fl oz
(0.016 to 0.022 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Damage: Young larvae feed on pollen and florets. Older larvae burrow into head and feed on developing seed. Larvae spin webbing on surface of flower head. Damage enables head rots to develop.Besiege [28,3]
(lambda-cyhalothrin + chlorantraniliprole)
6.0 to 10.0 fl oz45-waiting period for harvest. Do not use adjuvant with application. Follow drift precautions to protect pollinators.
Threshold: Begin scouting when flowers first open and scout every few days. It is best to scout in evening with flashlight. Treat when moth numbers reach one to two moths per five plants at 20% bloom.Cobalt Advanced [1B,3]
(chlorpyrifos + gamma cyhalothrin)
16 to 38 fl oz45-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Coragen [28]
(chlorantraniliprole)
3.5 to 7.5 fl oz
(0.026 to 0.056 lb ai/A)
1-day PHI.
Delta Gold [3]
(deltamethrin)
1.0 to 1.5 fl oz
(0.012 to 0.018 lb ai/A)
21-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Karate w Zeon [3]
(lambda-cyhalothrin)
1.28 to 1.92 fl oz
(0.02 to 0.03 lb ai/A)
45-day waiting period for harvest.
Lorsban 4E [1B]
(chlorpyrifos)
1.0 to 1.5 pt
(0.5 to 0.75 lb ai/A)
42-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Mustang MAXX EC [3]
(zeta-cypermethrin)
2.6 to 4 fl oz
(0.016 to 0.025 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest; do not graze.
Proaxis 0.5 CS [3]
(gamma-cyhalothrin)
2.56 to 3.84 fl oz
(0.01 to 0.015 lb ai/A)
45-day waiting period for harvest.
Sevin XLR [1A]
(carbaryl)
1.5 quarts
(1.5 lb ai/A)
30-day wait for grazing, 60 days for harvest.
Stallion [1B,3]
(chlorpyrofos + zeta-cypermethrin)
5.0 to 11.75 fl oz42-day waiting period for harvest.
Tombstone [3]
(cyfluthrin)
2.0 to 2.8 fl oz
(0.031 to 0.044 lb ai/A)
30-day waiting period for harvest.
Pre-harvest Intervals  
Asana XL28 day PHI, do not feed or graze
Baythroid 2, XL30 day PHI for harvest or grazing
Besiege45 day PHI, do not feed or graze
Cobalt45 day PHI, do not feed or graze
Coragen1 day PHI
Delta Gold21 day PHI, do not feed or graze
Karate w Zeon45 day PHI
Lorsban 4E42 day PHI, do not feed or graze
Mustang MAXX EC30 day PHI, do not feed or graze
Proaxis45 Day PHI
Sevin XLR30 day PHI for grazing, 60 day PHI for harvest
Stallion42-day PHI
Tombstone30-day PHI

 

* MOA group numbers in brackets [#] following the insecticide name are used to designate the mode of action of the insecticide according to the classification system developed by the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) in 2011 It is intended to help in the selection of insecticides for preventative resistance management. If you make multiple applications for a specific pest during a growing season, simply select a registered insecticide with a different number for each application. To further delay resistance from developing, integrate other control methods into your pest management programs.

** The first name listed is a commercial trade name of a product. The chemical name in parentheses refers to the name of the active ingredient and is included because there are a number of registered products that are contain the same active ingredient. Such products may be less expensive to purchase, so producers should compare prices.

Tom A. Royer
Extension Entomologist

 

 

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