Green Cloverworm

Overview

Green cloverworm (Hypena scabra) feed on soybean foliage, leading to defoliation with a significant impact on yield potential. Infestations during the reproductive stages of the soybean crop can be particularly severe, as this is when the plants are most vulnerable. In heavily infested fields, yield losses of up to 40% have been reported.

Closely monitoring soybean fields for any signs of green cloverworm infestation and taking immediate action with products like Willowood Lambda-Cy 1EC** is crucial to mitigate the damage.


How to Identify Green Cloverworm

The larvae of green cloverworm are easily recognizable by their pale green color and distinctive white stripes that run along their bodies. They also possess three pairs of prolegs near their rear end, which sets them apart from other similar pests.

As the larvae mature, they undergo several molts, gradually increasing in size and developing more defined markings. Once they reach adulthood, green cloverworm moths emerge with a wingspan of about one inch. These adult moths are characterized by their brownish-gray coloration, which allows them to camouflage well in their surroundings.

(Image Credit: Image by Daren Mueller, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org)

How to Scout for Green Cloverworm

Farmers should closely monitor crops, particularly the upper canopy, for signs of defoliation, skeletonized leaves, and irregular-shaped leaf holes. Larvae or adult moths may also be noticeable, which are both strong indicators of green cloverworm infestation.

(Image Credit: Phil Sloderbeck, Kansas State University, Bugwood.org)

Regions Affected by Green Cloverworm

Green cloverworm is particularly abundant in the southern and central regions of the U.S., specifically in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri. However, green cloverworm can also be present in other regions, so it’s important to remain vigilant around the country.

When Do Green Cloverworms Affect Crops?

Green cloverworm infestations are most likely to occur during the mid to late season of soybean growth. Larvae emerge in early summer and feed on soybean foliage until late fall.

(Image Credit: Image by Natasha Wright, Braman Termite & Pest Elimination, Bugwood.org)

How to Chemically Manage Green Cloverworm

While pheromone or light traps can sometimes be options to address early stage cloverworm presence, many infestation scenarios require chemical control to effectively manage green cloverworms. When deciding whether to employ chemical products to control armyworms, farmers should first assess the severity of the infestation and determine the economic threshold for treatment. After deciding to move forward with a chemical treatment, there are a few insecticide options available.

In most years, planting on time and natural controls will keep green cloverworm populations in soybeans at bay. In the few cases where economic populations arise, foliar insecticides can control the pest. 

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**Bifenthrin 2EC is a restricted use pesticide.

**RESTRICTED USE PESTICIDE Due to acute toxicity. For retail sale to and use by certified applicators only – NOT to be used by uncertified persons working under the supervision of a certified applicator.

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Every product that labels GREEN CLOVERWORM as a weed, pest, or disease the product can be applied against is shown below. Click any product for label and more information.
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