Database Research Summaries
2018 Developing a Management Program for the Dectes Stem Borer by Finding and Targeting Its Weak Links

calendar_today Year of Research: 2018
update Posted On: 12/05/2019
group Alan Leslie (Principal Investigator, University of Maryland), Edwin Afful (Co-investigator, University of Maryland), Kelly Hamby (Co-investigator, University of Maryland), Cerruti Hooks (Co-investigator, University of Maryland), Emily Zobel (Co-investigator, University of Maryland)
bookmark Maryland Soybean Board

Research Focus

The focus of this project is to develop a management program for the Dectes Stem Borer by finding and targeting the weak links.


  • Determine the amount of yield loss incurred from feeding by Dectes stem borer (DSB) larvae in the absence of soybean plant lodging.
  • Determine periods of peak DSB adult emergence and dispersal to soybean fields and methods for monitoring adult DSB populations in soybean fields.
  • Determine species composition of parasitoids attacking DSB.
  • Determine how different post-harvest practices in crop fields impact abundance and diversity of overwintering natural enemies.


Feeding by Dectes Stem Borer (DSB) larvae causes a 10% reduction in yield of individual soybean plants, even in the absence of stem lodging. Adult DSB emerge from overwintering larvae over an extended period of time contributing to their prolonged presence in soybean fields. DSB populations begin to dwindle in early August. Development of a DSB trap that uses DSB pheromones may prove to be a useful tool for timing insecticide treatments for this insect. Chisel plowing fields in the fall may reduce the numbers of overwintering parasitoid wasps compared to no-till and planting cover crops, potentially decreasing a biological control agent for DSB.


This information will allow farmers to find the best method in preventing the spread of DSB throughout their fields.

For more information about this research project, please visit the National Soybean Checkoff Research Database.

Funded in part by the soybean checkoff.