Cotton Insects

BollwormInsects can be important yield-limiting factors in the production of cotton in South Carolina, and numerous types of insects are capable of causing feeding injury to the crop.  Most of the important species of insect pests have mouthparts that are modified for chewing, piercing/sucking, or rasping/sucking.  The most common insects of importance with chewing mouthparts are bollworm, tobacco budworm, fall armyworm, and grasshoppers.  Species of thrips, such as tobacco thrips, our most common species, have rasping/sucking mouthparts.  Stink bugs, aphids, whiteflies, plant bugs, and spider mites (not insects, but closely related) all have piercing/sucking mouthparts.

See “Cotton Insect Management” for more information about these insects and others and for treatment thresholds and control recommendations. For weekly Extension updates concerning the insect situation in cotton and soybeans, read the section titled “Newsletters”.


Check out common insects that hinder the production of cotton in the Southeast.



False Chinch Bug - pretreatment versus False Chinch Bug - 3 hrs after 16 oz ULV Malathion treatment


Identificationand Management of Common Boll-Feeding Bugs in Cotton (PDF, 4 MB)