Test - Emerging Pest Alerts

Mayetiola destructor (Say)

Scientific Name:
Mayetiola destructor
Common Name:
Hessian fly
Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor, continues to challenge wheat breeding programs

Significance: The Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor, a destructive pest of wheat, has expanded its distribution westward. In 2004 it was found for the first time in Missouri and in 2006 it was found for the first time, in over a decade, in West Lafayette, Indiana. In the Southeast, where the Hessian fly is more common, infestations have become more severe. Research on the Hessian fly began in 1920 in West Lafayette and scientists have been breeding wheat for resistance to this fly for the last 52 years. In 2000 M. destructor overcame the latest four primary wheat resistance genes, that had protected wheat successfully since 1986. Researchers with the Agricultural Research Service and Purdue University are continuing genetic studies to improve wheat resistance to this pest. For more information about the latest research, see the ARS Report listed below.