The soybean aphid, which was practically nonexistent in soybean fields this growing season, may be back with a vengeance next year.

Ron Hammond, an Ohio State University entomologist, says that if population patterns hold true, growers should look to an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program to control the pest and cut down on yield losses.

“The aphid seems to be following a pattern of high populations one year, low populations the next,” Hammond says. “Multicolored Asian ladybeetles seem to be tied to the aphid. In years when aphid populations are high, the aphids provide a good food source for the ladybeetles. This cuts down aphid populations for the next year. But since populations are low this year, ladybeetles are not as predatory, and this gives aphid populations a chance to increase for the next year.”