MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Hessian flies, those tiny, gnat-like insects that often go unnoticed by Kansas farmers, have increased in numbers in recent years. For that reason, Kansas State University scientists Jeff Whitworth and Holly Davis are looking for Hessian fly infestations in the state and could use some help from farmers.

"If producers detect Hessian fly infestations, we would really appreciate a phone call or e-mail," said Whitworth, who is recording the location and extent, if possible, of each infestation. "We would like to visit several selected sites to collect Hessian flies and possibly to initiate some pheromone trapping."

In sufficient numbers, Hessian flies can cut wheat yields, Whitworth said. For a number of years, the pest was persistent, but mostly localized. More recently, however, infestation reports have increased.

Producers with information about Hessian fly infestations can contact Whitworth at or 785-532-5656. Davis is available at or 785-532-4739.

SOURCE: K-State.