How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Maize dwarf mosaic virus

Maize dwarf mosaic is transmitted by several different species of aphids. Symptoms include narrow, light green to yellow streaks along the veins of leaves, leaf sheaths, and husks. As infected plants continue to grow and the temperature rises, the symptoms may disappear while the young leaves become more yellow. Plants may be stunted and have numerous tillers and poor seed set.

Solutions

It is not practical to try to control maize dwarf mosaic virus by using insecticides to control aphids. If you have experienced this disease in the past, reflective mulches may reduce or delay infections because it helps repel insects from plants. Delaying planting until aphid flights are over may also help reduce infection. Pull up plants showing symptoms; they will be unproductive and may allow disease to spread to nearby healthy plants. Keep broadleaf weeds down, because they may serve as a reservoir of viruses and facilitate spread. Plant resistant varieties if available.

Symptoms of mosaic virus on corn leaves
Symptoms of mosaic virus on corn leaves

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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