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Alfalfa insects: What to look for and how to scout

Alfalfa crops are usually home to large numbers of insects and a great diversity of species. Most of these insects are harmless or beneficial; lady beetles are an example. Pest species generally are found in numbers too few to reduce alfalfa yield.

Unfortunately, in some fields and in some years, insect pest populations reach levels that could cause economic yield loss. Because of these occasional bad actors, scout alfalfa from green up through the last cutting.

Scouting Minnesota alfalfa insects


Insect management


Alfalfa insect scouting and insect sampling

The following alfalfa insect scouting guidelines thoroughly explain why and how to scout.


Alfalfa insects


Authors: Bruce Potter, integrated pest management specialist, Southwest Research and Outreach Center, and William Hutchison, Extension entomologist

Reviewed in 2024

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