Identifying soybean gall midge | AgriGold

Identifying soybean gall midge

Identifying soybean gall midge

Life cycle:  

Soybean gall midge overwinters in the top layers of the soil until maturity is reached. Upon maturity, they emerge from the soil to lay their eggs at the base of soybean plants. Emergence is common at the beginning of June extending into late July. To protect your yields, look for them throughout the full growing season, as two generations of the pest is common. 

Young Soybean Gall Midge

(Photo Courtesy of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Young soybean gall midge are a clear to white maggot-like insect that slowly turns a bright orange color as they age.  Mature soybean gall midge are rarely seen in the fields after laying their eggs but can be identified by their unique black and white striping on their legs, along with their mottled wings and orange, slender abdomens.  

Identification in the field: 

Infestation can start during the V3 stage in your soybean fields. As eggs hatch, feeding will occur to soybean stems. Swollen and/or darkened stems are a good indication of presence in your field. If total infestation occurs, you’ll begin seeing wilted and dead plants, especially near field edges and fields that have been planted as back-to-back soybeans.

(Photo Courtesy of the University of Missouri)

Contact your agronomist if you think you have a problem in your fields. 


To protect your yield, make sure you’re out scouting your soybean fields after plants have reached V3 or as June begins. If you see signs of damage, pull back the epidermis (outer layer) of the soybean stem to check for orange-colored maggot-like insects.  

Because this is a new species, complete control methods are not yet available. Foliar insecticides and seed treatments can aid in control of the pests but cannot completely stop them from being present. A good scouting plan and rotating your crops is crucial to stopping damage before it starts.  

If you have questions about soybean gall midge symptoms, control or identification, reach out to your local AgriGold agronomy expert for more information.  


Soybean gall midge in South Dakota – SDSU extension.