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Western Bean Cutworm Moths are Active in Pennsylvania

Posted: July 3, 2012

Again in 2012, Penn State Extension and the Department of Entomology are trapping for western bean cutworm. Pheromone traps have been deployed in approximately 20 counties to search for moths of this species.

This potential pest of corn and dry and snap beans was found for the first time in Pennsylvania in 2009 when we found approximately 90 moths distributed across the state. In 2010, we found nearly 370 moths across Pennsylvania, but two-thirds of these moths were concentrated in Erie County and the northwestern part of the state. In 2011, we found 350 moths, but the population center shifted eastward so that most moths were found in Centre, Lycoming, and Tioga Counties. Thus far in Pennsylvania, we have captured small number of moths in Berks, Bucks, Dauphin, Lebanon, and York Counties. We will continue to track populations and notify growers of where large populations are found. Importantly, in Pennsylvania we have only detected a single larval infestation in corn ears (Centre County), so based on the information we have the economic risk posed by this pest in Pennsylvania appears low, but we do not want to be caught off guard by this pest species, which is distributed across the state. In Indiana, Michigan, and Ontario this pest is causing economic damage, so we continue to tracks its populations in Pennsylvania to see how severe of a pest it might be in our fields. See the western bean cutworm page for details on this pest and a summary of our trapping efforts for last year. In the coming weeks, this site will be updated with our 2012 results.

Contact Information

John Tooker
  • PSU Entomology Specialist