First Pest Watch Report

Posted: June 15, 2011

Surprising early pheromone trap captures of sweet corn pests.
corn earworm

corn earworm

Corn earworm continues to show surprising abundances for this early in the season.  Adults were captured in 10 of 13 sites, and exceeded thresholds for silking corn in Blair, Centre, Franklin and Lancaster counties.  York County also exceeded threshold last week.  High captures have been reported in some southern states.

 European corn borer captures are very high in Blair, Lancaster, Lehigh and Luzern counties, and also exceeding thresholds in Center counties.  Degree-day models suggest most of the populations now are larva, so we should not be seeing second generation adults yet in pheromone traps.   Check for feeding damage in tasels.  A single spray at row tasel will help clean up populations that established earlier.

 Fall armyworms reports are low and sporadic.  Some may be the nontarget species, Lecania phragmaticola, that often show up at this time. 

 In summary, adult of both corn earworm and European corn borer are active now.  Females of both species are strongly attracted to both late vegetative and taselling or silking corn.  Early planted corn will act as a magnet, pulling in moths looking for oviposition sites.   Row-tasel applications could be warranted.  Monitoring programs should be in place.

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