Corn earworm—Helicoverpa zea
Larvae have distinct stripes along sides and many short, whiskerlike spines over the body surface. Body
Identification of species | Life cycle
Larvae eat through kernels of ears and leave frass. The
pest feeds on the developing tassels in the whorls of the
plant. Damage is usually limited to the first 2 to 3 inches
of the ear.
Corn early planted is not as seriously affected as is late
corn. Consider not treating, and cut off damaged ends of
corn at harvest. Applying a few drops of mineral
a medicine dropper to silks just inside
each ear 3 to 5 days after silks first appear may be effective.
Applications of insecticides, such as spinosad must be applied
on silks within 3
days after first silks appear and at
3-day intervals until silks turn brown. Bacillus
a biological insecticide, may be dusted on silks every 3
days after 5 to 10% silk formation for partial control.
Destroy culls and plants
immediately after harvest. General
predators and Trichogramma or Hyposoter parasites
have limited impact.