Thursday, September 2, 2010

Plenty Of Corn Earworm Moths, But Will That Mean More Worms?

From Ames Herbert, Virginia Tech Extension Entomologist

Earworm moths are still flying. 

Trap catches are high in many areas, and windshields are spattered. 

One fellow commented that the other night coming home from a meeting, he had to stop twice to clean the moth gunk off his windshield. One observation, and I hope this holds, is that in the past this late season moth flight did not result in new worm infestations. 

A lot of insect behavior is relegated by environmental cues. Days are definitely getting shorter. Is this reduced photoperiod (shorter day length) causing moths not to lay as many eggs? 

Not sure, but for whatever reason, in my experience it has been rare to see worm infestations initiate in September. 

We are hearing of many fields with a few earworms, maybe left over from the earlier flight, but none with the huge numbers we had a few weeks ago. Let's hope we are finally seeing the end of this pest, for this season at least.

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