Purdue University entomologists predict western bean cutworm to peak in egg laying over the next couple of weeks.
The insect is relatively new to Indiana and Ohio, said Christian Krupke. The pest originates in the Great Plains states, but has been increasing in the region since 2006. So far, 2010 looks to be the worst year for infestation.
The pearl-like eggs are found in clusters of 50 to 100 and turn deep purple before hatching. Once hatched, larvae quickly enter into the corn whorl and eat until ears form. Molds often form where worms have eaten.
Krupke expects the northwest corner of the state to experience greater populations of western bean cutworm because the soils are sandy, making it easier for the insect to dig into the soils to overwinter.
“We know eggs are present in many fields in northwestern Indiana,” he said. “There will be many more deposited over the next couple of weeks, so scouting is essential in high-risk areas of the state.”
Although some Bt hybrids offer control, insecticide sprays are effective if applied at the appropriate time.… Continue reading