Corn earworm moth activity has increased in several Virginia locations this week including: Virginia Beach with some traps averaging over 20 moths per night, Hanover County with 16.6 moths per night, and Page County with 10.9 moths per night. A trap catch exceeding 16 moths per night is quite high and control measures in sweet corn are recommended at short intervals 2-3 days apart (See table below for the trap catch data).
In addition to corn earworm, fall armyworm is another important Lepidopteran “worm” pest that attacks sweet corn. So far, very few moths have been caught in traps around Virginia, but the some late-planted sweet corn on the Eastern Shore has gotten fall armyworms in the early whorl stage corn, where a lot of damage can occur. In addition to corn earworm and fall armyworm, the invasive brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) has occurred in large numbers in some sweet corn fields, including Virginia Beach. The picture below is from Helene Doughty. BMSB can feed through the husk and damage multiple kernels, reducing the quality of the produce. To learn more about BMSB biology, pest threat and management in vegetable crops, click on the following link (pdf) BMSB-in-Vegetables-English
I’d like to acknowledge the 14 VCE agents that are monitoring moth pests on sweet corn farms in 17 different counties in Virginia: Phil Blevins (Washington Co.); Chris Brown (Franklin Co.); Jason Cooper (Rockingham Co.); Ursula Deitch (Northampton Co.); Helene Doughty (Accomack Co.); Roy Flanagan (VA Beach); Bob Jones (Charlotte Co.); Kenner Love (Page and Rappahannock Co.); Laura Maxey Nay (Hanover Co.); Steve Pottorff (Carrol Co.); Stephanie Romelczyk (Westmoreland Co.); Beth Sastre-Flores (Loudoun Co.); Laura Siegle (Amelia Co.); Rebekah Slabach (Halifax Co.); and Mark Sutphin (Frederick Co.).
Here are some trap catch results (moths per night) for some of the locations around Virginia for this week (note we are missing a lot of data this week from some locations):
Same trap catch data can be found here: