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Issue No. 7, Article 2/May 7, 2004

Update of Moth Captures

Cutworms, armyworms, earworms, and . . . corn borers? Yes, that's right; as we progress into May, the myriad of moths captured in traps continues to grow.

The numbers of black cutworm moths captured in pheromone traps continue to increase throughout much of the state. Over the past week, cooperators at several locations have reported intense captures of black cutworm moths (Table 1). Once an intense capture is recorded, we can calculate degree-days to project when cutting of corn plants will occur.

Black cutworm injury has been reported in several areas in southern Illinois. We highly recommend scouting your cornfields as they begin to emerge over the next few weeks. Please refer to last week's issue of the Bulletin (issue no. 6, April 30, 2004) for scouting information, thresholds, and rescue treatments discussed in "Intense Captures of Black Cutworm Moths".

Although often overshadowed by
mention of black cutworm flights, the armyworm has been a common find this year in both pheromone and light traps monitored by Ron Hines at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center and John Shaw at the Illinois Natural History Survey in Champaign-Urbana. Kevin Steffey reminded us to keep watching for armyworm moths in his article "Let's Keep Our Eyes on Armyworms" in issue no. 5 of the Bulletin. It is uncertain how the intensity of moth flights affects armyworm infestations, but the moth captures thus far are a definite reminder to scout wheat, grass pastures, and corn for potential armyworm injury.

Although it may be hard to believe, both corn earworm and European corn borer moths have been caught in traps in southern Illinois, too. Two weeks ago, Ron Hines found corn earworm moths in the trap in St. Clair County, and captures of corn earworm moths continued last week in Pope, Pulaski, and St. Clair counties. Storms and strong southerly winds also brought the first European corn borer moths of the season to Pulaski County on April 30. Ron sent us photos, just in case we didn't believe him! Although these captures may seem a bit early, they are friendly reminders of how insect monitoring can be a useful tool during the scouting season.--Kelly Cook

Kelly Estes

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