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More Reports of Black Cutworm Moth Captures

May 4, 2001
We've provided considerable coverage on how to manage black cutworms this spring should they become a problem in certain fields. To date, reports of black cutworm injury have been very sporadic and light. As more corn emerges, reports of injury may increase. We are continuing to receive information concerning the capture of moths in pheromone traps. Ron Hines, senior research specialist, Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, reported an intense flight (nine or more moths caught during a 1- to 2-day period) of black cutworm moths in Pulaski County on April 29. This is the fourth intense flight of the season that Ron has witnessed in southern Illinois. Ron also indicated that he has not observed a field that has required a rescue treatment. This situation could change, and growers are encouraged to remain vigilant, especially until cornfields develop beyond the 4-leaf stage of development. Reports of intense captures also continue to occur in central Illinois. Roger Leach, Berry Fertilizer, in eastern Sangamon County observed an intense flight on April 28 and 29. Based on an earlier intense flight that occurred in Piatt County on April 7, Bob Scott, Illinois State Water Survey, projected that cutting could begin in some areas of central Illinois as early as May 8. Producers are advised to look for signs of leaf feeding and cutting and be ready to apply rescue treatments as required. In northern Illinois counties, reports of intense flights have been rare. Stan Eden, crop systems Extension unit educator, Ogle County, has been monitoring traps for black cutworms for much of April and indicated that very few moths have been captured. Dale Baird, crop systems educator, Rockford Extension Center, reported an intense flight during the evenings of April 30 and May 1. This is the first intense flight of black cutworm moths in northern Illinois that I have been made aware of. If other observers have earlier flight information, please let me know. In next week's Bulletin, we'll provide some projected cutting dates for northern Illinois counties.--Mike Gray


Checking a black cutworm pheromone trap for moths.


Black cutworm moth; note black "dagger" on forewing.

Author: Mike Gray


The Pest Management and Crop Development Bulletin
Executive Editor: Kevin Steffey, Extension Entomologist

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