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Moth Captures in Southern Illinois

April 5, 2002
As I reported in last week's Bulletin (issue no. 1, March 22, 2002), we are preparing "The Hines Report" for access on the Web. Weekly reports from Ron Hines, senior research specialist at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, will keep you up to date regarding captures of moths in traps in four locations in southern Illinois (Massac County, two sites in Pope County, and Pulaski County). However, until the site is ready, we'll have to offer Ron's observations "manually."

Several adult black cutworms have been captured in traps in Massac and Pulaski counties since the traps were established in mid-March. Six black cutworm moths were captured in the trap in Massac County during March 18 to 20. Nine black cutworm moths were captured in the trap in Pulaski County during March 16 to 20. More importantly, "intense captures" (nine or more moths captured over a 1- to 2-day period) were recorded from the Massac County trap on March 30 and 31 (three moths captured on March 30, six moths captured on March 31). During the same two evenings, the trap in Pulaski County captured five black cutworm moths.

We can begin to predict the first signs of cutting of corn seedlings by black cutworm larvae (accumulation of 300 heat units [base 50F]) after an intense capture. However, Bob Scott, the Illinois State Water Survey scientist who provides our heat-unit accumulation information, is out of the country for a couple of weeks. Consequently, we are on our own for the time being. (If you want to keep apprised of weather data around the state, visit Bob's Web site, Water & Atmospheric Resources Monitoring at Obviously the current cool temperatures will not allow for rapid accumulation of heat units, so insect development will be slow. Nevertheless, these early intense captures should be marked as an early warning.

Most of us have not forgotten the armyworm outbreak of 2001. I have stated many times since then that we would keep an eye on armyworm moth flights in 2002. Well, one armyworm moth was captured in the Pulaski County trap on March 22. Obviously one armyworm is not a herald for an outbreak, but we want to keep you posted.--Kevin Steffey

Author: Kevin Steffey

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

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