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Enormous Numbers of Southwestern Corn Borer Moths Captured in Southern Illinois

June 7, 2002
Ron Hines, Senior Research Specialist at the University of Illinois Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, has reported captures of extremely high numbers of southwestern corn borer adults in traps in Massac and Pulaski counties. Trap operators in Massac County found 402 adults during the week ending May 28 and 1,379 adults during the week ending June 4. Trap operators in Pulaski County found 186 adults during the week ending May 28 and 1,002 adults during the week ending June 4. Captures of southwestern corn borer moths at the two Pope County sites are much lower, although numbers increased from May 28 to June 4. The moth captures in Massac and Pulaski counties during the week ending June 4 are unprecedented and don't say much for our suggestion that survival of southwestern corn borer larvae was not so late this spring.

One of the management suggestions for southwestern corn borers is to plant early. Well, that's not the situation for much of the corn in southern Illinois. However, fields that were planted early need to be monitored very closely for southwestern corn borers. Although first-generation southwestern corn borers usually don't cause much, if any, economic damage in Illinois, the situation in southern counties this year is anything but usual. If these borers survive well through their first generation, we may have a real battle on our hands during the second generation. As this situation unfolds, we'll try to keep you current regarding development and survival of this pest.--Kevin Steffey

Author: Kevin Steffey

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

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