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Be on the Lookout for Black Cutworm Larvae

May 1, 2003

Western and southern parts of Illinois continue to be the hot spots for black cutworm moths thus far. Intense captures continue to be reported from Adams, Des Moines (IA), Gallatin, Hancock, Massac, Menard, Pope, and Pulaski counties. Sam Markert, Camp Point, reported his fourth intense capture of the spring on April 28. Chuck Albright, instructor at Southeastern Community College in West Burlington, Iowa, reported 45 moths caught in one night on April 24. Projections for cutting dates are based on the dates of intense captures and can be found in Table 1. Few moths have been reported from counties in central and northern Illinois.

Remember that projected cutting dates are only suggestions when cutworm injury may begin to occur. As corn begins to emerge, it is important to scout fields for cutworm damage every couple of days. Please look back to the previous issue of the Bulletin (issue no. 5) for detailed scouting procedures and how to use the head-capsule gauge to determine remaining days of feeding.

Rescue treatments are recommended when 3% or more of the plants are cut and larvae are present. Insecticides labeled as rescue treatments are summarized from the Illinois Agricultural Pest Management Handbook and listed in Table 2. Please note that the recommendations for Mustang Max are different from the rates previously listed for Mustang in the handbook.

Continue to monitor for black cutworm moths, and be on the lookout for larvae as corn begins to emerge across the state.--Kelly Cook

Author: Kelly Cook


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

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