University of Illinois

No. 8/May 15, 1998

Several Early Season Insect Pests
Being Found in Seedling Corn

As corn has emerged in some areas of the state, folks are beginning to observe a few insect appearances and problems as they scout fields looking for potential problems. Several individuals have reported finding seedcorn maggots and wireworms causing some stand reduction in some fields. Until very recently, corn growth has been relatively slow, so effects of early season insect pests such as seedcorn maggots, wireworms, and maybe even seedcorn beetles have been more evident than if the corn had been growing more rapidly.

Several individuals in western and northwestern counties have reported finding flea beetles without any trouble. This is not surprising, given the mild winter we experienced. However, no one yet has reported finding threatening numbers in either commercial field corn or in seed corn. Entomologists with Purdue University have noted relatively large numbersof flea beetles in some areas of Indiana, so we suggest that you keep watching for these critters. If growing conditions improve, flea beetles likely will cause little concern. However, if you begin to see excessive leaf stripping and wilting, control might be warranted if the density of flea beetles is five or more per plant.

Kevin Steffey (, Extension Entomology, (217)333-6652