No. 6 Article 2/May 5, 2006

Intense Flights of Black Cutworm Moths Continue in Widely Scattered Areas of Illinois

Reports of intense black cutworm flights continue from several areas of Illinois. Dawn Thomson, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, indicated that cooperators had intense flights (nine or more moths caught over 1 to 2 days) on April 29 in Effingham County and April 30 in Coles County. Doug Gucker, Piatt County Extension, reported an intense flight on April 30 in Piatt County. Much farther to the north, Jim Morrison, Extension educator, Rockford Extension Center, indicated that an intense flight of black cutworm moths took place in Winnebago County on May 2. These flights indicate that all areas of the state, north to south, are now susceptible to potential economic infestations of black cutworm larvae.

It makes sense to offer this insect pest some respect this spring. Don't neglect scouting efforts in emerging cornfields as the rush to plant soybeans begins. To predict when cutting of plants may occur in your area (300 heat units, base 50F, beyond an intense flight), take advantage of this Web site. As mentioned in previous issues of the Bulletin, don't initiate scouting efforts when cutting begins. Look first for pinhole feeding in leaves. This is an excellent early-warning sign of potential cutting yet to come. We look forward to receiving any reports of intense flights or cutting activity that may be occurring in your region of the state.


Seedling corn leaf injury caused by black cutworm larva.


Monitoring the black cutworm spring migration with pheromone trap.

--Mike Gray

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