No. 6 Article 2/May 4, 2007

Black Cutworms: Spring Migration in Full Force

As we have reported in several issues of the Bulletin, intense captures of black cutworm moths have occurred throughout the state this spring. Producers have been encouraged to scout their corn fields (especially through the early seedling stages of 1 to 4 leaves) for pinhole feeding in leaves as a good predictor of potential cutting at a later date. Thorough scouting of corn fields for black cutworm injury is recommended, even in fields that have been planted with Bt seed. For more information on scouting and management recommendations, please visit this page on the University of Illinois Extension IPM website.

Black cutworm moths.

Recently I read through a paper (Annual Review of Entomology, 42: 393-425) published in 1997 by Dr. William B. Showers titled "Migratory Ecology of the Black Cutworm." Dr. Showers, a retired USDA entomologist, devoted much of his career at Iowa State University to researching the biology and ecology of black cutworms and the European corn borer. Provided here is some interesting information that I gleaned from his review paper.

Let us know if you encounter significant infestations of black cutworms this spring. We look forward to learning of your observations. --Mike Gray

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