Scouting and Treatment of First Generation European Corn Borer

Scouting and Treatment of First Generation European Corn Borer

While European corn borer numbers have greatly decreased regionally since the introduction of the first Bt corns active against caterpillars, local populations may still cause damage on untraited corn. There are significant acres of untraited corn grown in Nebraska, e.g. popcorn, white corn and growers planting Bt corn hybrids without above-ground Bt traits in an attempt to minimize seed costs.  There still is a need to scout for European corn borers in these situations.

UNL light traps at Concord, Clay Center and North Platte have been catching European corn borer moths the last few weeks, and whorl feeding by newly hatched European corn borers may be present in some fields.  

Nebraska Extension offers several resources to aid in scouting and making treatment decisions for first generation European corn borer on corn.

ECB shot hole damage
Figure 1. Shot hole feeding in corn from European corn borer larvae, similar to what growers are reporting this year.

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A field of corn.