Source: Purdue University

On May 12, Purdue University scientists caught their first corn earworm moth in a black light trap in Jennings County (Southeast Indiana). Two days later, a black light trap in Tippecanoe County picked up one moth. Immediately this gave the alert for sweet corn growers, with extremely early plantings, to begin their pheromone trapping. It is suspected that these moths rode one of many storm-fronts from the Gulf States.

After a quiet period for catches, the pheromone traps began to catch significant numbers of moths over the Memorial Day weekend. This was considered an alert to producers with high-value corn close to tasseling. It is possible that earworm damage will be seen in the whorls of yellow dent corn, often mistaken for fall armyworm feeding. Though this damage may look severe, it is often in small patches of the field and the corn should grow out of it.