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Pest Alert: Increased Levels of Corn Earworm in GA Cotton

July 17, 2018
this illustrated image shows a cotton bollworm

Cotton fields in GA have increased levels of corn earworm. Mid-to-late July brings an expectation of heavy activity, so knowing what to look for is important. Entomologist Dr. Phillip Roberts provides scouting and spraying recommendations in his latest Pest Patrol update.

Corn earworm, also known as cotton bollworm, damages cotton, corn and several other crops. In cotton, larvae feed on squares, blooms and bolls, as well as growing terminals. Shallow gouges on the boll surface may become infected with rot organisms, leading to further damage.

Earworm moths typically move from corn into cotton during July. When scouting, check the entire plant for eggs and larvae, as well as signs of damage to fruiting forms. Eggs are cream colored and flat at the base. Mature larvae can reach 1.5” long and be light green to light brown on the upper body.

For best results, check with you extension agent for local thresholds. Typically, insecticides are most effective when the crop has a significant number of squares or green bolls that will have enough time to mature before the end of the season. Once bolls begin cracking, plants have become too mature to be susceptible.

Besiege® insecticide provides fast knockdown and long-lasting residual control of a wide range of pests, including corn earworm. Dual modes of action provide pest control by contact, ingestion and ovicidal action for the most comprehensive bollworm control.

For more pest alerts from entomologist Dr. Phillip Roberts, check out his Pest Patrol page.

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