Bug Scout 1980
Many Pests Like Corn Ears
(Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University)
And you thought picnic beetles could have caused the damage!
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August 16, 1980

Corn ears in the milk stage are attractive feeding sites for insects.  Tips of ears can be infested with earworms, armyworms, cornborers, rootworm beetles, and Japanese beetles.  The corn ear can also be attractive to nonpest insects like ladybird beetles or picnic beetles.

Picnic beetles are shiny black insects with four yellow spots on their wing covers.  These insects, also called sap beetles or fungus beetles, feed on damaged plant tissue.  Picnic beetles can become numerous on corn ears, but only after some other organism has damaged the plant.  Because it doesn't damage the plant directly, there is no need to spray for picnic beetles feeding in field corn.

In addition to the insects that damage field corn, two other pests can be quite severe in sweet corn this time of year.  These pests, raccoons and neighbors, are hard to control.

by Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University

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