Bug Scout 1982
Inspect Plants for Future Rootworm Control
(Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University)
Ol' Joe heard one of the neighbors say rootworms were so thick you could hear them comping- but he doesn't trust his hearing!
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June 19, 1982

About the first of June of every year corn rootworm eggs hatch.  Newly hatched larvae seek corn roots for food.  The more the little buggers eat the more they grow and the more they grow the more they eat!  So by the middle of June rootworm damage to the corn plant is in full swing.

To evaluate rootworm damage, dig up a corn plant and look at the roots.  Small larvae tunnel under the skin of the roots.  Larger larvae move to the point on the stem where new roots originate.  They destroy the roots by killing the growing point.  Later, the larvae can be found in brace roots as these roots enter the soil from aboveground nodes.

It's a good management practice to evaluate rootworm control this time of year.  So grab that rusty old spade and head to the cornfields.  You'll be surprised what you learn.  Besides, you'll get good exercise at the same time!

by Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University

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