Moth Trappers Have Been Busy! Worry Time?

In looking over the black cutworm and armyworm pheromone reports, it is obvious that many moths have arrived into Indiana. This, coupled with a delayed planting season, increases the likelihood that high-risk fields may experience damage. Still at this point, many variables must perfectly align for these pests to cause a stir in many Hoosier fields.

First, understand that eggs are now just being laid on preferred plants. Armyworm are seeking lush grasses (e.g., wheat, cereal rye) while black cutworm target winter annual broadleaves (e.g., chickweed, dandelion). Currently, those fields are in abundance because of the current wet conditions. After hatch, which takes about a week, the young larvae are most vulnerable to natural and man-made events. They are very prone to dramatic weather events, e.g., freeze, ponding, and natural enemies, e.g., ground beetles. They need a constant and healthy food source, only available if field work/herbicides continue to be delayed for multiple weeks. Their death rate, even under ideal conditions, is very high.

Monitoring moth arrival, and numbers captured, is an inexact science. We cannot predict with certainty that high moth counts, which we are currently experiencing, will equate to high pest damage. Instead, it is best to understand the pest and how the next few weeks unfold. Should the moth flight continue at this pace AND fields remain untouched, then you might better understand why future articles might sound as though the “sky (or moths) is falling.”

Happy Scouting!

One night's catch of armyworm moths at DPAC, Randolph County. (Photo Credit: Jeff Boyer)

One night’s catch of armyworm moths at DPAC, Randolph County. (Photo Credit: Jeff Boyer)

Share This Article
It is the policy of the Purdue University that all persons have equal opportunity and access to its educational programs, services, activities, and facilities without regard to race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, disability or status as a veteran. Purdue is an Affirmative Action Institution. This material may be available in alternative formats. 1-888-EXT-INFO Disclaimer: Reference to products in this publication is not intended to be an endorsement to the exclusion of others which may have similar uses. Any person using products listed in this publication assumes full responsibility for their use in accordance with current directions of the manufacturer.
Pest&Crop newsletter - Department of Entomology Purdue University 901 W. State St. West Lafayette, IN 47907

© 2020 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Pest&Crop newsletter

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact Pest&Crop newsletter at luck@purdue.edu.