Western Bean Cutworm Moth Flight Analysis

Very few reports of western bean cutworm ear infestations have been received from northern Indiana counties, where risks are greatest. In looking at a comparison of the 4-year moth captures (see graph below), there were plenty of moths flying “Week 5,” that being the 3rd week of July. As with our corn phenology, this was much later than normal. Western bean cutworm’s egg laying preference is pre-tassel corn, and this year’s corn development at that time was anywhere from waist high to post-pollination. Perhaps the lower damage this year can simply be attributed to erratic crop development…likely there is much more we don’t understand, e.g., abnormally wet soil conditions in that region this spring.


Two different sizes of corn earworm (top) versus western bean cutworm (below).

Two different sizes of corn earworm (top) versus western bean cutworm (below).


In some areas of the state, there has been much more interest in corn earworm infestations this season, even in yellow-dent corn. Chris DeFonzo, Michigan State University Extension Entomologist, has written a nice article that can be read HERE.

Tracking the western bean cutworm moth flight wouldn’t be possible without the many pheromone trap cooperators in our network. To those volunteers, we are all in debt! Please thank any of those cooperators that you may know for their efforts.


western bean cutworm total moth captures 2016-2019

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