The corn earwoms attack!!!!
This isn't the first time I've had these pests, but this is the first time they have actually gotten down into the ears of corn and eaten their way through the ear, effectively ruining it for me, who has been so loving corn on the cob fresh from the garden. So, what to do? Apparently the moth lays her eggs on the leaves early in the years, but later on, like now, leaves her eggs on the silks and so eggs become larvae who then start their munching.
The worm is about 1 or 2 inches long and greenish in color, although they can be brown. I wonder if the blue jays and crows who occassionally started eating corn at the tip of the silk was after these worms? But this year, the birds are not bothering the corn . Some research tells me to put mineral oil on the silk after it is dry. I don't have any in the house, so will have to wait until I go to town next week. Pesticides don't do any good anyway, once the lavae has hatched and entered the ear and of course would be very hurtful to honey bees who are all over my tassles of corn. The parasitic wasp, Trichogamma, layes it's eggs in the eggs of the earworm moth and thus is effective in stopping the infestation. So that's a possibility also.
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Posted by Marilyn Renaker at September 7, 2010 7:55 AM