The Q&A Archives: Control of Corn Earworms

Question: I planted some Ruby Queen corn a month ago. I went on vacation a week ago, and now I find the corn is full of earworms. I know about using mineral oil on the silks but the silks are not even out yet. What do I use to protect against these worms early on?

Answer: You can try spraying with Neem-Away Insect Spray from Gardens Alive (5100 Schenley Pl., Lawrenceburg, IN 47025, ph# 812/537-8650). The substance kills their appetite, so they starve to death. Bt berliner-kurstaki is another control product, but the critters have to eat a bit of it before it works. Both are approved organic products, too. The folks at Gardens Alive can guide you as to which will be better in your situation, depending on the stage of growth of your corn and the progress of the insect. Good luck!

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