Corn Pests - Knowledgebase Question

Erskine, MN
Question by extreme
February 12, 1998
Last year my corn was very wormy. I'm looking for a inexpensive but effective way of treating this problem. I don't like using chemicals.


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Answer from NGA
February 12, 1998

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You're probably dealing with corn-ear worm, a pesky sort of fella that crawls in under the husks and eats the kernals to his heart's content. You can discourage development of the corn-ear worm by waiting until the silks have received the pollen from the corn tassles (when the ear just begins to fill out), and putting a drop or two of mineral oil on the silks. The adult won't lay her eggs on the silks if it's sticky and oily. Don't apply the oil too early pollen won't have a chance to reach the silks and produce the kernals along the cob. You probably should rotate your corn crop to another part of the garden this year, since the ear worms have figured out where you planted last year, and will be waiting to visit your corn patch again this year.

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