Corn Earworms - Knowledgebase Question

Northridge, CA
Avatar for ebin
Question by ebin
June 29, 1998
Most of my corn is infested with corn earworms. At this point I assume the only thing to do is cut off the damaged part and eat the rest. Next year I will try using mineral oil. I have also been told that Sevin is good. When I use the oil will it hinder pollination? Do you have any other suggestions?

Answer from NGA
June 29, 1998
Sevin is registered for use against corn earworm, but Sevin is highly toxic to bees so it's not something that we often recommend. A drop of mineral oil placed in the tip of each ear should stop the earworm from crawling down into the ears of corn. The timing is critical - too soon and you'll hamper pollination; too late and the earworm will have already entered the corn. Wait until the silks turn from green to brown (which indicates the ears have been pollinated) and then place a drop of oil into the top of each ear.

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