Growing Corn - Knowledgebase Question

Coeurdalene, Id
Question by triciagoldsm
May 5, 2010
I am growing corn for the first time ever and was wondering what type of pesticide to use to keep the Earwig bugs away?


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Answer from NGA
May 5, 2010

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Do you mean earwigs (black and segmented insects) or corn earworms (worms that feed on the corn kernals)? Earwigs generally feed on organic debris and other insects. Unless the population is large and there's lots of competition for food, they won't usually feed on live plants. They do like to hide in moist, dark places, however, and that may be why you're finding them in your ears of corn. There are two ways to control the earwigs: Put about a half-inch of water in an empty cat food or tuna can and float a tablespoon of oil on top. Place the can beneath your rose bush. Earwigs will be attracted to the residue in the can, crawl in, get coated with oil and drown. Or, roll a few newspaper tubes, moisten them, and place them in the garden in the early evening. Earwigs are mostly active at night and look for a moist, dark place to hide during the day. They'll crawl into the tubes in the early morning. Collect and dispose of the newspaper tubes each morning and eventually you'll lower the earwig population in your garden. Corn earworms can be controlled with a drop of mineral oil on the silks of the developing ear of corn. Wait until the silk turns from white to a dirty white (to indicate pollination has occurred), then place a drop of oil on the silks right where it meets the husk. This will keep the earworms from moving under the green husk and into the ear of corn. Best wishes with your corn!

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