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Sweet corn disease or pest problem

I just planted my corn seedlings last week here in central florida. After a week of having them in the ground I started noticing holes in the leaves, and it seems to be getting worse. What could it be? I have attached a few pictures.


Green Thumb
Posts: 532
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:52 am
Location: South Africa

That looks like they were eaten. Try googling for things that eat corn, specifically caterpillars/moths. They are probably active when you are not looking or they are still quite small.

I am sure people here will respond with some suggestions. Sorry, I have no idea what would eat corn specifically.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

I think probably slugs. Look at the pictures in this article about slugs and corn plants:

https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/fieldc ... -slugs.php

You will never see them in the day time, but if you go out late at night with a flashlight you will find them.

Treating your corn plants and the ground around them with diatomaceous earth should take care of the problem, if it is slugs.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7447
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Yes, pest, and very likely slugs. Diatomaceous Earth is good medicine for slugs.

Posts: 13619
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

their is some white or grayish bugs in the leaf axils. It may be aphids, another common problem with corn. Insecticidal soap can take care of it now.

I usually don't have a lot of problems with seedlings. What was growing in this space before. Snail and slugs like dark moist places and corn needs a lot of sun.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 921
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:19 am
Location: Gardening in western U.P. of MI. 46+ N. lat. elev 1540. zone 3; state bird: mosquito

I have problems like that with most of my seedlings that I plant in spring. It's not slugs for me, it's too dry here. I don't know what eats my stuff as soon as it sprouts! If I wait an extra month I don't have the same problem, but I don't like to wait too long to plant things of course. I was thinking of trying diatomaceous earth this year. Question: Is diatomaceous earth harmful to earthworms since they are soft bodied? What else might I use?

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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

diatomaceous earth should not harm earthworms.

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