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Posts: 27657
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Army worm in corn

Every year I go through this. I see suspicious tiny strips missing from a corn leaf and approach the plant. Usually, the plant is still small enough to look down and peer inside the leaf-cupped top. The edges of the leaves are ragged and there are frass everywhere, so I pick up a grass stalk and push aside the tender young corn leaves inside the cup and ALWAYS there is a caterpillar, about 2 inches long. :x It's not difficult to goose the caterpillar in the tail end with the grass stalk and make it climb up from the narrowest bottom of the cup. Once there is clearance I just lift it out with the grass stalk much like the way snake catcher catches snakes. They are slow and stupid and will not make a fuss.

I've looked it up before and it's called armyworm. I don't usually find many that are affected, so far only two. Sometimes, I see the signs but no worm, and usually that means a Garden Patrol -- most likely a wasp -- has bundled it off to feed her babies.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Posts: 11231
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Army worm in corn

If you get a tight husk corn variety, the corn ear worm, or army worm does not do that much damage. Some people bag the ears after or use mineral oil and bt on the corn silk to control the critters. ... rn-Earworm
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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