Pest Management

How to: Manage Corn Earworms in Your Garden

Corn Earworm blog post
Corn earworms (also known as tomato fruitworms) are small caterpillars that vary in color from different shades of brown, yellow, pink, green, and black. The light yellow adult moth lays white, circular eggs on leaves or corn silk in the spring time. The earworm consumes the silk and then moves on to the ear. On other plants, earworms consume stems, leaves, and fruit.
 
Treatment Options:
  • Green lacewings and trichogramma wasps can help to fight against the corn borer eggs.
     
  • Beneficial nematodes have been shown to be effective if you have a bad infestation.
     
  • Use the organic pesticide, BTK (bacillus thuringiensis Kurstaki). BTK is a naturally occuring microorganism that sickens and kills caterpillars without harming butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects. There are varied opinions regarding the safety of BTK, but it’s classified as an organic treatment and is certainly safer than using a more toxic pesticide.

Plants to Watch For:

  • Corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Cotton

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