Fall Armyworm – Vegetable Crops Hotline

Fall Armyworm

​Fall armyworms have completed their annual trek from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest. Fall armyworm larvae will feed on all aboveground parts of the sweet corn plant, during all stages of growth. The damage to the foliage is much more severe than with European corn borer. Larvae will feed from within the whorl of the plant until the tassel starts to emerge, at which time they will move to other plant parts, including the ear. Larvae will enter the ear either through the tip, similar to corn earworm, or they may come through the husk into the side of the ear. The best time to control fall armyworms is during the late whorl stage, before they tassel emerges and they start to move. Pyrethroid insecticides such as Warrior®, Brigade®, Mustang Max® and Hero® will provide excellent control. Most growers will want to save their more expensive Coragen® or Radiant® treatments for earworm control after silking begins (when moth catches increase).

Fall armyworm damaged corn whorl unrolled.

Fall armyworm damaged corn whorl unrolled.

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