Photos by John Obermeyer
CORN BORER FEEDING: Notice the feeding pattern on these young corn plants from first-generation corn borer. It’s often referred to as shot-hole damage.
THE CULPRIT: This female corn borer moth is looking for a place to lay eggs. First-generation moths are attracted to the tallest, earliest-planted corn.
AWAITING HATCH: Here are European corn borer eggs deposited by a moth onto a corn leaf. Tiny larvae will soon hatch and begin feeding on leaf tissue.
EARLY FEEDING: You likely recognize shot-hole feeding damage on leaves. Here’s the damage tiny larvae cause first.
TOUGHER TO CONTROL: If you need to treat for corn borer, catch them before they reach this stage, John Obermeyer suggests. Once they tunnel into the midrib, they’re difficult to control.
INSIDE THE STALK: Once larvae tunnel inside the stalk, spray applications will no longer be effective at eliminating them.
PUPA INSIDE STALK: The larva that tunneled into this stalk has turned into a pupa. A moth will hatch and leave the stalk to lay eggs for the next generation.
UGLY SCENE: The hole in this stalk and material left behind by the corn borer make for an ugly scene. The time to control corn borers is much earlier in the season, before they tunnel into leaf midribs — not at this stage.