The data had been obtained during a period of peak migration of corn earworms
from fruiting corn fields.
riobravis, is particularly effective against corn earworm
, tobacco budworm, fall armyworm and cotton bollworm.
This past year, Dowd, Johnson, and ARS chemist Mark Berhow conducted experiments in which they force-fed 1 of 10 different kinds of saponins, caffeine, and other compounds to first-stage fall armyworms and corn earworms
Bt corn offers some protection against feeding by corn earworms
, but some growers still conduct aerial spraying operations as often as once every 4 days to control the pest.
In April, the researchers began field testing another lure formulation that attracts alfalfa loopers, cabbage loopers, and corn earworms
By emitting chemical distress signals, some corn, cotton, and tobacco plants can summon tiny parasitic wasps to rescue them from hungry caterpillars like the tobacco budworm and corn earworm
In the South, crop-hungry corn earworms
cost farmers an estimated $1.
Another biological product making its way to the marketplace is a nematode called Steinernema riobravis, a natural enemy of pink bollworms, corn earworms
, and fall armyworms, among others.
This entomological detective work could help scientists take out of commission culprits such as Mediterranean fruit flies, corn earworms
, mosquitoes, sweetpotato whiteflies, biting midges, Indianmeal moths, and potato leafhoppers.
They enter through wounds caused by corn earworms
or borers, or through gaps in the husk.
That's enough, says the ARS nematologist, to kill more than 90 percent of the corn earworms
, fall armyworms, or pink bollworms waiting to emerge from 1 acre of soil as winged adults.
If honey bees were pests - like mosquitoes, corn earworms
, or the sweetpotato whitefly - researchers would be looking for ways to kill them.