First cutworm moth flights detected in IL

The Illinois State Pest Survey is reporting the first trappings of the year of cutworm moths.

Kelly Estes, survey coordinator, tells Brownfield the moths ride weather systems up from the south…

“When we get storm fronts blowing in from the South we tend to have the potential for more or higher moth flights.”  She says, “I think we’re kind of lucky that we haven’t seen more flights, but I think what we are seeing is consistent flights.”

Once significant flights are trapped, two consecutive nights trapping nine or more moths, Estes says they can then predict when the actual cutworms could affect crops…

“Insects are temperature dependent, so based on historical temperatures we can predict approximately when enough degree days have accumulated that they are now big enough to cause economic injury,” she says.

She says current numbers are low, and those first cutting dates typically fall in May and June. She encourages farmers to scout often throughout the early growing season. 

UPDATE: The first significant black cutworm flight of the year in Illinois was reported Friday (4/12) in Franklin County with a projected cutting date of May 12th.

AUDIO: Kelly Estes – IL State Pest Survey Coordinator

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