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Western Bean Cutworm

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Western Bean Cutworm


Western Bean Cutworm are dark brown with faint diamond-shaped markings on their backs. They lighten in color as they mature and are gray to pinkish brown when fully grown. Mature larvae are about 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches in length and have three short dark stripes running lengthwise on the first segment behind the head.


Western Bean Cutworm

Western Bean Cutworm

Habitat: Western bean cutworms are a pest of dry beans and corn. In dry beans, young larvae will feed on flower parts and newly emerged leaves. Economic damage occurs when larvae mature and begin to feed on pod and developing seeds.


Life Cycle:  Western Bean Cutworm females lay eggs on available host plants such as field corn, sweet corn, popcorn, or dry beans. Females also may lay eggs on tomatoes, nightshade, and ground cherry, although these are not preferred oviposition hosts. In corn, female western bean cutworms lay eggs primarily on the upper surfaces of the leaves.


Fields attractive to western bean cutworms for oviposition are fields in which corn is tasseling or near tasseling and fields that have hybrids with upright leaf characteristics. Egg masses contain an average of 50 eggs, but numbers of eggs in a mass range from 5 to 200. Eggs turn from white to tan to dark purple as they age, and larvae hatch within 5 to 7 days after the eggs are laid. western bean cutworms pupate, and they emerge as adults during the summer


Western Bean Cutworm  Damage

Western Bean Cutworm Damage

Damage: Western bean cutworm eggs are laid in the upper third of the corn plant, on the upper sides of the leaves. In erect leaf varieties eggs are commonly found on lower leaf surfaces as well. Newly hatched western bean cutworms move to one of two places on the corn plant, depending on the stage of development of the corn. If corn has not tasseled, larvae feed on pollen in the developing tassel within the flag leaf. If corn has tasseled, larvae feed on silk in the ear.


Control: Disturbing the soil by plowing or disking is thought to reduce overwintering larval survival. western bean cutworm larvae are susceptible to a naturally occurring disease caused by the microsporidian. Although these naturally occurring control methods are important in reducing western bean cutworm infestations, outbreaks that can cause economic loss in corn and dry beans are still common and may require insecticide applications for adequate control.


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Beyond Environmental P.C

Our pest control specialist services NYC & NJ and all boroughs including Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island, Suffolk County, Nassau Country & Staten Island, Westchester County & Rockland County, Hudson County in New Jersey including Jersey City, West New York, Union City, Hoboken, Bayonne.

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