The Problem

Corn Ear Worm

Heliothis zea

Corn ear worm attacks a variety of vegetables including corn, bean, capsicum, pea, potato, squash and tomato plants. The caterpillar chews into buds and eats patches out of unfolding leaves, causing plants to be stunted.


The most serious damage occurs when the larvae attack the ears corn and the kernels. The larvae leave behind moist castings, which can result in mold and leave the corn prone to several diseases. Holes in buds and new leaves also can be noticed after damage caused by the chewing caterpillar.

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