Cotton Bollworm Control Methods in Corn and Cotton

As late-planted crops collide with heavy pest pressure, bollworm control in corn and cotton is a top concern. Diligent scouting and timely treatment is critical to protecting yield.

Cotton bollworm, also known as corn earworm, feeds on corn ears and cotton terminals, squares and blooms, hampering growth and hurting quality while opening the door for secondary infections caused by mycotoxins and bacteria.

Adult female corn earworms can lay 450 to 3,000 eggs in a two-week lifespan and hatched larvae feed for 14 to 21 days. Due to this enormous feeding potential, cornfields should be scouted frequently during pollination and ear fill for early detection and fast action.

Scouting Tips

A key element of IPM is proper insect scouting practices. University crop specialists recommend following these scouting guidelines:

  • Scout once or twice weekly, starting when corn plants finish silking. In cotton, begin scouting the second week of squaring or once blooms appear.
  • Examine five entire plants in each of 10 locations for signs of cotton bollworm eggs, larvae or feeding damage.
  • Continue scouting until the last effective boll matures or through the R4 (dough) stage in corn.

Halt Devastating Losses

A corn earworm can destroy up to 12 kernels per infected ear of corn, and the average infestation reaches one-third of the plants in a field, says Dan Sherrod, product development manager, DuPont Crop Protection.

“That loss can be avoided with timely application of insect control products as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) solution. The good news for cotton and corn growers is that new options are available.”

One of those new options is DuPont Prevathon® insect control powered by Rynaxypyr®. One foliar application can protect cotton and corn against yield-damaging worms, including cotton bollworm, European corn borer, beet armyworm, fall armyworm, tobacco budworm, saltmarsh caterpillar, southern armyworm and western yellowstriped armyworm, for 21 days.

Sherrod also adds that Prevathon can be used to guard conventional cotton and corn crops, including seed corn production, even under heavy pest pressure.

“These pests can rapidly devastate an entire field. That’s why it’s critical to stop pests almost immediately after they feed – to end the damage quickly, so quality and yield are protected.”

The information provided on this website is for reference only. Always refer to the product labels for complete details and directions for use.