If you can believe it, we have not reached WBC peak moth flight yet! Trap counts continue to climb and some participants are having a hard time counting them all. During this intense period, I do recommend that our trap participants check their traps more than once a week, simply to keep on top of the numbers you are catching. The longer the moths stay in the traps and rub up against each other before dying, the more they lose their scales on their wings and make identification difficult. Checking them more frequently means you see them when they are fresh and easier to ID.
So now what? Well, this means we are still at risk of peak egg laying. My crew has been running out to high trap count sites to look for eggs in fields but have not had much success outside of the original hot spot areas of Bothwell and south of Tillsonburg. Does this mean that no other fields outside of these two areas have egg laying going on? No. It just means that the moths are more spread out now and scattered in ideal fields across the various counties catching moths in significant numbers. We certainly can’t scout every field in the area of a trap site so it is up to you to be looking too. Though the Bothwell and Tilsonburg locations were extreme with egg infestations ranging from 9 to 80% of the plants, other fields have got to be close to the 5% threshold too in other counties. Scout late planted corn fields first that have not reached full pollen shed yet. As long as you can feel a tassel in the whorl of the plant, the larvae can survive on it. So target young fields first and move up from there. Other host crops are also going to be at risk now as more corn fields starting to get beyond the more ideal egg laying stages.
Let us know too if you do find fields near or above threshold. We want to make sure we document other locations of concern besides the heavy hot spots of Bothwell and Tillsonburg. Even if it’s not until closer to harvest when damaged ears are spotted, we want to capture that information too.
Once we have all the data compiled from this week’s trap reports, I will make a graph comparing this year’s catch to the last two years just to show you how much higher our numbers are this year. So..more to come tomorrow.