Erin Hodgson

Dr. Erin Hodgson started working in the Department of Entomology at Iowa State University in 2009. She is an associate professor with extension and research responsibilities in corn and soybeans. She has a general background in integrated pest management (IPM) for field crops. Dr. Hodgson's current extension and research programs are focused on improving corn and soybean production by using IPM tactics to protect yield and increase overall farmer profits. Among other projects, she oversees insecticide efficacy evaluations for soybean aphids, Japanese beetles, and aphids in corn. Erin also helps manage emerging field crop pests and invasive species. 

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February 21, 2017 11:06 AM

In 2011, brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) was first confirmed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Since then, live detections have been confirmed in 19 Iowa counties. These stink bugs have been found in and around human structures, mostly homes in urban areas. I don’t know of any BMSB specimens found in...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
December 2, 2016 8:29 PM

This week during ICM Conference, I talked about a resistance management plan for soybean aphid. My presentation abstract can be downloaded now (ICM Proceedings, pg. 97). In order to prolong the efficacy of foliar insecticides, farmers need to implement more...

Insects and Mites
October 17, 2016 1:03 PM

There is a lot of discussion lately about grain storage and quality. I wanted to make you aware of webinars that may be of interest to you. I was part of a regional project that organized a 4-part webinar series focused on stored grain IPM in the north central region. Here are the topics and...

Grain Handling and Storage
October 6, 2016 11:11 AM

Many people have been asking me about little black bugs biting them this summer. Have you experienced this? I would have to guess they would be minute pirate bugs, also known as insidious flower bugs.

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Insects and Mites
October 5, 2016 2:05 PM

Right now, I have five different insects walking around my office! Of course, they are accidental invaders along with many other nuisance pests active right now. It’s also a sign of the quality of the building I work in [sigh]. I’ve been asked several times, “how cold does it have to get to...

Insects and Mites
July 25, 2016 8:48 AM

ISU Field Agronomists around the state have noted Japanese beetle feeding injury in corn and soybean over the last week. Japanese beetles have a wide host range that includes many species of fruit and vegetable crops, ornamentals, and field crops. Adults prefer to feed between soybean leaf veins...

Insects and Mites
July 21, 2016 8:24 AM

The lowest level of insect injury where damage can be measured is called the damage boundary. The damage boundary is a biological relationship between the insect, crop, and environment; and is independent of input costs (e.g., seed, insecticide, etc.). Managing a pest below the...

Insects and Mites
July 19, 2016 7:17 AM

Soybean aphid feeds fluids within the phloem fluids (sometimes referred to as "sap") by inserting piercing-sucking mouthparts directly into the phloem vessels. Prior to feeding, aphids "taste" the sap to determine if the plant is a suitable host species and if the quality is acceptable. Once...

Insects and Mites
July 8, 2016 6:53 AM

Western corn rootworm (WCR) and northern corn rootworm (NCR) eggs overwinter in the soil and larval hatch is based on accumulated degree days (ADD) of soil temperatures each year. Average hatching dates for Iowa are in early June, with southern counties experiencing egg hatch before northern...

Insects and Mites
July 5, 2016 11:01 AM

Last week, my lab crew found a few different caterpillars feeding in our soybean plots at the ISU Northwest Research Farm. They were hesitant to identify it in the field, so they brought one to me for a confirmation. First, I noticed it had a green body and green head and four pairs of prolegs...

Insects and Mites
June 29, 2016 12:25 PM

This week, I got a note from Tristan Mueller (Iowa Soybean Association) seeing some corn leaf injury from redheaded flea beetle. The defoliation was noticeable and the farmer was considering a foliar insecticide. The fields did not have tasseled yet and he estimated 5-6 beetles per plant. 

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Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 27, 2016 4:22 PM

Earlier this month, I wrote an ICM News article showing peak corn rootworm egg hatch in Iowa. That means at least 50% of viable eggs have likely hatched and larvae will start feeding...

Insects and Mites
June 14, 2016 11:03 AM

I recently had a call about millipedes feeding on corn kernels in northeast Iowa this week. The farmer had a 120-acre cornfield with approximately 20 percent stand loss associated with millipede feeding. I rarely hear about millipedes as field crop pests, but a couple factors likely played a...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 10, 2016 7:36 AM

Yesterday, my lab crew went to the ISU Northeast Research Farm near Nashua, Iowa to assess plant stands and take initial aphid counts in my efficacy evaluation trial. My technician found five wingless soybean aphids in a V1 plant. This was certainly interesting, as it could mean uniform colony...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 2, 2016 12:28 PM

Today, I heard about some armyworm feeding on corn in northeast and northwest Iowa. In the NE Iowa field, rye was planted last fall and killed late this spring. Armyworms tend to be aggregated, or found in big groups, and can cause significant injury seemingly overnight. The caterpillars are...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 27, 2016 7:54 AM

Although most of my research projects are outside, I occasionally do work in growth chambers and greenhouses. This week, I started a seed treatment evaluation for soybean. I'm looking at 12 different treatments and seeing how soybean aphid responds. Working in more stabilized conditions takes...

Insects and Mites
May 25, 2016 10:00 AM

Yesterday, I was asked to help confirm an identification of a few beetles in a cornfield near State Center, Iowa. They ended up being striped and spotted cucumber beetles. Sometimes the striped cucumber beetle can be confused with western corn rootworm; however, it would be unlikely to see adult...

Insects and Mites
May 16, 2016 8:41 AM

As Merle Haggard said in his song, Under the Bridge, “you’ll find some great grub feedin’ here below.” I got a couple calls about grub injury in seedling corn last week and how to identify annual grubs (e.g., masked chafers and Japanese beetle) from true white grubs (May and June beetles) with a...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 11, 2016 1:53 PM

In March, I posted a blog about alfalfa weevils laying eggs in SE Iowa. Degree days have been slowly accumulating in April. I've updated the degree day map for 2016 and alfalfa weevils should be...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 5, 2016 1:39 PM

Bean leaf beetle adults are susceptible to cold weather and most will die when the air temperature falls below 14°F (-10°C). However, they have adapted to winter by protecting themselves under plant debris and loose soil. An overwintering survival model developed at ISU in 2000 is helpful for...

Insects and Mites
March 28, 2016 8:52 AM

You may have heard of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), an invasive insect making its way across the U.S. The first live detections of BMSB in Iowa were in 2011. Laura Jesse, Director of the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Lab, has now confirmed BMSB in 12 Iowa counties (see a map...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
March 24, 2016 11:37 AM

Adult alfalfa weevils begin moving as soon as temperatures exceed 48°F and begin laying eggs in alfalfa. Alfalfa weevil eggs develop based on temperature, or accumulating degree days, and hatching can start around 200-300 degree days. Start scouting alfalfa fields south of Interstate 80 at 200...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
March 15, 2016 2:44 PM

I was curious to compare growing degree days (GDDs) over the last couple summers. It seemed like 2014 and 2015 were cool, wet springs with a slow start for insects. But I wanted to check actual temperature history instead of relying on my memory. I used the ISU Agronomy...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
March 14, 2016 3:19 PM

While going through the extension winter gauntlet, I talked a lot about corn rootworm. It is one of most important pests in the Midwest and should be on your mind when deciding on hybrids and insecticides. I often got questions about using stacked and pyramided corn hybrids, and there seemed to...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
March 8, 2016 8:58 AM

Generally speaking, warmer winters mean more insects are likely survive because they aren’t exposed to lower lethal temperatures. An early spring can also benefit insects, particularly those species we consider field crop pests, because they are physically larger when crops emerge and can cause...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites

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