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. 

Profile picture of Erin Hodgson
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
March 4, 2016 10:15 AM

It’s not easy for insects to survive Iowa winters. Some literally can’t - they freeze to death or migrate away to warmer climates. But many insects have adapted to cold temperatures by entering diapause, which is like hibernation. Diapause is a developmental arrest to survive adverse seasons...

Insects and Mites
March 3, 2016 11:45 AM

Many of you know about naturally-occurring entomopathogens in the soil that can kill or suppress insects. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a well-known example of a bacteria that kills insects, and was eventually included in plants as a transgenic protein. My Ph.D. student, Eric...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
September 29, 2015 9:04 AM

Pine seed bug

As harvest begins and other plants in the landscape senesce, many insects and arthropods move to find overwintering habitat. Sometimes...

Insects and Mites, Pesticide Education
August 25, 2015 9:19 AM

The last few weeks have been full of soybean aphid discussions. Populations have been going up, down and otherwise looked sort of bumpy this summer. Many fields exceeded the economic threshold of 250 per plant and were treated with foliar insecticides in August, particularly in northern Iowa. My...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 14, 2015 9:42 AM

Corn rootworm adult emergence is underway in Iowa. The three species of rootworm found in Iowa include the northern corn rootworm (NCR), southern corn rootworm (SCR), and western corn rootworm (WCR). Adults of all three species can be found until the first frost. Knowing how to distinguish the...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 5, 2015 2:00 PM

This week, I've had several calls and emails about aphids feeding on corn. They aren't a persistent pest, but can occasionally be found in Iowa corn. I wrote up a short ICM News article in 2011. Although an economic...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 21, 2015 11:40 AM

Now that corn silks are out all over Iowa, many people scouting fields will notice a mixture of silk-feeding insects (e.g., corn rootworm, Japanese beetle, grasshoppers, etc.). Sometimes I get asked about how long corn rootworm will emerge. It all comes down to temperature. Like all insects,...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 16, 2015 9:43 AM

Yesterday during my class at FEEL, I asked participants to go out in the corn and soybean plots and find pests. It didn’t take too long to find a few plants loaded with soybean aphid. It was the largest natural colonies I have seen this summer (potentially exciting for my research but not great...

Insects and Mites
July 15, 2015 2:37 PM

In case you want to try something a little different, you may be interested in listening to a podcast about field crop pest management. If you are new to podcasting, it is basically an audio file. Some people listen to podcasts on their computer/smart device, in their vehicles while traveling,...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 14, 2015 1:46 PM

Every summer since 2001, Iowa farmers have to think about soybean aphid. Well, I hope you are thinking about our primary soybean insect pest! 

Aphids have been detected throughout the northern counties this year, and some are asking if it will be a "bad" aphid year. I have to say it's too...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 13, 2015 12:23 PM

Last summer, I posted an ICM News article about how scouting for alfalfa weevils in southern Iowa. It doesn't take too many accumulated degree days for them to start moving around and laying eggs. If you grow or scout...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites

Pages