Iowa Western Bean Cutworm Monitoring Network Summary 2010

November 30, 2010

By Adam Sisson, Corn and Soybean Initiative,  and Laura Jesse, Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic

Western bean cutworm (WBC) is an insect pest whose larvae feed on the kernels, leaves and other parts of the corn plant. Iowa State University coordinates a WBC monitoring network which records adult moth trap captures in Iowa. Trap captures can be used to help determine when to begin scouting for this insect pest.

In 2010, there were 32 WBC traps located across 23 of Iowa's counties. Trapped moths were first recorded in Iowa on June 15 in Clayton County. Fayette County reported the most captures with 1,218 moths and a few counties, Marshall and Ringgold, had traps but no moths recorded. Overall, 2,657 WBC moths were reported in Iowa in 2010.

Participants in the trapping network were supplied with pheromone lures and instructions on how to build jug style traps out of milk cartons. Some participants used wing style traps. The pheromones lured moths to the traps and cooperators then counted moths and reported this data to Iowa State University's WBC monitoring network website. This data was used in combination with degree day accumulations to alert growers to scout for WBC in a July 2010 ICM News article

For more information on western bean cutworm, see the previous ICM News article "Use Treatment Thresholds for Western Bean Cutworm."

Recorded western bean cutworm trap captures in Iowa in 2010.



Adam Sisson is a program assistant with responsibilities with the Corn and Soybean Initiative. Sisson can be contacted by email at or by calling 515-294-5899. Laura Jesse is an entomologist with the Iowa State University Extension Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. She can be reached by email at or by phone 515-294-5374.

ICM News

Adam Sisson Extension Program Specialist III

Adam Sisson is an extension specialist with the Iowa State University Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. Adam focuses on the development of publications and other educational resources for farmers, agribusiness, and students. He rece...

Laura Jesse Insect Diagnostician

Laura C. Jesse directs the Iowa State University Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. Laura earned her bachelor's degree in 1998 in animal ecology, her master's degree in entomology in 2001, and her doctorate in 2006 in entomology and ecology and evol...