Join the Iowa Moth Trapping Network in 2024

February 12, 2024 2:32 PM
Blog Post

Iowa State University’s IPM Team has monitored field crop pests for a long time. The pests have changed over the years, but the goal is the same: to help inform farmers about pest activity in Iowa. Our moth trapping efforts target black cutworm, which is a migratory moth. Since timing of arrival is variable between growing seasons, trapping black cutworm helps us predict when injury will occur.

black cutworm moth by Adam Sisson
Black cutworm moth. Photo by Adam Sisson.

Volunteers Needed!

Past cooperators have helped us with our goal by establishing a trap location and reporting captures. In 2024, we can provide traps for 50 locations to help us with black cutworm (BCW) trapping. Having traps around the state helps us refine pest movement and scouting/treatment windows. Cooperator responsibilities include:

  1. Assembling the trap according to instructions by April 1. We will mail supplies and instructions to you in March.
  2. Properly identifying moths caught – a guide to identifying black cutworm will be included.
  3. Checking traps as much as possible:
    • Checking traps daily is ideal and gives us the most accurate information for developing scouting recommendations.
    • Checking traps every other day allows us to accurately assess significant BCW flights.
    • At minimum, we would like traps checked on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week.
  4. Reporting moth captures – see next section for reporting options.

Moth trapping lasts for 2 months (approx. April 1 to June 1).

Reporting options

For the past couple of years, the Iowa Moth Trapping Network has partnered with EDDMapS and Ag Pest Monitor to visualize trap capture data – a feature that has been frequently requested by our cooperators. The maps will be available to the public at We will use this platform again in 2024 so our cooperators can get the most out of the trapping network.

If you were a cooperator anytime between 2020-2023, read this!

If you were a cooperator in 2020, 2021, 2022, or 2023 and used Ag Pest Monitor, you may log in and use the sites you have already established IF you will place the traps in the same location. If you plan to use a different location, you will need to request new sites using the instructions below. Either way, make sure to send an email to to let us know you plan to participate.

Option 1: Entering data yourself

If you are willing to establish a location in 2024 AND you would like to upload the data to Ag Pest Monitor yourself, please fill out this form and email by Friday, March 8. You will need:

  1. An active email account.
  2. A unique site name – we recommend following the site name with “BCW”.
  3. Site location (GPS coordinates).
  4. Email and let us know you registered a site. Include your mailing address (Street, City, Zip Code) for mailing the traps and contact information (name, phone number).
  5. Check the email you used to register your sites for information on logging into Ag Pest Monitor and setting a password. The email may end up in the Spam or Junk folder.

Option 2: We will enter data for you

If you are willing to establish a location in 2024, but you are not interested in uploading the data yourself, please email by Friday, March 8 and include the following:

  1. Your contact information (name, phone number).
  2. Mailing address (Street, City, Zip Code).
  3. Site name.
  4. Site location (GPS coordinates).

* The site will be “owned” by us, and your name will not be associated with the trap; however, the location will be public. If you would like the trap location private, please indicate that via email.

Option 3: Send data via email for internal use only

If you are willing to establish a location in 2024, but you are not interested in having your data online, please email by Friday, March 8 and include the following:

  1. Your contact information (name, phone number, email address).
  2. Mailing address (Street, City, Zip Code).
  3. Site name (if desired).
  4. Site location (GPS coordinates) OR location description OR county where traps will be placed.

* We will keep your data for our use only and they will not appear online except in summaries.

Considerations for trap placement:

  • Avoid heavily wooded areas, low areas, or spots next to structures.
  • Place traps as far from intense night-lights as possible.
  • Traps can be placed at the edge of a field.

We appreciate your interest in joining the Iowa Moth Trapping Network. We look forward to working with you! Please email if you have any questions.


Guide to moths in Iowa field crops:


Ashley Dean Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Specialist II

Ashley is an education extension specialist for field crop entomology at Iowa State University. She coordinates the Iowa Moth Trapping Network, the Regional Corn Rootworm Monitoring Network, and the Iowa Pest Alert Network. She also develops educational resources for field crop pests in Iowa and ...

Erin Hodgson Professor

Dr. Erin Hodgson started working in the Department of Entomology, now the Department of Plant Pathology, Entomology, and Microbiology, at Iowa State University in 2009. She is a professor with extension and research responsibilities in corn and soybeans. She has a general background in integrated...