Erin Hodgson

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 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. 

Photo of Erin Hodgson
July 9, 2024 11:02 AM

Corn is beginning to tassel and there are fields with small ears, which means pollination is just around the corner. Corn pollen is highly attractive to many insect pests, so it is a good idea to assess pollination rates once reproductive development starts. This could be especially complicated...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 28, 2024 10:13 AM

I've noticed potato leafhoppers in soybean this week (nymphs and adults), plus several notable observations are coming my way. It's time to get out a sweep net to  alfalfa and soybean so you can make timely treatment decisions. Depending on where you are in the state, you might be close to the...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 24, 2024 2:32 PM

European corn borer, known as “the billion-dollar bug,” was a pest of economic concern in the United States prior to the commercialization of Bt corn hybrids in 1996. With the widespread adoption of Bt traits, European corn borer populations have been effectively managed and areawide suppression...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 16, 2024 7:53 AM

You may have heard of a special entomological event happening this year. It’s true, a rare “double brood emergence” of periodical cicadas is happening in 2024. The last time this happened was in 1803 when Thomas Jefferson was the US president. Read on to learn more!

Brood XIII, called the...

Insects and Mites
May 14, 2024 2:00 PM

Western and northern corn rootworms are serious corn pests in Iowa and the Corn Belt. These pests readily adapt to management tactics, especially in continuous corn production. The larvae consume corn roots, thereby reducing nutrient and water uptake, and cause stalk lodging. The adults may also...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 7, 2024 3:53 PM

For the second year in a row, alfalfa weevil is the most prominent spring pest for farmers. Unprecedented populations south of I-80 have been reported in 2024 and are proving to be much more severe and widespread than in previous years. We are predicting northern Iowa counties to also experience...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
February 12, 2024 2:32 PM

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...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 22, 2023 7:45 AM

I received several questions about blister beetles in alfalfa hay over the weekend. I thought it might be helpful to review what they look like and provide a few management tactics to minimize the negative effects for animals.

There are at least four species in Iowa, including a) black, b...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 14, 2023 11:51 AM

Blister beetles are an occasional late-summer problem in Iowa alfalfa fields. The beetles feed on alfalfa and soybean foliage, but leaf loss is not of economic importance. The bigger concern with blister beetles is their toxicity to livestock when accidentally consumed in feed. The beetles...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 6, 2023 2:34 PM

Although some parts of Iowa have been catching up with moisture deficits, many areas continue to be in severe drought. Drought stress combined with high temperatures is good news for field crop pests like grasshoppers and spider mites. We’ve been getting reports of high grasshopper numbers...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 9, 2023 2:26 PM

We have had a busy few weeks fielding questions from farmers and agronomists about various insects that are feeding in crop fields. Temperatures have been warm and that has prompted many insects to resume activity – they are hungry! The biggest concern lately has been true armyworms, but other...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 25, 2023 7:54 AM

Alfalfa growth is off to the races in many parts of Iowa, and we have heard reports from around the state that insects are very active in alfalfa as well. Field agronomists, especially in southern Iowa, have...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 19, 2023 11:03 AM

Western and northern corn rootworms are serious corn pests in Iowa and the Corn Belt. These pests readily adapt to management tactics, especially in continuous corn production. The larvae consume corn roots, thereby reducing nutrient and water uptake, and cause stalk lodging. The adults may also...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
February 15, 2023 9:47 AM

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 migratory moths. Black cutworm monitoring is a long-standing...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
January 30, 2023 8:46 AM

What: A survey about farmers’ crop insurance decisions, led by Iowa State University researchers in collaboration with researchers at Kansas State University, Michigan State University, and University of Illinois—Urbana-...

Crop Production
January 13, 2023 8:23 AM

Last year was the second season of an organized, regional corn rootworm monitoring effort with the Corn Rootworm IPM working group. This working group was formed to address regional concerns as corn rootworm populations continue to...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 24, 2022 8:19 AM

Several labs in the Midwest have been monitoring the distribution of soybean gall midge in Iowa since 2018. Last year, we sampled many counties in western Iowa but only confirmed three new counties. This year, we focused on the counties just east of the distribution in 2021 and were able to...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 11, 2022 9:16 AM

Twospotted spider mites have been noted in fields across much of Iowa already this summer, as much of Iowa is in abnormal or extreme drought (D0-D3, US Drought Monitor). Scouting for spider mites in field crops...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 22, 2022 12:44 PM

Western and northern corn rootworms are serious pests of corn throughout the Corn Belt (Photo 1). We recommend that farmers scout every cornfield every year, regardless of the management tactic(s) used, to evaluate management decisions and prepare for next year. It is a good idea to scout for...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 18, 2022 7:52 AM

The most effective way to make treatments decisions for pests with chewing mouthparts (e.g., Japanese beetle, bean leaf beetle, caterpillars, and grasshoppers) is to estimate defoliation. I’m a “lumper” and don’t try too hard to distinguish feeding by species. Replicated data over multiple...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 12, 2022 2:24 PM

Western and northern corn rootworm are serious pests of corn throughout the Corn Belt. We recommend that farmers scout every cornfield every year, regardless of the management tactic(s) used, to evaluate management decisions and prepare for next year. It is a good idea to scout for larvae early...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 17, 2022 11:09 AM

Today, while scouting for bean leaf beetle south of Ames, my lab found a few early vegetative plants with soybean aphid. Actually, it was Ashley Dean who found them. It was the ants moving on plants that caught her eye. Taking a closer look revealed a few small aphid colonies feeding on the...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 15, 2022 12:12 PM

While in westcentral Iowa yesterday setting up some small plot experiments, I got distracted by a long stretch of grass alongside a cornfield. I noticed some “deadheads” among the green plants and decided to dig a little deeper.

...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 9, 2022 9:37 AM

Last year, entomologists and field specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach received many questions about effective management of corn rootworms as populations have increased in the past two years and farmers have experienced enhanced root injury during drought conditions....

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 31, 2022 12:57 PM

Recent surveying suggests that farmers and their advisors are interested in receiving short bursts of information via text messaging. We formed the Iowa Pest Alert Network with the goal of providing short, timely insect pest updates to farmers and advisors through text messages. These updates...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites

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