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. 

Photo of Erin Hodgson
July 21, 2021 7:09 AM

Last week, a team of us met up at the Iowa State University Southeast Research Farm (SERF) to evaluate root injury in a small trial for corn rootworm management. The trial had four treatments replicated eight times. The treatments included no management (glyphosate-tolerant only; no Bt traits or...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 14, 2021 2:49 PM

Soybean gall midge detections continue in western Iowa. As of this week, there are ten counties with infested soybean fields. These counties were previously infested with larvae. In some fields where we monitor activity a bit closer, we noticed first-generation adults were produced. These adults...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 29, 2021 7:25 AM

I’ve had a lot of questions about soybean gall midge over the winter and in the last few weeks. Most fields have plants with 4-7 trifoliates and I’ve even seen some flowers! If you are connected with the Soybean Gall Midge Alert Network, you know...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 18, 2021 4:42 PM

Today, our lab crew went to the Johnson Farm south of Ames, Iowa to evaluate a bean leaf beetle study. To our surprise, we found many V4-V6 plants with established soybean aphid colonies (Photo 1). It is not uncommon to find sporadic soybean aphids in June, but it is surprising to find a colony...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 14, 2021 2:25 PM

Over the last 5 days, I’ve been asked numerous times about a small butterfly roaming the gravel roads and wooded areas around Iowa. It’s a fast, skittish insect and tracking down a good photo has been really tough. They are described by entomologists as mercurial, or subject to sudden and...

Insects and Mites
June 10, 2021 1:56 PM

For the second year in a row, we’ve been hearing multiple reports of fields with high grub activity in central Iowa, particularly between Ames and Ankeny. Typically, people were called out to the field for other reasons but found grubs once they started digging. In fact, a field I visited last...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 10, 2021 1:36 PM

Most people are already finished with their first cutting of alfalfa throughout Iowa, but each of our 10 field agronomists reports that alfalfa weevil activity continues and has been much...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 20, 2021 1:49 PM

Western and northern corn rootworms are serious corn pests in Iowa and the Corn Belt, primarily due to their feeding habits but also because they can overcome nearly all management tactics available to farmers. The larvae tunnel into and consume corn roots, thereby reducing nutrient and water...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 11, 2021 1:03 PM

I am always surprised to find insect abundance and diversity when scouting in alfalfa. It never disappoints. At any point in the growing season, one is likely to find 20+ species of potential pests feeding on foliage. However, finding a lot of different insects at one time doesn’t necessarily...

Insects and Mites
April 28, 2021 2:38 PM

Just last week, Ashley Dean predicted overwintering mortality of bean leaf beetle in Iowa. It looked pretty grim for this soybean pest, with over 77% mortality predicted for central...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
February 16, 2021 1:35 PM

One of the most common questions coming out of any winter is “how did the insects do?” In winters like this, where we have extended cold spells, farmers and agronomists alike want to know whether the cold was enough to kill some of our most common crop pests. Entomologists Erin Hodgson and...

Insects and Mites
February 15, 2021 11:00 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 7, 2021 4:26 PM

Soybean gall midge is an emerging pest that only occurs in five Midwest states. Researchers in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota began investigating this pest in 2019 after widespread reports of significant injury raised awareness early in the 2018 growing season. Although a lot of...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
November 6, 2020 3:14 PM

We are looking to hire a new Extension Field Agronomist to serve south central Iowa (Clarke, Lucas, Monroe, Wapello, Jefferson, Decatur, Wayne, Appanoose, Davis, and Van Buren counties). Field agronomists provide educational leadership and subject-matter expertise in crop production and...

Crop Production
August 21, 2020 9:44 AM

The range of soybean gall midge has expanded in 2020. There are three new counties in Iowa (Osceola, Dickinson, and Calhoun) for a total of 29. So far, 108 total counties are confirmed in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Likely more counties have soybean gall midge but...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 14, 2020 7:07 AM

Caterpillars have been extremely active this year, especially in soybean. We suspect that late-season infestations of caterpillars in corn are no exception. These infestations are serious because these caterpillars feed on the ear and/or tunnel into stalks. Their feeding can also lead to...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 18, 2020 11:30 AM

With several severe weather events in Iowa this month, reports of lodged corn are coming our way. Often times, a small part of the field is flattened and would be difficult to see from the edge. I encourage you to get out into cornfields and see how your stands look this month. In some cases,...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 16, 2020 10:49 AM

I was recently asked about an alien-looking caterpillar from central Nebraska. I occasionally see silver-spotted caterpillars in Iowa and wondered if you were seeing any in soybean?

The caterpillars are definitely a unique species because of the body coloration! The bodies are yellow-...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 2, 2020 3:27 PM

After visiting several ISU Research and Demonstration Farms this week, our summer crew started seeing caterpillars in soybean plots. Many species are possible at once, but rarely do they cause economic injury in Iowa. Defoliation must exceed 20% after bloom to justify a rescue foliar treatment...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 18, 2020 3:56 PM

Today, with Ashley Dean and Angie Rieck-Hinz, I met Warren Pierson at FEEL to look for corn rootworm larvae. I predicted peak corn rootworm egg hatch for central Iowa this week based on accumulating degree days. We had no trouble finding larvae in refuge corn, ranging from ¼ to ½ inches in...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 12, 2020 3:45 PM

Today, ISU entomology graduate student, Mitchell Helton, captured the first adult soybean gall midge in Iowa. Just a few hours later, cooperator Lauren Botine (Corteva Agriscience), collected another adult. Currently, our traps are placed in fields infested with soybean gall midge in 2019. There...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 22, 2020 11:59 AM

Thanks to ISUEO Field Agronomist Meaghan Anderson and Extension Entomologist Ashley Dean, I had a great field scouting adventure in central Iowa. First visiting the field for poor germination and other issues, Meaghan was digging in the soil in search of more information and found grubs! So of...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 20, 2020 3:36 PM

Western and northern corn rootworms are serious corn pests in Iowa and the Corn Belt, reportedly responsible for over 1 billion dollars in yield loss and control costs annually in the United States. The larvae tunnel into and consume corn roots, which can reduce nutrient and water uptake (Figure...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 20, 2020 7:42 AM

Iowa’s most significant soybean insect pest, soybean aphid, has host-alternating biology. This species has multiple, overlapping generations on soybean in the summer. Fall migration to buckthorn is based on senescing soybean, and decreasing temperatures and photoperiod. For the majority of the...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 6, 2020 1:27 PM

Thin Lizzy predicted it in 1976. Actually, the boys and girls are back in town. Over the weekend, the first painted lady butterflies were spotted in Iowa. Why care about this beautiful butterfly? It seems like a distant memory, but remember the thistle caterpillar bonanza on soybean last summer...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites

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