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 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
February 21, 2020 5:16 PM

Iowa State University’s IPM Team has monitored field crop pests for a long time. The pests have changed over the years, but our 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
September 6, 2019 8:21 AM

This week was my last field day of the summer – it’s always is a signal the season is ending. I noted plants are senescing fairly quickly on my drive to Kanawha. However, there are still a few insects active on field crops, and worth scouting for this weekend.

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Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 29, 2019 7:33 AM

Yesterday, while waiting for my field day stop to begin at the ISU Northeast Research Farm, I noticed a bright green insect land on my leg. At first glance, I thought it was the threecornered alfalfa hopper (Photos 1 and 2). I’ve never seen one in real life and was surprised to see it in...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 2, 2019 2:08 PM

Today in our corn efficacy evaluation trial, Ashley and our undergraduate team found small corn earworm caterpillars infesting ears (Figures 1 and 2). Caterpillars have a light-colored head but vary considerably in color from light green, tan, pink, maroon, and nearly black. However, they almost...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 26, 2019 1:00 PM

I was recently asked if adult corn rootworms are done emerging for 2019. Of course, I respond by saying – it depends! A publication by Nowatzki et al. (2002), developed an emergence model for northern and western corn rootworm in...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 23, 2019 6:53 PM

Today for the first time this summer, I started to notice a few thistle caterpillars that didn’t look quite right. Some were very dark, some look deflated and some were kind of “slimy” in appearance. This happens to insects occasionally as a result of infection of an entomopathogen. That’s just...

Crop Production
July 12, 2019 4:06 PM

My lab has been collecting adult and larval soybean gall midge for a few weeks. We used emergence cages in several habitats to collect adults. This year, they were only collected from 2018 soybean fields in Iowa. Two of my trapping locations have identified second-generation adult captures this...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 12, 2019 7:57 AM

After visiting several ISU Research and Demonstration Farms this week, it was evident the abundance and diversity of caterpillars in soybean is ongoing. These species represented several insect families. We easily found 8 species while looking at and sweeping early-reproductive soybean. Of...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 21, 2019 9:25 AM

I was a speaker at the ISU Northern Research Farm field day near Kanawha yesterday. So many questions about thistle caterpillar and soybean gall midge. I also saw some feeding injury to vegetative corn. Here are some pictures:

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Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 18, 2019 11:35 AM

This year I’ve had a few people ask for tips on scouting for common stalk borer. The larvae are moving from brome to corn throughout Iowa and it is a good time to scout for timely management....

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 17, 2019 12:23 PM

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
June 14, 2019 9:42 AM

I’ve been hearing about and seeing a variety of caterpillars in seedling crops this week. In soybean, you notice thistle caterpillars feeding and making webbed cavities from the leaves. They can be easy to find in early-vegetative soybean but rarely build up to economic populations. Read more...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 6, 2019 8:09 AM

Moth trapping began April 1 and came to an end May 31. This year, we had more than 45 trap locations and 42 cooperators across the state. These cooperators provide us data on black cutworm (BCW) and true armyworm (TAW) moth captures at their locations, which we use to...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 23, 2019 3:14 PM

Everyone is talking about the cool, wet spring this year. It's definitely slowed down my research projects, too. Thanks to the help of the Tylka Lab, we have about half our soybean plots in the ground. I am working on soybean aphid efficacy evaluations at the NWRF near Sutherland. I am starting...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 13, 2019 4:21 PM

This week we begin Week 7 of moth trapping in Iowa. Significant captures of black cutworm (BCW) have occurred in several counties during weeks 3-6 of trapping (bold and * in Table 1). Significant captures occur when 8 or more BCW moths are caught in a wing-style pheromone trap over 2 nights....

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 1, 2019 11:41 AM

This summer, I am starting a couple of new research projects looking at cover crop pest activity that might be relevant to corn production. Shout out to Alison Robertson and Mark Licht for including me on these massive research projects! The usual cover crop pest suspects are migratory moths,...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 19, 2019 5:00 PM

Each year, Iowa State University’s IPM team monitors field crop pests to help inform farmers and scouting personnel about pest activity in Iowa. This year, our moth trapping network includes black cutworm (BCW) and true armyworm (TAW), two migratory pests of crops in Iowa that are unpredictable...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
February 22, 2019 3:01 PM

The IPM team at Iowa State University has been monitoring for field crop pests for a long time. The target pests have changed over the years, but the goal always remains the same: help inform farmers about pest activity in Iowa. One long-standing...

Insects and Mites

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