Erin Hodgson

Dr. Erin Hodgson started working in the Department of Entomology 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
August 3, 2017 2:05 PM

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, most of Iowa is still considered abnormally dry. Twospotted spider mites are erratic pests in some corn and soybean fields right now, particularly in southern Iowa. I’ve been...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
July 6, 2017 7:48 AM

A few of you with eagle eyes have been asking about this unique-looking caterpillar feeding in soybean. The green body and dark head capsule definitely make it stand out compared to other green caterpillars. It’s the obliquebanded leafroller (Choristoneura rosaceana), a tortricid moth....

Insects and Mites
June 21, 2017 9:47 AM

Today while scouting a commercial field north of Ames, I was looking for soybean aphid. I didn't see one aphid (sniff, sniff), but I did see a handful of thistle caterpillars. The caterpillars web together soybean leaves and feed inside the temporary home. They also produce copious amounts of...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
June 2, 2017 7:57 AM

This week, we finally got most of our plots in the ground. We've been patiently waiting for soil conditions to improve. This year, I have research in four locations around Iowa: NW Research Farm (Sutherland), Northern Research Farm (Kanawha), NE Research Farm (Nashua), and Johnson/Bruner...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 30, 2017 9:25 AM

Last summer, I wrote a blog about how the spring started off warm compared to most summers. I was curious to know about accumulated temperatures for 2017. According to the...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 23, 2017 1:07 PM

Monarch butterflies are an iconic species, known for their vibrant orange color and magnificent migration. Monarchs overwinter as adults in Central Mexico and fly to Texas and Oklahoma in the spring. Females lay eggs on milkweed plants, and the caterpillars feed on milkweed for about two weeks....

Insects and Mites
May 23, 2017 12:49 PM

In 2017, ISU is reporting black cutworm (BCW) peak flights by county and providing degree day resources for more personalized cutting prediction dates using actual accrued degree days for a specific location. We first reported on BCW peak flights in the...

Insects and Mites
May 12, 2017 3:33 PM

You might not think insects would make great parents, and in general, you would be correct. Most species just drop eggs and keep moving. But there are a few species, particularly true bugs (Hemiptera), that do try to protect their young. Parental care ranges from hiding eggs, to providing food,...

Insects and Mites
May 9, 2017 8:37 AM

grub body partsThis week, a couple Iowa crop consultants reported grubs are easy to find this spring. I assume they are digging in crop soils to evaluate seed germination. Last...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 5, 2017 2:33 PM

multicolored Asian lady beetle life stagesThe multicolored Asian lady beetle, also known as Harmonia axyridis, is a common insect in the ag landscape and...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 1, 2017 3:03 PM

insect spiracleThe recent wet weather in Iowa has prompted people to ask me if insects can breathe under water. In short, most...

Insects and Mites
April 25, 2017 11:39 AM

degree day map for alfalfa weevilA couple weeks ago, I posted an ICM News article talking about...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
April 18, 2017 12:27 PM

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is helping Iowa farmers manage weeds, insects and diseases in their fields.

Pest management is key to high yields and quality grain. ISU Extension and Outreach specialists are working to provide the tools and resources farmers need to manage...

Insects and Mites, Plant Diseases, Weeds
April 10, 2017 11:32 AM

I recently posted an ICM News article about how scouting for alfalfa weevils in southern Iowa. It doesn't take too many accumulated degree days for them to start moving around...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
March 30, 2017 8:27 AM

Yesterday, the EPA announced it will not proceed with any restrictions for a commonly-used insecticide, chlorpyrifos. This includes no changes to chlorpyrifos tolerances in the U.S. In 2015, a petition to revoke chlorpyrifos was submitted to the EPA by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
February 21, 2017 11:06 AM

In 2011, brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) was first confirmed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Since then, live detections have been confirmed in 19 Iowa counties. These stink bugs have been found in and around human structures, mostly homes in urban areas. I don’t know of any BMSB specimens found in...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
December 2, 2016 8:29 PM

This week during ICM Conference, I talked about a resistance management plan for soybean aphid. My presentation abstract can be downloaded now (ICM Proceedings, pg. 97...

Insects and Mites
October 17, 2016 1:03 PM

There is a lot of discussion lately about grain storage and quality. I wanted to make you aware of webinars that may be of interest to you. I was part of a regional project that organized a 4-part webinar series focused on stored grain IPM in the north central region. Here are the topics and...

Grain Handling and Storage
October 6, 2016 11:11 AM

Many people have been asking me about little black bugs biting them this summer. Have you experienced this? I would have to guess they would be minute pirate bugs, also known as insidious flower bugs.

Insects and Mites
October 5, 2016 2:05 PM

Right now, I have five different insects walking around my office! Of course, they are accidental invaders along with many other nuisance pests active right now. It’s also a sign of the quality of the building I work in [sigh]. I’ve been asked several times, “how cold does it have to get to...

Insects and Mites
July 25, 2016 8:48 AM

ISU Field Agronomists around the state have noted Japanese beetle feeding injury in corn and soybean over the last week. Japanese beetles have a wide host range that includes many species of fruit and vegetable crops, ornamentals, and field crops. Adults prefer to feed between soybean leaf veins...

Insects and Mites
July 21, 2016 8:24 AM

The lowest level of insect injury where damage can be measured is called the damage boundary. The damage boundary is a biological relationship between the insect, crop, and environment; and is independent of input costs (e.g., seed, insecticide, etc.). Managing a pest below the...

Insects and Mites
July 19, 2016 7:17 AM

Soybean aphid feeds fluids within the phloem fluids (sometimes referred to as "sap") by inserting piercing-sucking mouthparts directly into the phloem vessels. Prior to feeding, aphids "taste" the sap to determine if the plant is a suitable host species and if the quality is acceptable. Once...

Insects and Mites
July 8, 2016 6:53 AM

Western corn rootworm (WCR) and northern corn rootworm (NCR) eggs overwinter in the soil and larval hatch is based on accumulated degree days (ADD) of soil temperatures each year. Average hatching dates for Iowa are in early June, with southern counties experiencing egg hatch before northern...

Insects and Mites
July 5, 2016 11:01 AM

Last week, my lab crew found a few different caterpillars feeding in our soybean plots at the ISU Northwest Research Farm. They were hesitant to identify it in the field, so they brought one to me for a confirmation. First, I noticed it had a green body and green head and four pairs of prolegs...

Insects and Mites