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
June 14, 2018 3:46 PM


This week, I’ve had a number of people tell me they spotted Japanese beetle. I was initially surprised, because I track degree days to predict adult emergence every summer and it seemed a bit early. According to the ISU Agronomy Mesonet, adults could be emerging...

Insects and Mites
May 29, 2018 8:17 AM

Tom Petty said he was “learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings.” The last two weeks have made me think about flies way too much. The black flies, sometimes called buffalo gnats, have been terrible and making it hard to be outside. These small flies (1/4" in length) are black or gray and somewhat...

Insects and Mites
May 22, 2018 8:42 AM

True armyworm is a migratory pest that arrives in Iowa from southern states and lays eggs on living tissue. Adult females are attracted to fields with green plants, particularly weedy grasses or living cover crops. These plants serve as initial feeding sites for larvae. When these original host...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 7, 2018 11:31 AM

Over the weekend, someone let me know they saw a western corn rootworm adult. Remember this pest overwinters as an egg that hatches in June! They get confused with closely-related species every spring: striped cucumber beetle. Striped and spotted cucumber beetles overwinter as adults and become...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
May 2, 2018 6:54 AM

A free app is now available to simplify the early detection of brown marmorated stink bug in the Midwest. This new invasive species has a wide host range, including soybean, corn, apples, tomatoes, grapes and peppers. App features include:

  • A stink bug "look...
Crop Production, Insects and Mites
March 30, 2018 10:31 AM

Insecticide-resistant soybean aphids have emerged as a new challenge to farmers throughout the upper Midwest. In a new regional publication, we suggest strategies for managing soybean aphids resistant to pyrethroid insecticides. A few key points for managing aphids are: 

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
February 27, 2018 2:12 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...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
September 29, 2017 9:49 AM

This week, my technician Greg VanNostrand found a black widow in our storage Quonset at the ISU Johnson Research Farm. The farm is just south of Ames in Story County. She is an adult female and had a pile of dead body fragments below her web. Needless to say, she was healthy and happy in the...

Insects and Mites
September 25, 2017 7:58 AM

Often people have fond memories of monarch butterflies and look forward to their arrival each summer. But there is some confusion about their migration pattern and population decline. “How can such a tiny butterfly travel such a great distance?” and “What do you mean the population is declining...

Insects and Mites
September 12, 2017 10:28 AM

In mid-August of this summer, I wasn’t hearing anything about aphids feeding on corn and I thought we weren’t going to see it this year. These aphids are highly erratic and so where and when they land are not well understood. But the last week of August, I started to hear from folks in northern...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 28, 2017 11:50 AM

I’m getting a lot of questions regarding treatment timing for soybean aphid. Mainly, when is it too late to treat? In the last week of August 2017, most fields are reaching R5/R6 and so the question is an important one. In my soybean aphid efficacy evaluation, I have sprayed at different plant...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
August 28, 2017 11:47 AM

The economic threshold of 250 soybean aphids per plant, with more than 80% of plants infested and aphid populations increasing was published in 2007 to prevent populations from reaching the EIL. These values were determined by closely monitoring aphid populations in research...

Crop Production, Insects and Mites
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