First WBC moth sighted

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OMAFRA’s bug blogger, Tracey Baute is reporting the first sighting of a Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) moth.

“Usually by this time (the 15th) of July, I am writing about how we are approaching peak flight for WBC in at least the southwestern counties. But with the delay in growing degree days this year, we have just caught the first WBC moth in Ontario this week, a month later than usual start catching them.”

“Despite the late WBC activity, we are not out of the woods. The corn and dry bean crop are behind as well. Some regions will have corn in tassel later this month but many will be into August before fields in tassel. And pods will be lining up then too. There is a good chance that peak flight, potentially not happening until early August, will align with pre-tassel/tassel and pod stages in many fields.

“This makes trap monitoring really important. Monitoring traps across the province helps us better predict when peak flight is taking place and how abundant the WBC population is.”

Those who are just getting traps up now are not too late to join the Great Lakes and Maritimes Pest Monitoring Network that includes WBC traps. Also plan for scouting in August this year. Take note of when fields are entering their attractive stages relative to when trap counts are increasing to know which fields to scout first.

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