CFAES Give Today
Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


Lep Monitoring Network Update


Eleven counties in Ohio will be monitoring for various agronomic Lepidopteran (moth/caterpillar) pests during the 2022 field season. These counties include Adams, Brown, Clark, Fulton, Hardin, Madison, Muskingum, Trumbull, Van Wert, Wayne and Wood. This network was established to monitor the current pest populations in various regions of Ohio for black cutworm (BCW), true armyworm (AMW), European corn borer (ECB-IA, ECB-NY), corn earworm (CEW), and fall armyworm (FAW). We will report regular updates on this trapping in CFAES’s C.O.R.N newsletter to track the status of these pests in Ohio. Traps for each pest will be deployed when the pest is most likely to be active throughout the season.

Black cutworm

The first pest we are monitoring for this spring is the black cutworm (BCW). Black cutworms are not able to overwinter in Ohio--they migrate from southern regions as the temperatures begin to increase. Adult moths are particularly attracted to fields with broadleaf weeds, such as chickweed and purple dead nettle, to lay their eggs on before planting (Figures 1 and 2). Once the eggs hatch, the caterpillars feed on the corn seedlings or growing corn plants, and potentially cutting the plant off at the growing point.


Purple dead nettle

April temperatures have been low but are slowly starting to increase. Understanding BCW numbers before planting will help identify regions that may be at increased risk for BCW. To monitor for BCW moths, our network of cooperators use wing traps with a pheromone lure (Figure 3). Black cutworm adults are a brownish color and can be identified by a single dagger shape on each forewing (Figure 4).

Black cutworm (BCW) trap set up using a delta wing trap and pheromone lure.

Figure 4. Black cutworm moth (BCW). Distinct black, dagger shaped markings on the forewing. Photo credit: Curtis Young.

Traps were set the week of April 18th and we started weekly checks beginning the week of April 25th.  Over the past week, we monitored a total of 24 traps in 9 counties. Moths were reported in all monitoring counties except Brown (Figure 5). Van Wert, Wood and Trumbull counties had the highest averages the first week (7, 6 and 6 moths, respectively). Counties with high trap numbers should plan to monitor for BCW larvae after corn is planted, especially in fields with a lot of broadleaf weeds such broadleaf weeds, such as chickweed and purple dead nettle. For more information about BCW please visit:


Black cutworm moth report

Week 1: April 25 to May 1, 2022

Figure 5. Black cutworm moths captured from April 25th to May 1st. Large number indicates the average moth count for the week and the small number in parentheses is the total traps set up in the county.

For corn varieties tolerant of BCW, please review the Handy Bt Trait Table:

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.